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> Monday, August 27th, 2012 > Lifestyles > To work or not to work, that is the question
To work or not to work, that is the question
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Stuart Gooden
Published: Monday, August 27th, 2012
If you’re like the average student, you probably don’t have a lot of money. Your parents probably chip in here and there with a few bucks to help pay for stuff, but for the most part your time spent here at Fanshawe is funded by student loans and money you may have saved up during the summer.
And then there are those, myself included, who find themselves in the situation of not being able to afford even surviving at school without working all year. Some have to balance school and work just to get an education, and that’s when working a part-time job becomes an absolute necessity.
If you’re looking for a job to help fund your education, there are a number of important things to understand. Handling the stress of doing your schoolwork, working a job and still finding time to mellow down some time during the week sounds daunting, but it is possible.
Will Carruthers is a fourth-year Business student at Western University. He has worked parttime all throughout his post-secondary years and he currently referees intramural sports at Western’s Rec Centre. He said working part-time has done a lot for him. “The job has been really helpful. I was working at overnight summer camp the last couple of years and I was doing that for the experience over the money. The job allowed me to have independence and not be over-reliant on my family to help me out. It’s not a huge amount of money, but it does allow me to have some discretionary income, so that’s always good.”
Since Carruthers works with the school, the hours are flexible around his class schedule because, he said, when it comes to working a part-time job, school should always be priority. “(Students) will need to make sure that they manage both responsibilities – school is first, but you can’t be flaky at work. Having a calendar is really helpful, and try to find a job that interests you – that way, it isn’t a huge burden.”
“(It) depends on the individual, but I find that (work) is really great exposure to introduce the students to time management,” said Maria Augusto, manager of external recruitment at TD Canada Trust. “Students have to prioritize their activities.” She recommended students ask themselves one key question: “What is the most important task that they have to deliver on with their studies?” If you’re able to allocate the appropriate time to your studies, working part-time hours is entirely possible.
TD Canada Trust follows a popular model for part-time work hours, which range from 15 to 30 hours a week, including weekends, with shifts generally between four to six hours, leaving plenty of time on the weekends to wind down.
But working part-time during the school year is about more than just earning some extra few dollars to spend at Barney’s. Susan Coyne is a career services consultant at Fanshawe’s Career Services (D1063), and she said if you work part-time, no matter where it is, you have the chance to take more than just a paycheque home with you at the end of the day. “Most of the jobs that students have, they’re part-time. They’re not career jobs. They’re jobs that they’re looking at from a perspective of ‘I need money.’ And what I like to focus on when I talk to them about their part-time job is: What are the skills that you’ve acquired from those part-time jobs that will help you in your career?” Not only can you keep your bank account happy, but along with the education you’re getting, you can acquire skills that could make you more employable, whether they’re gained working at Tim Horton’s or TD Canada Trust or somewhere else. Coyne suggested students look at one important angle: “What are the transferable skills that I’m going to gain that are going to help me in the big picture?” she said. “So when I’m talking to an employer later on, I can say this was a great part-time job, (and) I’ve learned (a number of things).”
Augusto said at TD Canada Trust, for example, on-the-job learning can lead to new job skills that can help you down the road. “There’s ongoing coaching and training that will most likely be transferable to their school activities and future employment, so really overall (it’s) a great opportunity (for) networking and building for their career aspirations.” She noted that many student workers end up staying on board after they graduate and find themselves a long-term employee with the company.
If you’re interested in looking for flexible part-time work, check out the Work Study program at Fanshawe. If you are accepted, Work Study allows you to work a flexible 10 to 12 hours a week in a position on campus. A list of the many jobs can be found through FanshaweOnline. Once you are logged in, on the right-hand side below Resources, click the Career Services and Co-op Job Site link. In the new window, under Career Services, click on the Job Postings link. This will give you a list of all the jobs Fanshawe offers, including summer work and even off campus work. Click on the On- Campus option to see all available Work Study jobs. Once you complete the Work Study application online, which can be found on the Financial Aid website, bring a printed copy of your acceptance letter down to D1063, and they will help you get in touch with the supervisor to the position on the Work Study job list. To be eligible, you must be a full-time student and demonstrate financial need.
If you need any help finding part-time work, pay the Career Service office a visit – 15 minutes with them could lead to long-term employment.