If you cast your mind back to when you left school or, if you were lucky, tertiary education, you may remember the shock of first encountering the working world. Now imagine how much better equipped you would have been if you’d had some working experience beforehand. Why not encourage your son or daughter to start adapting now?
There are so many benefits for students who work part-time:
Earning extra cash
Tertiary education doesn’t come cheap and students are often on a tight budget. A bit of extra cash can really come in handy both to help pay for the essentials, like food and toiletries, and to give them something to spend on their well-earned time off.
Learning soft skills
There are many soft skills that don’t come standard with a mainstream education. Some of the most important are communicating well and practicing emotional intelligence. These are generally learned at home (or not), and then often only really practiced on the job. Developing them as early as possible is only going to benefit your child.
Enhancing their CV
Employers are also well aware that there’s a big difference between student and working life. If they see that your child has work experience of any kind, especially if it’s consistent, which demonstrates a level of responsibility and reliability not possessed by many students, their chances of getting hired are dramatically boosted.
Developing a network
Meeting other adults, with different skills to yours, can be extremely useful. Your child may even develop a relationship with a mentor who can advise them on how to move forward in their career, and possibly open doors for them by introducing them to other influential people.
Applying what they’ve learned
If they’re lucky enough to get a work experience or internship job in their field of study, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see how what they’ve learned plays out in the workplace. It will also give them the chance to get a feel for whether they’re on the right path, and perhaps even give them a clue around what they might like to specialise in at a later stage. And if they do well at it, work experience is a brilliant way to get a foot in the door for a permanent job once they’ve finished their studies.
Developing confidence through proving to themselves (and others) that they can hold down a steady job may just be one of the most valuable perks of part-time work. Putting themselves out there and learning something new is always a bit nerve wracking, but when they’ve done it once or twice, it only gets easier, so by the time they’re ready to apply for a full-time job, it will be a breeze.
What kinds of jobs to look for
Any part-time job, even if it’s flipping burgers, delivering pizza, answering a phone or ringing up sales in a shop, will give your child many of these benefits. Volunteer work is also good experience, as is a holiday job, especially if it’s in the industry they are studying for.
If you have contacts, by all means use them to help your child make that initial connection. It’s really important though that they take the next steps themselves, including filling in application forms, drawing up a CV and going for an interview.
You can, of course, encourage and support them in the process. That way, they will feel they’ve achieved something themselves, and also that you’re behind them all the way as they step into their new opportunity.