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Student job : five tips for balancing a job with your studies

Do you need or want to work alongside your studies? Be careful, set yourself the goal of finding a job suited to your studies that does not interfere (or not too much) with your success in the latter. Student job, instructions.

Working alongside one’s studies has become commonplace in university life . More than 40% of students are gainfully employed alongside their “job” as a student. Working to finance your studies is sometimes a necessity, sometimes a concern to build your professional career early or to put butter in the spinach to finance outings and leisure. This social life contributes to the success of studies.

Nevertheless, competition between student jobs and studies can lengthen the academic career or even lead to dropouts.

1. Take a student job on campus

You will work in the university library, or you will do computer support, or you will welcome new students, do tutoring , animation or promotion of the training offer at the university. Advantage of the formula of these student jobs: you will waste little time in transport and will remain in the universe of higher education.

Two downsides, however. First of all, positions are rare. According to the latest study by the National Observatory of Student Life (OVE), only 1.4% of working students are employed by their establishment (or CROUS) and do their job at their place of study. . Then, public higher education establishments (schools, universities, etc.) are employers who pay late.

According to an official report from the General Inspectorate of Education and Research Administration (IGAENR) submitted to the Minister of Higher Education, Vidal, on student employment, students employed by their universities are paid on average two months late… or even more! “And the situation was already the same in 2011”, deplore the authors of the report.

2. Prioritize “student friendly” employers

Because of these too late payment deadlines, many students prefer to take a job outside their establishment: certainly it will be more concurrent with their studies but it will be paid more quickly and more regularly.

Some companies have good practices and take student-specific constraints into account . Monoprix in supermarkets offers contracts dedicated to students: part-time CDI or CDD from 6 hours to 16 hours per week. You will work, for example, 6 hours on Sunday morning in the fish department from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Disneyland Paris also offers contracts (servers, receptionist, etc.) from 4:00 p.m. on permanent contracts on weekends.

In general, once your schedule is available, give preference to jobs where there is no conflict of schedule with your studies, which must remain your priority.

3. Set a weekly hour limit

Unless absolutely necessary, do not take a job that is too demanding, whether in terms of number of hours but also in terms of physical and nervous intensity. In more than 90% of cases, your job will be food, in other words without a direct link to your studies. The time you devote to it will therefore be “stolen” from your time for rest, leisure or worse, your time for study or personal work.

Set limits . Even if you take a less than half-time job for less than six months during the academic year, it competes with your studies. A job exercised more than six months a year and more than half-time directly conflicts with your studies . This is the case for 3% of working students.

Beyond 16 hours per week, you take a very big risk and jeopardize your academic success . It’s a matter of proportion: working a little promotes academic success because it teaches you to organize yourself and articulate the time between your different activities (courses, personal work, leisure, paid work). Working a lot, on the other hand, becomes detrimental to studies.

4. Ban the student job in the first year of higher education

If you have a bachelor ‘s degree and are new to university, avoid taking a student job. You will probably have more free time than your classmates in preparatory classes for the Grandes Ecoles, but resist the temptation.

Even if you want to, even if jobs are more numerous and easier to find in this start of the 2021 school year than last year, you come from high school, you discover university or higher education, the step is high.

Better to devote yourself full-time to the job of a first-year student: you have to get your bearings, get used to new working methods and the pace of higher education . Wait until you are in 2nd or 3rd year to consider taking a job alongside your studies.

5. Remember that your first job is to study

Always keep a sense of priorities . During your higher education, your main job is to study .

Another trap threatens young people who give satisfaction in their job: the employer happy with you can offer you to work more, to take on responsibilities. To accede to his request is to put your finger in a gear: you risk becoming in your head more of an employee than a student.

You risk taking longer to finish your studies, compromising your success in exams or even dropping out of school. If you have to make a choice, let go of your job. Work is like a soccer ball: it will always bounce!

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