Most students, who study in the US, need a part-time job to be able to manage their finances. For some students, this kind of employment helps to cover the cost of studies and travel expenses, for others, part-time job is an opportunity to save up and support their families back at home.
Whatever your goal is, you may start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What type of work can I do?
- Where do I look for a job?
- What salary should I expect?
- Is voluntary job an option for me?
Let’s try to answer these questions together.
What Type of Work Can I Do?
Although your skills matter, the answer to this question primarily depends on your visa and language skills. So, first of all, find out what your visa restrictions are. For instance, if you are a holder of a standard student visa to such English-speaking countries as Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia, you are allowed to work no more than 20 hours per week. During the holidays, you can seek full-time employment. In the USA, you can work on-campus, but again, no more than 20 hours.
You should also keep in mind that with little or no work experience, it will be hard for you to find a position according to your specialization. Don’t get discouraged, it is not a problem. Whatever job you find, you can mention it on your CV, having a cross-cultural experience is always beneficial. For starters, you can work as a waiter/waitress or bar tender, call center operator, a member of retail or warehouse staff, a foreign language teacher, etc. Their schedules are usually flexible, so you can easily combine your part-time job with the coursework.
Where Do I Look for a Job?
Although you might feel pretty excited about your future job, looking for it before you settle is not worth the effort because most employers will want to have a face-to-face conversation with you. Therefore, you can start by exploring the opportunities your university offers. Apart from providing you with the list of vacancies, which local employers have, school administration will help you create a decent CV, share with you some interview tips, etc. Remember to surf some online job search engines. Local newspapers are also a good source of unique vacancies.
What Salary Should I Expect?
Having found the job, you might be really excited and forget to analyze the terms and conditions. However, this is a crucial moment. In most countries, governments have established a minimum wage, which all workers receive regardless of the job they do. Normally, the money will be transferred to your bank account. Remember to get a tax number right after you receive a job offer. You should also know that in some countries you can expect for a tax return after you graduate.
Finding a job if you have no experience is really difficult, so don’t get disappointed when it turns out to be more challenging than you expected. Besides, a good opportunity to improve the situation is taking on some voluntary job. Even though you will not be paid or paid very little, you will gain valuable experience, which you can mention on your CV.
And the last tip: carefully consider your workload. Lectures, library, exams, cooking, socializing… And you also have to sleep! So, if 20 hours per week seems like nothing to you at first, eventually, you may be exhausted. Therefore, think of your course workload before you start looking for a part-time job in order not to spread yourself too thin.