I’ve been working for almost two years now, so yes I juggled part time work during Year 12 as well. When I first started working, I had no idea that this was not going to be an easy ride and that it would require much hard work, dedication and excellent time management to commit to this. Naturally, I failed spectacularly at the last one but it still is an experience I am learning much from.
My first job was as a nursery assistant and I worked for two hours after school, twice a week. It was a lively, colourful and undoubtedly a noisy environment. Learning the interests, talents and skills of such young children was definitely one of the highlights of my experience and it often took me back to my own childhood. My earnings were small but valuable as having my own hard earned money made me more appreciative of the efforts of my parents to put food on the table. However, I did have a tendency to over indulge myself with goodies, often going on shopping sprees just because I could (don’t do that guys!). Over the year I did learn to value the importance of commitment and consistency. Another difficulty was that after a long day at school I was usually very tired and worn out at work and was unable to fully immerse myself in the workplace. I would go home at 6pm and crash for an hour or two, often getting little homework done which became a problem throughout the year. I tried to tackle this problem by creating a timetable but it was clear that nothing could beat my exhaustion, and that working during the weekday was just not feasible anymore. So, I left, leaving a very professional (rookie) resignation letter in the manager’s office.
I then became a tutor in an organisation, teaching English to KS2 students every Saturday for 6 hours. It has been a great experience because I’ve met a lot of great students who are engaging and inspiring too! Helping them to develop their work has also helped me too because as an A Level English student as I am now able to see my work more from a third person perspective which is an invaluable skill. Now, I’m aware the hours were longer but it works out much better because I have more time on the weekends and I complete most of my work on the weekdays. I work there currently and I’m definitely much more attuned to the requirements of the workplace. I’ve also managed to budget more efficiently, and have saved up a decent amount of money to fund me throughout university. Although I’m tired after 6 hours, and I don’t do much studying after work, on Sundays I usually complete any revision or homework for the weekdays.
A little advice for those of you who are thinking about getting a job is to find weekend work as this is more manageable. Furthermore, I would recommend limiting working hours to 8 or maybe 10 hours per week because I personally think any more than that would be extremely exhausting. If you think you can work more than 10 hours go ahead but make sure you have enough time to rest and get your work done. Part time work will be great for your CV and you will also learn to appreciate the money you earn and spend it more efficiently. I would recommend all students to have a temporary part time job or to do work experience during your studies. But the most important thing to remember is that your studies are your priority and don’t get carried away with the money!