How Working While Going to College Boosts Careers
BY EMMA BONNEY
Ever since the 1990s, the U.S. have reported constant figures when it comes to the number of students who work while doing to college. Recent statistics show that more than 70% of students ages 25-34 balance school and a quarter of these have full time jobs. The most common reason for this decision is the need to support themselves financially. Because the U.S. educational system is not free, students who don’t benefit from a scholarship or parental support have a choice between getting a job or relying on student loans and, since the latter doesn’t exactly offer peace of mind, working while going to college becomes the wisest solution. However, this course of action does more than just help you avoid student debt. Spending your free time at work instead of hanging out with college mates might feel like punishment, but even if you don’t realize it now, you are helping your career in the long run. Here’s how:
Working through college teaches you a lot about time management
It’s not easy to balance college classes, exams, a job, hobbies, social life and sleep. Some only learn how to do this in their late 20s, after they get a master’s degree, but if you start early, you will adapt to a life with responsibilities faster and you will learn a lot about time management. Having less free time teaches you to prioritize what truly matters, so not only will you understand what things are important to you, but also deal with deadlines easier. You’ll find yourself procrastinating less, planning and allocating resources effectively and participating in less redundant activities.
You will gain valuable work experience
It is a sad fact of the current economic climate that employers are looking for people with unreasonable amount of experience even for entry level jobs, so a fresh graduate with zero work experience starts at a disadvantage. Working while in college gives you a head start, so that you won’t be completely inexperienced. Whether you want to get a promotion and continue working for your first employer or look for a different job, the chances of getting hired will be higher. Plus, you will also have some basic business knowledge and this might motivate you to learn how to start a business and become an entrepreneur yourself.
You will learn a lot about what you want to do in life
Graduating from college can be stressful as much as it is liberating. You’re finally free from grades and exams, but what happens next? Finding a job is the natural step, but that’s not so easy if you don’t know what you want to do yet. However, having even as little as a few months of work experience before graduating will help you understand yourself better: what field you want to work in, what your ideal schedule is, whether you’re an individual worker or a team player and so on. Knowing what you want from your career is the first step towards becoming an accomplished employee and you won’t waste precious time figuring out your ideal career profile.
A bit about myself:
Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and content management.