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Friday, September 2, 2011

How do you balance work and play?

Whether you’re a student looking for part time jobs in London to cover your living costs or a graduate needing a job to tide you over while you get on the career ladder, getting part-time work can be essential to keeping your finances ticking over.


However, it’s important not to burn yourself out. It’s very easy to take on too much and forget that we all need a bit of down time every now and again. And by balancing work and play you won’t end up resenting your job or course.

Stretch!

We all need to stretch ourselves to reach our potential, and that includes funding our way through – and after – uni. And this is a good thing that future employers like to see even though it would be more fun to backpack through Australia for a year. By getting a part-time job you’re learning important transferable skills that you can make the most of when getting into a career. And it’s never wrong to have a bit of extra cash.

Always be realistic

While stretching to reach your full potential, make sure you figure out how much work you can physically do and still have a life outside of work. If you’re still a student, count how many hours you need to spend in lectures, how many you need to spend on coursework and how many you realistically need for your social life. Whatever is left over can be put to good use in a part-time job. If you’re job hunting for graduate jobs in Leeds or somewhere else in the UK then you need to put time aside for actively looking for work and this can be very time consuming. Don’t lose sight of your end goal and become so engrossed in your day-to-day part-time job that you forget what you’re doing it all for!

Money, money, money

Once you get a part-time job and have set your hours, it can be very easy to see pound signs if you’re offered extra shifts. While doing a bit more work for a few more quid every now and again can be good for you, always make sure you don’t start taking on more than you can handle. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get a proper full-time graduate job because you couldn’t say no to a bit of extra cash.

Boring taxes

Taxes can get very complicated as a student or part-time worker and you need to stay on top of things to get the most out of your part-time job. If you’re a student and working in your holidays then you won’t need to pay tax – you just have to ask for a P38S Student Employees form from your employer to prove you’re exempt. However, if you’re working during term time or are a graduate trying to earn some extra cash while job-hunting then you will have to pay tax, but only if you earn more than your Personal Allowance.

Time to relax

The most important thing about working part time is to remember to make time to relax. If you’re studying at uni or looking for work all day and then have to go straight into a long shift in the evening, you will quickly resent all of the work you’re doing and will become ineffective. If you’re desperate for the cash, see if budgeting better can help to reduce overheads and free up some time. Remember those priorities!

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