6 Tips For Working Your First Part Time Job

By Nayra Mendoza on January 18, 2016

Being a full-time student with a part-time job can seem impossible for those who’ve never worked before. Many college students will hold their first part-time job during college.

Most employers and competitive work fields require some type of work experience to even consider your resume. A first part-time job that works for students is working for a small office, restaurant, or department store.

first part time job

Via (Flickr)

Let’s say you’ve landed the job. Now, here are some tips to be the best employee your company has ever seen while not falling behind on your schoolwork, and what to expect from the work field.

Strategy is your ultimate goal.

Your first part-time job will teach you what it means when people say, “Every second counts.”

Time management will be a skill that will benefit you both in the short and long term. Plan a schedule of your day, week, and month. Keep your planner updated so you don’t “forget” a homework assignment or work meeting.

Color coding is a great way to keep your agenda organized. You may want to mark things down in pencil since a multi-tasking semester tends to be full of tentative plans.

Start your day off right with brain food.

Making sure you start your day off right can do wonders for you. If your job is in the morning, make sure to prepare a healthy meal that will wake you up and boost your energy to get to the office with a positive, ready-to-work attitude. If eggs every morning do not sound appealing to you (to who, really?), these 21 recipes will help or inspire you for a quick, healthy fix.

If you attend classes during the day and work late hours, make sure to have a meal or snack before going into work. Your body will have tackled a big part of your day, and your brain will want a break. Boost your energy and productivity levels by drinking lots of water instead of caffeinated drinks or increasing your heart rate with some jumping jacks.

Dress to impress.

first part time job

Via (Oscar Falk)

“It” couple Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl are some serious business casual inspiration.

Your image defines who you are. You represent the brand you work for now, and dressing well communicates your personality and confidence.

My go-to idol is the lovely and trendy Lauren Conrad. Her expertise on style and fashion — not to mention, her clothing lines — give women a respectful and chic example that works well in all types of environments.

Her Business Casual and Casual Work Attire guide are follow-worthy. I will admit that her wardrobe is not a one-style-fits-all, so Pinterest has a wider scope of outfit examples to try. For a straightforward solution, take inspiration from any female coworkers and employers.

My dear gentlemen, I did not forget about you. While I don’t personally follow many male bloggers, I always recommend Effortless Gent’s How-To Guide as a starting point for all my male friends. It’s got the basic rules, seven different style options, and even links to where to find the pieces for the look you want.

While the post is a bit outdated, men don’t have to go for a flashy or extreme look. Keeping it neat and tidy is the safest way to go.

Your time is invaluable.

Don’t neglect your grades; study time is important too. Many employers understand that full-time students will struggle with time management issues for the first few days or weeks. However, do not take advantage of this and turn it into an excuse.

As I mentioned before, time management is your best bet for a good GPA. Scheduling short study groups with classmates outside of work and class hours helps me refresh my memory on lectures and prepare for exams and quizzes.

If you’re not sure, ask questions.

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing. The only way you’re going to learn is by asking for help so look to your boss for advice on how to get a task done. Even simply asking somebody how their weekend was can be a helpful way to get to know your coworkers and employers at a personal level and to build relationships.

Here are other questions you might have and how to ask them.

Stick it out.
first part time job

Via (Flickr)

While no one likes being stuck with a boring job, it is better to try your best and excel than quitting when the going gets tough. Most employees find that their work becomes stagnant after a while, so come up with small ways to excite your shift. As a waitress, I liked to ask people what their day or weekend plans were. It may seem like an intrusive question, but many people actually appreciated the sociable and casual conversation.

Many interviewers ask about a challenge you’ve had and how you overcame it. A person’s first part-time job is one of the best examples of a challenge. It shows your interviewer that you’ve learned about commitment and perseverance.

These are just some tips on how to be successful at your first part-time job. You shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Find what works for you, your grades, and your occupation. Make sure to prepare for a healthy, stylish, and — above all — productive work day.

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