We’ve all heard the “typical path” to launching a successful career. You get good grades in high school, get accepted to post secondary, get even better grades, graduate, and then enter the workforce. But why not get a jumpstart on gaining work experience while you’re studying?
For many students, working while studying is a necessity, and many work in part-time jobs that aren’t related to their degree. It is possible to get a part-time or volunteer job in the field you’re currently studying, that allows you to test the waters and gain experience while you’re at it! Read on for tips and tools you can use to land a job in your field while studying.
Look for companies that let you work from home
Working from home is great for students who can’t always make it to that 8 am meeting with the client but can absolutely do an 11am Skype call right after class.
Working from home allows you to be extremely flexible in your schedule. As long the work gets done, it doesn’t matter where it’s done from. With remote work becoming more acceptable to companies, there are increasingly more opportunities for students who want to work remotely.
Research some companies you’re interested in and see if they offer work from home positions!
Network with your professors
Your professors are one of the best resources at your school. They typically have many years of experience and connections in the industry.
Go to your professor with an interesting topic or set of questions and get to know them. Not sure what to talk about? See if they have published any papers or interesting projects they’re working on. When you bring up a professor’s research and ask questions, it will be clear that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the information they have to share. People love to talk about their passions, your professors are no different.
As you develop your relationship over the semester, ask your professor if they need a research assistant (if applicable!). These positions are great for students. No need to negotiate hours since they already know you’re in school.
Professor doesn’t do research? You can always ask them for a letter of recommendation. These letters are great for boosting your cover letter or any applications you may send out over the semester. Another great question is if they know of anyone hiring in the industry. They will likely put in a good word for you, which helps give you an edge when applying!
Network with working professionals in your class
Classes tend to be a composed of a diverse group of people. You never know whether your fellow peers are already in the workforce or not if you don’t get to know them. In some cases, you could network with someone who may know of opportunities available. It’s a great skill to learn when networking and to always be open to connecting with others!
Take courses to boost your employability
Another great way to increase your chances of getting hired while studying is to learn practical skills that can be directly applied to the workplace. There are some job postings that require advanced knowledge of programs that you may never learn in school.
It’s a great opportunity to increase your skill set by taking one or two online courses, or attending workshops held by your school. For example, taking an excel workshop can be extremely useful as it’s one of the most frequently used programs in the workforce – but many students aren’t as familiar with the platform.
Overall, it is possible to get a job while studying. It may take some persistence, hard work, and dedication, but being able to graduate with experience in your field will put you ahead of others once you graduate!