How to find the perfect part-time job as a student

Student wearing a headphone and smiling

As a student, money can be tight and having a job means another thing to carve out time for in your schedule. Student life gets expensive, and many people in their academic journey opt for earning a little extra cash on the side to fund their lifestyle and education. Finding the perfect part-time job is about finding the right balance for your schedule, and one that matches your energy.

Here are a few things to look for when you’re part-time job-hunting: 

1. Choose the right gig — but have some boundaries, too

You’re a student first, employee later: this remains true throughout your academic journey until you are in a full-time position. You can make your side gig work for you by adding specific, transferable skill sets to your resume and ability as a professional. It shouldn’t be at the expense of your education and long-term career. 

Make sure you are comfortable balancing the number of hours you are working at your part-time job with the time your academics require. Maybe that retail job at the mall might work out better for you — regardless of the situation, be upfront about your schedule and realistically determine how much time you can dedicate to your employer.

If you know what career you’re getting into, you may want to find a job in that industry. For example., you’re a hospitality and tourism student aiming to work as management in boutique hotel sector, finding a part-time serving job at a hotel restaurant might be a good start to bring you closer to those goals. It would offer benefits for both parties; you get a glimpse of your potential future and the employer gets an attentive part-time employee. 

2. Remote and on-campus options might be worth considering

With the pandemic, working remotely has become the norm and it’s easier to find jobs that are not only remote, but also tailored for students. Co-op and internship placements have turned to online work, and so have some part-time jobs. If remote work isn’t a preference or option, then on-campus or jobs at the institution itself are worth considering. From the student cafe to online tutoring, there are plenty of ‘internal’ opportunities that will understand students’ workload for school, and allow students to integrate into schedules easily without the expense of falling behind in classes.

3. Any experience is good experience — paid or not 

That includes your time writing for the college paper, or your skills as a soccer coach. As long as the skills are applicable, or transferable, you’ll only benefit from listing them when you’re looking for a job. Maybe you’re just starting out in a new country - so volunteer experience still counts as experience, and the skills you’ve gained at other organizations will get the attention of a future employer because it illustrates not only that you have them, but how you’ve applied them. In fact, if you volunteer during school that’s a bonus — it shows that you can juggle multiple commitments in your schedule and strengthens your resume beyond listing your employers. 

Part-time work is definitely common among students, and it doesn’t have to be stressful to manage if you take control of your schedule and balance it in a way where you are healthy, focused, and successful. 

Get in touch with Niagara College Toronto’s Career Services team at for more information and tips at successful job-seeking.