If you're a college student looking for a part-time job, one of your top priorities will be to find something that's flexible for your class schedule.
Look For More Unconventional College Jobs.
One of the best places to look first is right before your eyes—campus. The bookstore needs to be staffed, tours need to be given, dorms need resident assistants, the gym needs trainers, and the library needs extra hands.
Leverage Work-Study Grants.
For better or for worse, many on-campus jobs are reserved or prioritized for work-study students or those who qualify for specific levels of financial aid. If this applies to you, then make sure to use the opportunity to the fullest. Whereas many other students face steeper competition to land jobs, you have a competitive advantage.
Some schools actually pay students for their class notes, so that they can send those notes to students with disabilities in the same class. The process is usually anonymous, and the note-taker turns over the assignment by photocopying hand-written notes or emailing typed ones. Although some universities don't pay students for this service, we know someone at Columbia University who made over $300 for each class she was the official note-taker. Of course, we haven't even mentioned the fact that taking official notes means that you'll probably have better notes for yourself, too.
Help Yourself By Marketing Others.
From distributing samples of the latest energy drink to passing out movie posters and giveaways on the street corner, consider working for one of the hordes of marketers that visits college campuses. Especially if you're working for marketers on campus, your commute should be a breeze!
Get Street Cred (Or Academic Cred).
Remember that you're at school to learn and plan for the future. See if you can find a paid internship, or some sort of work in your desired eventual field. Our friend who was interested in publishing managed to land a summer internship at a major publishing house--for about $11 per hour. Although this isn't tons of money, she was able to make ends meet while learning all about the industry, making valuable contacts, and figuring out what she wanted to do after graduation. Whether in addition to or instead of a regular paycheck, many internships also often school credit.
To find an internship that interests you, consider applying directly. Our friend in publishing? She simply went to the websites of all the biggest publishing houses, clicked on their internship section, and applied. Our friend who landed a paid internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art took a similar tack by applying to all of the museums she loved already. For additional internship listings, we like Idealist, Craigslist, and college posting boards.
Don't Discount Restaurants And Retail.
Both of these industries offer the flexible hours that are great for students, and they sometimes pay pretty decently. Bartenders and waiters can make huge sums from tips; some of our waiter friends can bring home well over $100 in one night. While retail often pays relatively low hourly wages, we like stores that offer commission, which is sometimes about 6% of sales.
But remember: The point of college is school. If you're having trouble balancing your work life with your student life, consider speaking with your financial aid office and your parents.
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