The Various Jobs You Can Work While Studying

THERE’S an old adage that when you find your dream job, you’ll never work another day in your life. Well, at least after HECS. After unpaid internships and after you’ve nearly given up on ever using your hard-earned degree.

But what about now? What part-time job gives you the best of everything? What occupation allows you to manoeuvre within the confines of tutorial and lecture timetables, work enough shifts to have money but still have sufficient spare time to have a social life?

There are several short-term careers you may be considering while laying the foundations of your career, so YFH has compiled a short-list of the best.

The Pub
Ah, the rite of passage that is pouring cold ones at the pub, paying out those lucky poker machine winners and answering to the ever-buzzing TAB terminal. When you’re not avoiding getting your head kicked in by people who can’t comprehend why you’ve just cut them off – despite the fact they’re about to piss their pants at the bar – it’s actually one of the most enjoyable jobs you can have. The money will roll in – as you’ll be forced to work the premium Friday night, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon shifts. So instead of painting the town red as a jolly pisshead, you’ll be earning cash and not spending it.

The Cafe
Many a student has worked in a cafe to pay their way while servicing Australia’s fucking enormous obsession with coffee – to mixed reviews. Some love the fact cafe owners often pay in cash, preventing taxable income from affecting study payments. They also love the fact it leaves Friday and Saturday nights to go out and get fucking trollied with your mates.

Others resent the customers who are sitting down and enjoying their morning instead of waking up at 5.30am, hungover. They grow tired of complaints about coffee being too cold (or hot), answering to customers who have the potential to be wankers and working on Sundays and the Aussie-pastime of the public holiday. Like this person.

Similar to the cafe, working in retail is a job that puts money in your bank account but leaves the weekend nights free to go out and get inebriated. It’s generally shit money – less than hospitality – and you have to put up with a serious amount of fucking whingers and sales targets. But those who have conquered a retail job are often ready for anything the working world is going to throw at them and, unlike your mates at the cafe, you don’t have to wake up at obscene hours to serve coffee to cyclists – most shops open on either side of 9am.

Call Centre
If you’re after a job where you don’t have to deal with customer complaints in person, that you can perform while nursing a throbbing head from the previous night, and where you can be in the comfort of a seat and air conditioning, then you’re fucking laughing at a call centre. Laughing, until you’re stuck in said air conditioning and seat until ridiculous hours of the morning and following cruel monitoring procedures and Key Performance Indicators. On average, most call centre workers are expected to handle 75 calls a day and unfair criteria is often put on the workers, like speed of answering and handling time. Answering your own phone – a device you used to be glued to – could become tedious.

Being a receptionist is the richer cousin of the call centre. The perks of the job can be much higher, in addition to the luxury of sitting down in air conditioning. First of all, the money is pretty good for sitting at the front desk and the stress levels can be relatively low. It’s great to be able to pass the buck – nothing is ever truly your responsibility because you’re just farming off the phone call or “escalating the issue to management”. You’re not often required to work at night and you can sometimes fill in the time between calls with uni work, or even social media. But the downside can be equally as fucked. Shooting of the messenger goes hand-in-hand with your job, as you’re the first person a customer/client speaks to and you’re expected to develop a ‘phone voice’ that will irritate even you. You’re also exposed to every problem the other person on the phone has ever experienced.

But there’s one job that sits head, shoulders and a case of beer above the rest…

The Bottleshop
The bottleshop gig is the fucking envy of all students. If you’ve got it, don’t let it go. It’s a cushy job that allows you to earn the same money as your mates in the pub and the cafe, but in a relaxed setting where you often get to sit down, even put music on. Imagine helping people to get really shit-faced, but closing at least six hours before they become a problem? You can really become passionate about your job, trying to get the best deals and finest alcohol for your customers to get fucked up and then sending them on their merry little ways. It’s one of the rare jobs you can pull off hungover, and with laws forcing bottleshops to close earlier and earlier, it means closing time can coincide nicely with your night out.
Written by Tim Featon. Photo by Ruby Huang.


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