Illustration of a scale, showing the words "Work" and "Life" in balance

Secrets of the side hustle: finding the perfect part-time work

Do you ever find yourself in a weird relationship with money? As university students, we are studying for our future career to eventually earn a good living but at the same time we can find ourselves in a state of financial stress, searching for some part-time or casual jobs to help get us by while completing our studies. Finding a part-time or casual job that’s a good match for a university student alongside studying can be tough, so here are some tips to help you out!  

GIF of Kim Kardashian throwing money at the camera, in a 'make it rain' way
(Sourced from

There are essentially two ways to do this: going for jobs that are university student friendly or finding one that relates to the career you want. Rather than focusing on long-term factors like employability and future career paths, sometimes it helps to focus on things that are more immediate-term and apply for work to supplement your studies. Jobs that tend to have part-time or casual options include: 

  • Hospitality – consists of baristas, waiter or kitchen hand and more. This usually offers flexible working hours, which is ideal for scheduling around studies.  
  • Tutoring – do you like sharing your knowledge? If the answer is yes, tutoring might be worth a try! Regardless of physical or online tutoring, you can have flexibility in working hours and good pay, which can increase with the more students you teach.  
  • Admin/data entry – nowadays, computer skills are basic skills that most students acquire and can be even done remotely. Also, it can provide valuable insight into the world of business or other specific fields of study.  
  • Social media – you might be highly skilled without realising it! Being in the generation of social media, you can use your skills from personal social media use in digital marketing jobs.  
  • Casual labour – if you prefer physical work, this may be for you! Offering services such as mowing lawns, moving furniture or cleaning in your spare time can be a great way to make extra money. 
  • Babysitting and/or pet sitting – If caring for little humans or furry babies is what you like, why not get paid for hanging out with them. Although these jobs require time management, babysitting or pet sitting could be options that fulfill both your heart and your wallet.  
  • Content creator – you can get paid to contribute your written content or video content on the internet!  
Comic showing a caveman at a job fair, where the job options are "hunter", "gatherer" and "blogger"
“Early job fair” sourced from wronghands1 on

To see what types of part-time and casual jobs are available, you can try: 

  • Checking out Jobs On Campus for student jobs across the university  
  • Going on independent trusted sites such as LinkedIn, Jora, Glassdoor, and narrowing down the results of your job search  
  • Reaching out to local businesses like retail stores, restaurants and cafes because they often hire students  
  • Using your network: reach out to friends or acquaintances who may have connections to job opportunities 
  • Checking out internships: while internships may not always pay, they can be a valuable way to gain experience in the field you’re studying and make connections that may lead to future job opportunities  

From my experience, balancing work and studies is the most important factor. Here are some lessons I learned along the way:  

  • By communicating your needs and making sure your colleagues understand where you are coming from, you can sustain the job that you love with other life commitments 
  • Balancing study with work commitments can be tough, so planning in your journal or a reminder app can be helpful  
  • Have the courage to say ‘no’ to work that doesn’t suit your circumstances – it may be hard to reject good opportunities but it is important to also manage your mental health and reduce workload especially during stressful times 
  • Use positive affirmations – sometimes it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back that you have come this far to achieve your dreams. Juggling your university workload as well as building a portfolio for your future career will always be an ongoing roller coaster ride so make sure you’re enjoying it (with a hint of stress to get that motivation going)! 
GIF of two men patting themselves on the back
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If you’re interested in applying for a casual or part-time job but not sure where to get started, it’s worth checking out the Careers Service. They can assist you in finding and applying for jobs that suit your situation, whether you’re looking to upskill for a future career or you’re looking for immediate money to support your current studies. 

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