Adam Coombs, student blogger
It finally hits you. Your student loan is not going to be enough to sustain your wild life of parties anymore. Well, maybe if you cut out food and decide that alcohol is more important than the rent, but most sane people would either cut back on going out or do what I’ve been doing for the past month or so. And that is to try and find a part-time job in recession-struck Britain.Herein lies the problem. Traditionally students would work in the retail sector (where I personally have experience) or in the hospitality sector in bars or pubs and things. These are two of the areas that have been the worst hit by the recession and people not going out and spending their hard-earned cash. So, I thought to myself, how is anyone going to get a job in this kind of environment?
The first step I took was to make sure my CV was perfect. The easiest way of doing this is to book an appointment with the Careers Service and have them help you with it. Without an amazing CV you’re probably not going to get anywhere and that’s the truth unfortunately. So armed with my CV I hit the streets to try and find a retail position.
There weren’t any. Everywhere I looked and asked there were no jobs. Not even Christmas temps, as they weren’t employing for those until later in the month. Usually the shopping centres and high streets are a good place to start because the staff turnover in retail is incredibly high and I would still recommend it. But the chances of getting a job there seemed to be slim.
So, a little downtrodden that I wouldn’t be able to work in a trendy fashion boutique or in a funky soap shop I went home. These days one of the easiest places to find job vacancy notices is online. The first place I went to was the Careers Service website. They’re not just there for final year students to find work after uni, they also run a very good part-time listing website which I can only recommend. Other sites to try (and the emphasis is on try) include: Totaljobs, Justjobs4students and Fish4jobs. While some of these sites are definitely more focused on full-time work, from time to time part-time vacancies do come up and it is worth keeping an eye out for them. There were a few positions that I thought I could do which I applied for and the total number of applications I made was around the 15 mark.
The internet is also good for finding another, more surprising type of job. These days a lot of the bars, pubs and clubs in Manchester have a website and more often than not they’re advertising a vacancy. Usually though instead of being able to apply online you have to drop a CV into the manager during the day, or ring someone up but it does make it easier than traipsing around town all day.
Once I had finished with the websites I went to bed. It was about 2am and while I’m dedicated to finding work, I do need to sleep. The next day I went into town with my CV and hit the job agencies. If you cannot find a job these guys are fantastic. Companies like Reed often have a specific manager for part-time roles and these do crop up often. The one caveat is that most of the jobs they advertise are temporary, not permanent roles. I went to a company called Rullion who have their offices about halfway along Moseley Street in town. The staff there were incredibly friendly and the woman that registered me with them informed me of a position that was available right then and there. I found a job! Obviously however I will keep up the hunt. But that’s for another time…