Balancing a Job and a Career at the Same Time
By Erin Rebello
In this day and age, there seems to be a pressure for young people to put all their effort into working towards their careers. While this may seem like a noble notion, many career paths call for a bare minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with some requiring graduate education, making it increasingly difficult for the average Canadian to support such an endeavour. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have parents who have saved enough for a portion of your education, you’ll probably still find yourself taking on a part time job to pay for textbooks, meals, housing, and other expenses.
There are many reasons why someone might want to get a job, but most of these reasons boil down to finances. Let’s face it, almost all post-secondary education is expensive! Although most schools do offer bursaries and scholarships, they far from cover the entire cost, and are only given to a select few students. As a result, you’ll probably have to find other ways to pay for your education, which may include taking out a loan. The Ontario Student Assistance Program, more commonly known as OSAP, offers government loans to students who require assistance to pay for their post-secondary education. Loans are very different from bursaries as you will have to pay back the money you borrowed with interest. Although that may seem like a fair deal, interest rates can compound quickly, and you’ll find yourself in a lot of debt before you even begin to earn money from your career; this is where a job comes in. Even if it’s only part time employment and only pays for a portion of your diploma, taking on a job gives you more financial security and financial freedom in the future, making it a great idea for college or university students.
Another reason why it’s okay to get a job while working on your career is the fact that you can still put it on your resume! Although you might have a job that’s completely different than the career field, there are a lot of transferable skills that you might be overlooking. For example, working in a fast food joint would help you deal with the fast-pace of a professional kitchen. Working in retail also has a lot of transferable interpersonal skills that tie into jobs which require friendly interactions, such as teaching, counselling, and marketing. Also, working at these jobs shows employers that you have fantastic time-management skills, and that you are able to balance work and school at the same time.
Finally, working in a part-time job while building your career also allows you to connect with new people and expand your network. Your bosses, co-workers, clients, and customers may have connections in the career field you hope to get into, which can make finding your permanent job far easier. Networking is always crucial because you never know when you might find yourself in a situation where your past co-worker becomes your employee. Making connections is also crucial as it gives you references who can support and vouch for your abilities. Most employers look for detailed references, so it’s always great to have on hand.
In conclusion, although most people do it for the money, there are many perks to working a part-time job while pursuing your full time career, including connections, references, and transferable skills!