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It's still possible to find ‘gateway jobs' that allow you to
learn while you earn
Nowadays the large majority of students combine part-time work with
study. But the clever ones aim to get more than a pay cheque out of
Students often work in industries such as retail or hospitality while
studying. There's nothing wrong with that, especially for those hoping
to pursue a career in those fields after graduating, but it's worth
considering how you can leverage your existing employment to prepare
for the position you aspire to.
There are two ways you can do this: tweaking your existing job or
finding one that relates to the career you want. Say you're pulling
beers at your local pub while studying bookkeeping at TAFE. On the
face of it, there doesn't appear to be much connection between the two
activities, but you could ask your boss to let you get involved in
cashing up, banking and chasing invoices so as to gain some real-world
experience in what you're studying.
And while the growth of internships has made it difficult to get paid
part-time employment in many industries, it's still possible to find
‘gateway jobs' that allow you to learn while you earn. Someone
studying fashion design, for example, could learn a lot by working as
a shop assistant at a cutting-edge fashion boutique.
One last tip: research indicates that once full-time students work
more than 20 hours a week, their academic performance starts to
decline. So, if possible, avoid the temptation to over commit yourself.
Those working on less than around 35 hours a week are typically
employed on a part-time or casual basis. Part-timers are entitled to
work a minimum amount of hours every week and qualify for sick and
holiday pay. In contrast, employers are under no obligation to provide
a minimum amount of work or sick or holiday pay to casuals, who
usually get ‘casual loading' to compensate for this.
Australia has a buoyant economy, so finding a job shouldn't be too
much of a challenge. Your TAFE NSW campus
probably has a jobs board, most newspapers have an employment section
and there are lots of casual positions advertised on SEEK, CareerOne, MyCareer and other jobseeker sites.
Looking for your best career match? Take the TAFE
NSW Career Quiz