Cash In On Jobs Off-campus With These Tips 

click to enlarge If the kitchen’s a hot mess, imagine employee morale
  • If the kitchen’s a hot mess, imagine employee morale

Finding a part-time job is easy enough–finding a good one is a sharp rock right in the tookus. You need to think about schedule flexibility, pay, transportation, etc., but the question most often forgotten until it’s too late is: How much of your soul are you willing to sacrifice for that paycheck? Consider these when you’re looking for a job:

What do you know about the business? Research a company before working there, ask around and visit as a customer to get a feel for the place. According to Dana Freehauf, supervisor at Cheesy Jane’s on Broadway, one of the biggest perks of hiring students is that they are often familiar with the company’s environment. Having background information means knowing what to expect, making you more likely to enjoy and be good at your job.

Are a lot of the employees new? It’s hard to learn this before you’ve begun employment, but if you ask around and many of your fellow minimum-wage slaves have only been around for a couple months, it could indicate issues like a creepy manager, bad pay or lousy hours.

What sort of music do they play? Jobs exist where you can listen to your own music, but they often require a degree. You’re likely to be subjected to whatever the company plays and this may seem trivial but, trust me, listening to gems like “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” on loop on a bad day will drive you over the edge.

Do you hang out there? Working at your favorite hangout could ruin it for you (who wants to go to work on their day off, for instance?), but the reverse can also be true because you’re already familiar with the business and employee discounts make everyone happy.

How clean is it? I made it one day in a fast food joint that shall remain nameless, all it took was seeing the kitchen. Whether a place is crawling with nightmare-fuel or spotless in an intimidating way, it has to fit into your comfort zone and says a lot about your coworkers, employers and clientele. Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour before you accept a position.

When you’re looking for work, don’t overlook the resources provided by your school; whether you go to SAC, Trinity or UTSA, there are offices full of people being paid to help you find a job. Your professors are also a great resource, as are student job fairs. The trick is to find a place that fits your needs and has a need for your skills—if you can do that, you will be a happy, employed clam for the rest of your college days.

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