Best jobs to take while going to college (You don't know when you'll be free next quarter to work)

What is a good job while going to college? Do to the uncertainty each quarter/semester of what hours you will have available for work, how can you keep a steady place of employment if you can? Or is the best idea just to go in for a temporary position?

Landlords would not like that idea though, no? A bunch of temp jobs might make it seem like you may not be able to pay rent…

What are the best jobs in this scenario?

Stripping. There’s always work at night, and classes during the day.

When I went to college, a long, long time ago, I found a job working on campus through the college itself, so there wasn’t a problem with scheduling because they were more than willing to work with the students. Alot of the other students there found jobs at local laundromats, restaurants and convenience stores near the campus that all worked with the students and accommodated their need to change shifts with semester changes. Worked well for students needing jobs and also for the businesses because they had willing workers for all shifts. Not sure how much things have changed nowadays, but I’ll bet there are even more opportunities for students now than there used to be. Good luck! :slight_smile:

I clerked in a department store all through college. People not going to school wanted to work 9-5ish, so there was always a need to fill evenings and weekends. The only time it was an issue was one particular asshole manager who liked to change the schedule and not inform me. He tried to get me called on the carpet over that but it backfired on him.

The best was when I was on commission in the shoe department. I was the only one who would reliably show up on Sunday, and that was the day the sales started, so we would still have all the sizes.

It was a bittersweet day for my Dad when I graduated and he lost the employee discount.

What are you majoring in? What do you want to do after college? Be sure to weigh short-term small money now vs long-term career goals. Obviously you need to eat, but some strategy now can help you later.

Landlords may require that someone with more stable income (e.g. a parent) sign as a guarantor.

But if you do get on the lease without one, I’ve never had anyone check my employment status when I’ve renewed. I’ve also signed leases when my employment has been temporary.

I had a job in the library I got through the school; later I worked for a professor as a lab assistant. Obviously in both cases they were aware of the academic schedule.

I also had an occasional job as a production assistant at the theater, running the spotlight. I only worked about 4 events a year but it was nice extra money. Basically you got put on a list and when they needed a PA, they’de go down the list and see who was available. You never had to work if you had a paper due or whatever. They would just call the next person.

If you can stand call center work, see if a Dial America is near you. While I have my complaints about it as a company, they’re great at working around a college schedule. 80% of my fellow employees are enrolled at college.

Depending on the program, you could be doing inbound sales, customer support, chat sales, chat customer support. Money can be good to with the right program. Some of my coworkers make an extra $1k/month in incentives.

See if there’s any internships available in you area of study. Just be careful as some companies see interns as free labor. My daughter and nephew both did internships which made good money and worked around their school schedules. My nephew’s internship became a full time job after he graduated.

^This. An on campus job through the college is the best answer. It would be the first place I would look.

I was fortunate that I lived at home and didn’t really need to work (outside of the TA stuff I did). One of my best friends, however, made an extremely successful run as a night security guard at a government office building. He could casually do readings or work on an essay on his computer, since there was literally fuck all that needed to be done. There was nothing worth stealing in the building and I feel like a guard was there mostly for the benefit of nervous people working overtime. If you have a bunch of morning classes, it may not be ideal, but he was the sort of savant that could sleep through 95% of undergrad and still come up smelling roses.

How you get a gig like that, however, is beyond me.

I have a friend who works as a cashier at Kohl’s. It doesn’t pay great, and it is strictly part-time, but they let you pick your “available” hours of the week. That is, YOU give THEM your black-out times, and they schedule around them each week. If your schedule changes, you change your blackouts.

Pretty handy for someone on a schedule that changes quarterly.

Retail, restaurant

Campus job for sure, but not all campus jobs are created equal. The best one is being the sign-in guy at an out of the way, department-specific library. It doesn’t have to be your major either. I had a friend who ran the music library which nobody went to. He just finished all of his homework and studying in his 20 hrs a week there and got paid the same as someone running a cashier.

Bartending/barbacking/bouncing is also not a bad job if you’re socially inclined. I’d rather bartend than wait tables any day of the week, but then again, drunk people don’t bother me much.

Many landlords won’t let to students without their parent’s co-signature.

One of my daughters has worked on the campus bookstore for years, and they are great about flexing to her school schedule. If you cannot get work on campus (check if you qualify for work/study programs), then another flexible place to work is McDonald’s. That’s where my other daughter worked last summer. Whenever she comes back into town for break, she calls them and lets them know if she wants to work.

Agreed - by definition they tend to be supportive of academic demands.

My college job was with the campus computer help desk (which was part of the overall IT operation). I started at the bottom not knowing much about technology (they basically just needed someone to open the labs and keep the printers fed with paper), but after several years of progression I developed very useful skills that translated into a solid resume in addition to my core degree (accounting). If you can do something like this I would highly recommend it.

The rule of the school was that you could not work more than 20 hours/week, and my bosses were very accomodating schedule-wise (supported students trading shifts when needed, reworked the master schedule every semester, etc).

For me it was graveyard shift at a 24 hr restaurant. I was in Theatre, so my day was divided into 3 parts - Classes during the day, sleep, theatre rehearsal, sleep, restaurant job, sleep. Rinse and repeat.

It worked out because even though the scheduled time was Midnight to 6 AM, they always let us go early (~4:00-4:30 AM) because it was dead, and they paid us for the whole 6 hours!

A lot of good answers on here. Thanks all

I worked retail throughout college. Very accommodating to schedules. Plus the employee discount was nice.

I made a lot of money as a waiter in a restaurant. I took the counter and two-tops none of the other “full-timers” wanted and cleaned up. Work hard, be friendly and humble, and walk out with the money. One of the few jobs I recall enjoying.

Got me laid a few times, too!