If you’ve just finished studying at school, it can be hard to know what to focus on next. After all those hours of effort and revision and the highs and lows of exam season, you need to switch gears, decide where to go to university and plan how to fund your new, independent student lifestyle. That’s a lot to think about all at once.
As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, students can no longer be certain of parental support to tide them through university, so finding work that comfortably fits around study is becoming more important than ever.
If you’re getting ready to go to uni and looking for ways to support yourself, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together this helpful guide on how to balance working in care with succeeding at university or college.
How do you take on part-time work while studying?
Balancing student life and a rewarding career will give you a steady income, a way to gain experience and develop new skills, and a welcome contrast to focus on outside of your academic studies.
With a little careful planning and consideration, being able to study while working will put you in a strong position to enjoy the independence that comes with leaving home and striking out on your own.
According to Save the Students 2022 National Student Money Survey, 62% of students in the UK have part-time jobs in sectors like hospitality, retail and care. With so many young people looking for part-time work while studying, competition for hospitality and retail roles can be high. But there’s another option: social care.
Working as a care assistant or support worker can be a flexible way to earn extra money, plus you’ll make a positive difference in the lives of others whenever you’re on shift. Helpfully, there are lots of permanent and agency-based vacancies available in the care sector, too.
If you’re compassionate, friendly and interested in helping people, working in care is a varied, flexible and consistent way to support yourself as you juggle part time work with continuing your studies.
Three easy steps to slay your work-life-study balance
It’s easy to get organised if you create a framework that will help you succeed longer term, support yourself through university and make a positive difference to the lives of the people you help.
1. Get super organised from the start
Take time to look at the bigger picture and what you’re trying to achieve. Ask yourself these basic questions to get started:
- How much do I need to earn?
- What study commitments do I have?
- When will I realistically be available to work?
Setting out a weekly timetable is a practical way to gauge how much you can achieve without overcommitting or neglecting your studies. Once you’ve crunched the numbers you can be more confident your plan will work.
2. Make sure you prioritise sleep
Don’t underestimate the importance of getting good sleep and rest – it sounds boring but you’re going to need energy to make sure you can meet all your commitments for study, work and play.
And don’t fill every hour with working and studying – schedule in some time to relax or to simply do nothing. In other words, create space in your schedule to prevent burnout.
3. Find your tribe for help and support
Leaving home for the first time can be lonely and daunting at first, but things will get easier if you find other people in the same situation. You can find common ground and support each other through new experiences, both good and bad.
Many people count friendships made in university or college as some of their most meaningful, and stay in touch with these friends for the rest of their lives.
Work with Florence to find flexible shifts
Once you’ve settled in and know when you’re available to work, you’ll need a quick and easy way to sort out your schedule and make the most of your hours.
That’s where Florence comes in. Once you have six months’ experience as a care assistant, you can sign up with Florence, choose shifts that work for you and book them on the go with the Florence app. We have both private and NHS hours available, with great pay rates and a friendly team that will support you through any queries by chat or by phone.
So how do I get started?
You want to do well in your studies, but you’re also committed to paying your way and minimising student debt. We think that’s admirable.
Hopefully these three tips will show you how to be more financially independent and give you the confidence to study while working in a rewarding, worthwhile and meaningful job in the care sector.
Florence can help you find flexible shifts near you, take essential training courses and improve your work-life balance. Find out more and sign up today.
You might also be interested in:
- Start learning with Florence Academy: a beginners' guide
- Carer's rights: your rights as an employed or unpaid carer in the UK
- How to become a support worker if you’re a care assistant