How Part-Time Jobs Can Lead to Your Dream Career

By Inspiring Interns

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When you were younger, you probably didn’t envision pouring pints or folding a never-ending pile of t-shirts during, or after, university.  It can feel disheartening not being one of the lucky ones whose dream job is waiting for them straight after graduation.

However, deciding to take on an internship or other forms of work experience often comes with little to no salary.  So that you may end up applying to local cafes and restaurants so that you can keep your head afloat.

It can seem that temporary jobs only have one benefit: cash in your pocket.  However, there are a number of skills that you can gain from the experience that will look excellent on your CV.  Such as...



This is one of the essential skills that is applicable across the (job) board and is a key addition to your CV.  It proves that you're able to successfully build relationships in the office that will effectively strengthen your team-work.

Communication comes hand-in-hand with hospitality and retail whether it's co-workers or customers.  If you're able to work well as in an environment that doesn't totally stimulate you, then you'll be killing it when working on a project in your area of interest!  


Time management

Time management is critical in the work environment as it proves that you're able to organize your workload into a specific time-frame.  Having a part-time job exemplifies this. 

Being able to juggle a part-time job whilst pursing your passion is guaranteed to impress a potential employer.  They'll see that you are determined to reach your career goal by using your spare time to garner essential skills.

A time-management question may even pop up in an interview!   Here the employer is trying to gauge how you approach your workload, how you prioritize and how you maintain good quality work.  Be sure to share a time-management scenario from your part-time job: perhaps you had to multi-task several jobs at once or that time you were given a long list of responsibilities to tend to!  

Working under pressure

Darting around a restaurant or serving a million shoppers can make you feel rushed off your feet and often a little stressed!  Those times may feel like the worst but being able to work quickly and still carry a cool demeanour checks off another employability skill: being able to thrive under pressure!

Perhaps you feel like you need deadlines in order to do your best work efficiently.  If so, that’s perfect.  Again, using specific scenarios from your part-time job is the best way to answer any questions regarding how you deal with external or work-related pressure. 


Taking initiative

Employers want to know that you can take control of your own work, especially in the face of adversity.  You remember that time a customer complained about the food and was visibly getting angry?  Or that time a colleague wasn’t able to come in because they were ill? 

Recall anytime that a problem arose and you found a way to deal with it: that’s taking initiative.  If you made any suggestions in a meeting on how things could be improved or how to up-sell particular products. Both of these show that you're a good self-starter!

Being motivated

This question always seems to crop up in interviews and with good reason too.  Why wouldn’t a potential employer want a candidate to be driven to produce the best quality work? Obviously, when asked you should say 'yes', but it's important to elaborate!

Already by having a part-time job whilst on the hunt demonstrates that you have the drive to go out and take action to change your circumstances.  Secondly, it’s important to focus on examples of times when you did exemplary work because of your passion for the task.

This could be anything from a side-hustle that you're working on in your free time or an unpaid internship you did in order to hone your skills and learn more about the type of work they do.



Francesca Hooper writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs, including digital jobs.



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