Part-time jobs, side hustles and the gig economy

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Hi again KCL! This week, I’ll be focusing on ways to maximise your income – specifically, I’ll share with you the secrets of part-time jobs and ‘side-hustles’, and the ‘gig economy’.

Part-time jobs can be a great way to add to your CV, build your skill-set and confidence, and of course, earn some money to pay for your textbooks (or your next night out!). While part-time jobs can be a huge help when living in a city as expensive as London, I’d say it’s vital that you balance the time you spend working with the rest of your schedule, as holding down a job, doing a full-time degree course, and balancing other commitments can really easily lead to things like burnout and a feeling of being overwhelmed, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself! (If you’re an international student, I’d also advise you to contact KCL’s Visa & International Student Advice to see how many hours you’re allowed to work per week).

I myself have had a few part-time jobs at university, including an auditor, and of course, the fantastic role of being a Money Mentor (which is currently accepting applications if you’re interested), but there are tons of other student jobs up for grabs, with some of the most popular ones being a student ambassador, food delivery driver, student union worker, bartender etc. – if you’re looking for a job here at KCL, then the King’s Talent Bank is a great place to look for jobs that might appeal to you.

Side-hustles are similar, but technically are jobs that you do on the side of your main job. About 60% of students have reported having a side-hustle in the UK, and they can be a great way to not only earn money, but to do so creatively. There’s a lot of overlap with part-time jobs, but I’d argue that a side-hustle is less ‘full-on’ and intense. Some examples of great side-hustles can be paid proofreading of documents and other work, selling videos/pictures online via places like Getty Images, pet-sitting/dog-walking, and selling fashion items such as trainers. Side-hustles are also a great way to show some creativity on your CV, so if you have the time and a good idea for one, give them some consideration.

The gig economy is the name we give to the part of the labour market that depends on temporary/part-time positions filled by independent contractors or freelancers (self-employed people who do jobs for several different organisations instead of just staying at one). There are benefits and drawbacks to the gig economy. On the plus side, these kinds of jobs often give the workers a lot of flexibility, so can be great for students like us.

But on the down side, they can be unstable and have barely any job security, so I’d advise you to think carefully about whether this is the kind of lifestyle that suits you, and it’s also worth a discussion with King’s Careers and Employability, to see what sort of career you would like to have in the future.

Good luck!!

Shivam Chotai
King’s Student Money Mentor
Part of Money & Housing Advice

The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts. 

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