Making School Your Hustle ( A College Student Perspective)
Making School Your Hustle, Jonathan Jackson
School is difficult as it is. Classes, friends, and extracurriculars keep us busy and sometimes leave us with little time for anything else. Adding a job to the equation can almost seem like too much. But with a little planning and some key tips, I’ve found ways to make sure I can keep my schedule in check, and a little extra cash in my pocket.
1. Know your schedule
School must come first. Your education, especially in this economy, is paramount. Your schedule, and how you manage it, is the key to your success. I am a huge fan of Google Calendar, which I use to separate my commitments during the week, into different sections.. I have one for classes, my work schedule, and upcoming tests & exams. While that might not be the best route to take for you, finding an organization plan that fits your needs can be the difference between making work a success, and just not being able to balance it. Figure out ways to get ahead early, so you never have to let schoolwork dominate you.
2. Communicate early and often
Whether you are working in the mailroom, or doing campus tours, an on campus job is about relationships. Getting to know your manager has several opportunities to advance. First, it gives you the ability to give them due notice about a rough exam week, family emergency, or your recent bout with the flu you caught at that one party…whatever the reason, communication is integral. If you know there might be some complications, take initiative. Learning how to effectively communicate is a skill you will need regardless of your career path, and the sooner you learn it, the better off you will be.
3. Set Goals
A job is only a job until you make it work for you. Then it becomes an investment. Regardless of the position you have on campus, finding a way to create milestones for yourself plays two important roles. First, it gives you clear deliverable things you can walk away from. Maybe there is a process or system that you think you can improve upon to make things easier. Suggest it and then go after it. Your enthusiasm can translate into greater responsibility or a great recommendation. Second, it allows you to keep track of things that you do, that other might not know about. There is no reason to be shy about the things you accomplish that others might not see. Keep a log! You never know when it might come in handy.
You are your best advocate. A campus job can offer you some future opportunities, but only based on how seriously you are willing to build and nurture healthy working relationships. College campuses are easily one of the most interconnected places you will find, so chances are someone where you work, knows or might know someone you need to know (get it!?) Leveraging those connections takes time, but it also takes initiative. Start conversations, offer to grab lunch, or just genuinely inquire about your co-workers (within reason of course) and you might be surprised by the information you learn or didn’t know you need.
How do you balance school with your hustle? Let me know in the comments!
*Jonathan Jackson is a Junior at Washington University in St Louis studying Writing & American Culture Studies. Jonathan on Unigo