Perhaps the longest holidays you can ever have in your life (before your retirement of course) is the gap year between releasing the A-levels results and the admission into university. How do you plan to spend the eight months of holidays? Overseas traveling? Learning a new skill? While there are many good things to do, few things are more unique than gaining some real-life working experiences. It may be the first time you will be ’employed’, which is an exciting idea for students who have been in the boundary of school and family for more than a decade. And since you will start working after four years in university, why not get a glimpse of the real working world now? If you are interested in finding a part time job, let Digital Senior give you some helpful tips.
Ask the middleman
Firstly, you can look for some agencies to help you look for a job. Most of such agencies help source for part-time jobs in the fields such as catering services or sales assistance. The benefit of looking for agencies is the credibility and convenience of job-searching. They act as the first layer of screening to make sure that the companies they work with are safe and legal. And since such agencies have extensive contacts with relevant companies, it is easier to find the one you like, considering the working environment, the pay and the location. Hence applying for jobs via agencies speeds up your job-hunting process.
However, such agencies charge agency fee that is often co-paid by you and your company. Since the job they find mostly pay on a hourly basis, the hourly wage you receive in the end is actually lower than the market rate, as part of it is deducted as agency fee. Moreover, the jobs you can find via such agencies are mostly labor intensive. You may be a runner in a restaurant carrying dishes around or you may be a shop assistant without much time to sit while you are working. Such experiences are beneficial to your growth as they make you see a different side of the society that you don’t normally get to experience as a student. Digital Senior just wants to remind you to monitor your body condition to see if you can adapt to such working environment.
Use the job portals
Other than applying via agencies, you can directly apply online. There are many job portals such as Recruit Express or Jobcentral in Singapore and there are many companies posting their job advertisements online. You can easily find posting on jobs related to sales, marketing or some office work. For example, you may be a call assistant responsible for conducting telephone survey for a company. Or you may be doing compilation for the market research data and organize them in an orderly fashion. Unlike the labor intensive jobs you will find via agencies, such jobs are relatively less demanding on manual labor. They expose you to an office environment in which you may be working in the future. Hence they offer you good opportunity to gain the familiarity with the working world and learn how to communicate with your colleagues.
However, since you are applying directly online, there is no one which helps you screen through the companies. Some companies no longer offer part time jobs and do not update their posting regularly. For those still offering, you still need to send out individual resumes or applications, which can be time consuming. Lastly, be aware of scam. Do call up the company that offers you a position, check through their documents if necessary and always let your parents know where you will be working.
Knock on the companies’ doors
The last option is to apply from the company’s job application portals. This is usually applicable to bigger and more established companies or organizations that receive regular job applications at various levels. However, since those companies are big, they may not want to accept pre-university students. Facing such a barrier to entry, you have two options. You can tap into your network and get internal referral from someone you know. Companies or organizations today do value internal recommendation, as the people recommending act much like interviewers who screen through applicants. However, you need to start building your network long before you need to apply for a job, by attending the relevant workshops or networking events. And you do need a bit of luck despite consistent effort to network for getting a job.
Alternatively, you can look for companies or organizations that offer special programs for pre-university students. Many government organizations (such as IE Singapore) do take in pre-university students and you can apply for their programs. Some private companies have ‘insight week’ or ‘insight program’ that mostly target lower level students where students get to experience the working environment of the companies for a common period of one week. Do check out the career websites of the companies you are interested in and see if they offer such opportunities.
Searching for a job is a lifelong activity because few people stay in the same job for the rest of their lives. Since it is something you need to do throughout your life, why not start to do it now and gain some experiences ahead of your peers? Who knows, you may just find your passion in your part time job!