The worst casual jobs you'll experience as a student
When you’re a student, it’s amazing how much you’re willing to suffer at a part-time job in order to afford the basic luxuries of rent, brunch and weekend alcohol. If you’re at uni and you don’t have to work a mind-numbingly boring part-time job – you’re one of the lucky ones. For the rest of you, you’ll know the painful experience of working at least one of these hellish part-time jobs while you’re at uni. And if you’re really unlucky, all of these might sound familiar.
If you’ve ever had to work as a Christmas Casual or a year-round retail worker, you’ll know the special kind of hell that is working every single weekend. If you work in retail, you probs spend your days listening to annoying customer requests, or worse, trying not to reply with smartass comments to customers who are being downright rude.
At one point during my degree, I worked at a baby store on weekends and a lingerie store throughout the week, while also managing to get to class three days of the week. Why did I put myself through that hell? One retail job is bad enough.
Call centre cold-calling
I feel for any student who’s resorted to working in a call centre to afford uni life. If customers are rude in retail – wait until they don’t have to show their face and they can scream at you over the phone. Call centre jobs are at the bottom of the barrel of student jobs. While some retail jobs might have KPIs to stick to, they're often not that strict. Call centres, on the other hand, often have tough targets for you to sell sell sell when you really don’t give a shit.
We’ve all been there – whether it’s a job at a bar, a café, a function centre or a hotel, you know you’re in for a rough time. Bar work means graveyard shifts and café work often means waking up at the crack of dawn – and only sometimes do employers feel like paying you the right overtime rates. At least you can bond with your fellow comrades who are going to bed or waking up at the ungodly hours you are, but they’ll be the only ones on the same schedule as you. While my experience working at an ice cream store was possibly my most favourite and least painful uni job, I still shared the terrible experience that all hospo jobs have – cleaning up after people. Yuck.
The dodgy freelance gig
If your future career is a creative pathway where freelancing is an option, this can be both a good and bad thing. The positive side to freelancing is these jobs are usually quite flexible and you’re able to work from home. But so many freelance employers will take advantage of students and ask for way too much work with very little compensation. While not all freelance experiences will be bad, beware of the dodgy employers who will try to get away with not paying you when all your communication is via email.
The questionable office job
If you’ve scored an office job while you’re still at uni, good for you! It’s not always the best experience though. The companies who are willing to employ students with little to no experience are often the start-up businesses or dodgy companies that don’t mind taking advantage of you. If you’re lucky you’ll get office perks like free tea and coffee and biscuits – but if you’re unlucky, you’ll be working in a tiny space that doesn’t even have windows.