Learning how to live off a limited budget can make the transition to university life feel more difficult. But there’s a great way for first-time students to stretch their savings: a side gig.

Before launching a job hunt, spend some time thinking about yourself as a candidate. Decide what kind of positions match your skills, experience and interests. Look back on your work history, volunteer stints and favourite subjects in high school to develop a list of what you can offer to an employer.

Next, you need to know where to look to find the right job for you. A good place to start is on campus at your university's career centre. Counsellors often provide free training on how to write resumes, cover letters and ace job interviews. They also usually have a database of student jobs both on and off campus and can help you find out about co-op and internship opportunities connected to your school.

Another important way to landing a side gig is to tell people you are looking for one. Speak to your professors, department administrators, teaching assistants, grad students, residence advisors — anyone who would be able to connect you to an opening.

Looking for a job without leaving your campus? Here’s a look at jobs that are made for student life.


Colleges and universities are home to a wide range of positions connected to research, teaching and helping students succeed. University faculty often need to hire researchers throughout the year to help them with their studies. Professors tend to have a busy course load, leaving them limited time to mark exams; this is where students can earn some extra cash as research assistants, teaching assistants and exam markers. There are also many paid positions for tutors and notetakers for other students.

Building a better campus

Creating a vibrant student community is key to any great college or university. Most of the people working in student development are students. Residence advisors are a great example. They host events, offer guidance and enforce dorm rules in exchange for rent and a small salary. There are plenty of other part-time gigs available, such as coordinating events for kids living in residence and providing tech support in the school library. Not only are these jobs designed with your schedule in mind, but they also create valuable experience to add to your resume and expand your network.

Get involved

If you have a knack for writing, politics or leadership, getting involved in student leadership can also benefit your budget. Some student newspapers offer paid part-time reporter or editor jobs. Representatives in student government and the student unions can also receive a small salary for their efforts. Some other clubs also offer some pay for a day's work or helping with administrative tasks.

At your service

University campuses are full of bars, cafés, restaurants, stores and other services targeting students. From baristas and servers to cashiers and bakers, there are plenty of part-time jobs available that are often more flexible to suit your class schedule. There are also openings for campus security, being a lifeguard at the swimming pool or teaching yoga at the gym.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Enterprising students can also strike out on their own to make some extra cash. Offer tutoring or language teaching services to other students. Start a coaching business or become a personal trainer. Get crafty and sell some handmade items like baked goods and jewellery. Miss your family pet while at school? You can offer your services near the campus as a dog walker. Keep your prices affordable and any good idea is bound to boost your monthly income and help you save.

Want to check out more tips and tools for your upcoming school semester? Visit our Student Hub here.



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