Looking for restaurant and bar work as a student

Finding a job while you're at uni can often be a great bonus. It gives you some extra income, and might also give you a way to spend time profitably during your holidays.

Another perk is that, when you leave uni, if you're employed even part time, you could find yourself in a preferable position to graduates who have to start a job hunt without any current work.

You may be able to continue with your employer and even up your hours following graduation, giving you extra security as you plan your career with the company or what your next move could be more generally.

The restaurant, cafe, pub and bar trade are great examples of areas in which students often take on work. Earning money in these sectors can often be combined easily with uni studies.

Bars and pubs

Bar and pub work can seem on the face of it like endless fun. But, of course, like any job, it does come with plenty of graft.

Keep in mind that you may have to work hours when a lot of your friends are socialising at night, and will have to be careful to ensure late-night working hours do not clash with your studies. But if you think you'll enjoy meeting people and serving the public this could be a great job for you. 

Restaurants and cafes

You may not work as late into the night at a restaurant – and especially a cafe – but with all the types of jobs discussed so far, flexibility about when you can work will be a bonus.

If you enjoy learning about food, and especially if you want to work with food later in your career, earning money at a restaurant (or a cafe, pub or bar which will allow you to do some food serving work) may appeal.

Remember that in all these types of job, you'll be getting lots of great experience – much of which will be very different from what you're learning about at uni – helping with your CV, and giving you a more varied, fun life.

Skills picked up in these jobs will be transferable to any number of waiting and bar jobs you may want to take on in the future, and will also look good to an employer whatever career path you're eventually aiming for.

Tips for working when you're at uni:

Tell your employer when you can work: Make clear when you go to an interview the hours you'll be able to work, and how much time each week you'll need for study and lectures.

Don't take on too much: Study is important, and you may well be paying a lot for that degree. Don't take on so much part-time work that you can't get on well with your course.

Take it seriously: Yes, your main vocation might be learning right now, but no employer will appreciate it if you don't give your part-time job your all, too. Of course, the vast majority of students know this already.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.

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