The jobs you do while you’re at uni can be, to use an old adage, the best of times, and the worst of times. Casual employment and flexible jobs are really a mixed bag of fun, free food and smiling through gritted teeth.
At best you’re going to nail the work-life balance, get fit, earn decent money and have some fun along the way. At worst you’re going to end up washing dishes in a forty-two-degree kitchen while an angry, overweight chef hurls insults at you (believe me, I’ve been there). So how do you find a sweet job that will earn you a livable income but won’t leave you with PTSD? Here are our best suggestions.
An oldie but a goodie, tutoring is one of the ultimate flexible jobs that lets you earn quite a lot of money for very little of your time (like $30-$60 per hour). You can decide whether you want to go through an agency or work it all out yourself and be a private tutor, the latter of which means you get to set your own price, but could make it slightly more difficult for you to find students. If you’re looking to tutor university students, you can also check with your uni as to whether they offer tutoring jobs–super handy if you’re going to be there anyway!
2. Swimming teacher
It’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but teaching swimming is actually a ridiculously good option for a casual job (or even a career). You can get qualified by doing a swim teaching course through AUSTSWIM (it only takes 16-20 contact hours and provides you with an international accreditation), and from there, you’re able to earn a fair bit more money than most other casual jobs. The role itself just requires you to have a good level of fitness, so not only will it keep you fit, earn you money and teach you how to teach, but you get to swim at work, which for the water babies of the world is pretty sweet. Some might even go as far as to say that it’s the perfect job…
3. Customer service
The classic options of retail and hospitality are a pretty safe bet if you’re looking for flexible casual work. Most workplaces will be able to fit around your schedule, and if you can work weekends they’ll probably love ya for it. Retail and hospo are usually pretty straightforward jobs (depending on where you work). People who work these kinds of jobs tend to be the sort who enjoy some good banter, know how to tell a joke and can provide a toothy, white smile that would impress any mum.
4. On-campus jobs
If you’re seeking convenience, then you can’t get much better than an on-campus job. If you google your university and ‘on-campus jobs’, you can probably find a list of all the different types of roles you can do at uni. These could include customer service, admin assistance, mentoring, IT support, marketing and communications and call centre workers amongst other things. It’s an especially good idea to find a role that matches what you’re studying if you can, so you can really milk your university for all it’s worth.
5. Baby/house/dog sitting
Okay sure, they sound like jobs you do while you’re in high school, but if you’ve ever done any of the above you will also know that they are a great way to earn very easy money. And the best part about these jobs is that you can often do other things while you’re at it, like studying for exams or finishing off assessments (or watching the 11pm Bachelorette re-run…). You could effectively get paid to do your study which is none to shabby if you ask me. Start making a good impression on the neighbourhood mums and dog-owners and you’re halfway there.
6. Surveying the public
Whether in a call centre or door-to-door, there are plenty of jobs that simply require you to ask people questions. Usually, you’ll be employed by the government or a third party who will ask you to conduct a bunch of surveys on random people. For anyone interested in getting a first hand insight into public opinion, surveying the public can actually be pretty interesting (and fairly easy) work. It’s not always a walk in the park, but the pay can be pretty decent too.
7. Letter box drop
Someone has to deliver all that junk mail you find stashed away in your letterbox. And it can actually be a pretty good option when it comes to flexible jobs. Because not only can you do it in your own time, but it will also keep you active, so you can kill two balanced-lifestyle birds with one stone. Depending on where you find work, it can pay pretty well too–you’ll often get paid by how many leaflets/brochures you can deliver, so the speed at which you want to do it is up to you. Get on your bike or go for a run if you want to speed up the process, or if you’re feeling like a leisurely stroll, that’s a-okay too.