For many individuals, working throughout college is a necessity rather than a choice. Although scholarships and financial aid help to diminish the burden of student loans, it can still be tough for students to pay their monthly bills while still having some extra spending cash. In addition, it can be challenging to fit in a job due to heavy course loads and extracurriculars. There are many questions you should ask yourself before applying for a job in college, such as if you can handle it, if it is worth it, and if it will interfere with your college experience. If you don’t find yourself in the circumstances that you are required to work, but are interested in working while in college, there are several intangible benefits. Working in college offers students the chance to meet new people and gain new skills. Additionally, you will be able to gain valuable job experience that can propel your future career. Below are a few more of the intangible benefits you may reap while working throughout college.

Professional Experience

Whether you are working at a job that is specific to your major or not, you will most likely gain important professional experience at whichever company you decide to work for. No matter the job, working teaches students essential skills, such as leadership experience, conflict resolution, and potentially management related skills. Many of us have already spent the majority of our high school years working, whether it be for fun or to save money towards college, so you may be wondering why you need to work during college when you already have those skills under your belt. It is important to remember that although you already have knowledge in these skills from previous employers, you can always learn and gain more experience as time progresses. There will always be more conflicts to resolve and continuing to diversify your work will help you achieve greater adaptability. Not only will a job teach you skills that you may not have previously had much experience with, but you will also get the chance to learn from individuals who have expertise in the field of your choice.

Foster Meaningful Connections

Working during college allows you to advance your professional career, along with allowing you to obtain meaningful connections with fellow students and colleagues. As you first start out at a new job, it can often be stressful and overwhelming while you attempt to get into the hang of things. The environment may be one that you have never personally experienced before, which is why it is important to ask questions to your employers or fellow coworkers in order for them to help you grow in the position you are at. In doing so, you will start to establish a relationship with one another and will be able to learn from them. Work relationships offer countless opportunities and benefits, as you will be able to expand your professional network, gain different perspectives, and learn fresh skills. In turn, expanding your network often leads to future opportunities with positions within the specific company you’re working for or even elsewhere.

Future Employment Opportunities

Although balancing school and work may be difficult at times, getting a job while in college tends to give those students an advantage over students who choose not to work. As previously mentioned, working while in school instills a strong sense of work ethic and makes those students more attractive to future employers. When given the option of two graduates, it is safe to assume that employers will generally pick the candidate with the job experience over the one who does not have it. In turn, it is foreseeable that students may receive job offers at the end of their internships if they can prove themselves to their managers or overarching boss. Even if you aren’t offered a full-time position at the job you choose to work at while in college, it is important to maintain a friendly and positive relationship with your manager or boss, as they would be a great component and reference to your resume. If you show that you are able to take on additional responsibilities, propose solutions, and understand how your work ties into the bigger picture, you are more than likely to have an easier time obtaining future employment no matter where or what the position is.

Although maintaining a job throughout college is a great way to help pay off student loans and additional bills, there are many intangible benefits that you will experience as well. Gaining professional experience through obtaining new skills, fostering meaningful relationships with colleagues, and experiencing future employment opportunities are just some of the rewards you may receive from working a job or completing an internship.