How to reconcile a student job and studies?

23 Oct 2020


It's not always easy to reconcile a student job with a demanding study, yet it's often unavoidable: grants from CROUS and other organisations are not always enough to finance students' tuition and living expenses. Today, 35% of students combine odd jobs and studies to get by: summer jobs, seasonal jobs during the holidays or weekends, etc. Can these two activities be reconciled? It's possible, but you have to adopt the right reflexes and organise yourself well. Let's take stock together...

Finding a suitable job to work at the same time as studying

Obviously, it is impossible to work 35 hours a week when you are a student: it is therefore essential to find a paid job that is adapted to the time constraints of your studies. You can work according to your schedule, but about 15 hours a week is already a lot, and working too much will certainly be detrimental to your studies. Opt for the status that suits you best:

  • Fixed-term contract: from a few days to several months, it allows you to stop working after a set period. This is a good thing if you commit to doing a job that you don't know about and don't yet know if it's going to suit you.
  • The permanent contract: the permanent contract is the "security" card. By signing it, you know that you will have work throughout the duration of your studies if you wish. It can be part-time and is therefore suitable for students. It can also make it easier for you to find accommodation or apply for student loans.
  • Temporary employment: by registering with a temporary employment agency, you will be able to carry out temporary assignments. This is not the ideal type of contract when you are a student: the hours are often staggered and the working periods vary greatly. However, some temporary work assignments can help out.

Quel que soit le type de contrat choisi, vous devez bien définir vos horaires au préalable. Précisez par exemple à votre employeur que vous êtes disponible uniquement le soir ou le week-end.

Whichever type of contract you choose, you must clearly define your schedule beforehand. For example, tell your employer that you are only available in the evenings or at weekends.

Organising yourself in order to reconcile your student job with your studies

To finance your studies through a student job, you have to be very well organised. To do this, we advise you to keep a schedule. Make a note of your revision times, your working hours, your course timetable, etc. The aim is to keep up to date and to have a suitable pace. Don't overload your schedule: you should plan rest periods to keep up with the pace. In addition to working during your studies, you may also be able to find a summer job for the holidays. This will allow you to put money aside, while conserving your energy for the rest of the year.

Choosing a student job near your home or campus

While you are looking for a job, define an area near you where you would like to apply. Working too far away is a bad idea: student jobs away from your campus will also require you to spend a long time on public transport. This will waste your time and a lot of energy. So apply, as far as possible, close to your place of residence or campus. You should also check that transport schedules, if you do not have a driving licence, are compatible with your working hours, especially if you want to work evenings and weekends.

Not giving priority to your student job to the detriment of your studies

It is sometimes tempting to put one's first job ahead of one's studies. Immersion in the world of work is often an exciting experience, as is earning one's first wages. However, it is important to take it easy if you want to succeed in your studies. Never skip classes to go to work: your student job must remain a way to finance your studies, however exciting it may be. It should never take precedence over your schooling and simply serves to ensure that you earn a minimum wage to support yourself and make ends meet. You must therefore learn to say "no" to your employer, especially if they offer you a full-time job, ask you to work longer hours or impose last-minute schedules.

Trying to find a student job related to your studies

Finding a student job related to your studies guarantees you valuable work experience once you have obtained your degree. But finding a student job directly related to your studies is not easy. In the majority of cases, student jobs are seasonal jobs, childcare, jobs in restaurants, hotels... You can also become a delivery boy in your free time, give private lessons, be a supervisor in a college or high school... It is sometimes possible to find a job in the sector in which you would like to work later on at a higher level. To do so, don't hesitate to write more and more cover letters, to regularly look through student job offers or to contact Pôle Emploi. All these efforts will give you experience to make a success of your employment.