In order to pay off my student loan debt, I worked at a locally-owned ice cream shop for a year while working as a data analyst full-time. While scooping ice cream did help me reach my ultimate goal of debt freedom, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows! There were a lot of part time job pros and cons.
If you are considering getting a part-time job on top of a full-time job, you might be wondering what are the pros and cons of having a part-time job. This post will help you decide if getting a part-time job is right for you.
This blog post is all about part time job pros and cons.
Pro: You’ll Make Money
Obviously, right? You should try to find a job that will help you earn as much money as possible. I liked my ice cream job because not only did I earn $9 an hour, but I also made money from tips.
We had a tip jar set out near the cash register, and if people felt inclined, they could tip me however much they wanted. The ice cream shop also used Square for their cash register system, which prompted credit card users to leave tips as they were making a purchase.
The tips I received made a HUGE difference in my overall pay.
When it was all said and done, I had worked at the ice cream shop for about a year and had made roughly $5k to put toward my student loans. The tips I earned ended up increasing my $9 an hour wage to about $12-$13 an hour on average.
Pro: You’ll Meet New People
You can and will meet new people if you get a part-time job. Whether its coworkers, managers, customers, or people from other businesses nearby, there is a lot of opportunity to make new friends and have new conversations.
It was refreshing to go from my full-time job where I saw the same people every day to my part-time job where I would have different and interesting conversations with someone new every time I worked.
Pro: You’ll Learn a New Skill or Two
Every part time job is different, but you will likely learn a new skill or refine an old one. Whether you are improving your communication skills, time management skills, learning to work with a team or individually, or even counting a cash drawer, your part-time job is sure to help you develop as an employee and teach you a thing or two.
You may not be able to apply these new skills to your full-time career, but you will undoubtedly learn something new about yourself or about another industry that you didn’t know before.
Pro: Your Part-Time Job Will Help You Spend Less Money
Having a part-time will cause you to spend less time doing what you would normally do, which means you’ll likely spend less money. If you are working on a weeknight, for example, you can’t go out with your friends to dinner.
If you are working on the weekends, it’s harder to go out to a bar or out to brunch with your friends. Because you are working more, you won’t have nearly as much time to spend your money freely.
If this sounds more like a con, it’s really not. If you are paying off debt, you’ll want to save every penny you can, and working at a part-time job will definitely help with that by keeping you preoccupied.
Con: You Will Sacrifice Your Time
For much of that year that I worked at the ice cream shop, I worked just 1 day a week. It wasn’t until I started getting my debt down significantly that I started working 3-4 times a week.
That meant I was working 4-6 hour shifts after my full time job on week days, on weekend nights and on weekend mornings. When you work a part-time job, you will definitely have to sacrifice your time.
I sacrificed time spent with my boyfriend, friends and family. My friends would visit me while I was at my ice cream job, but that was usually bittersweet; I always wished I could be on the other side of the counter enjoying my Friday night with them instead of serving ice cream for hours – but I knew when I signed up for a part-time job that I would have to miss out on some things.
You might be thinking to yourself… people? What do you mean “People”? Lol – well I’m just gonna keep it real.
I encountered thousands of customers at the ice cream shop, and while most of my customers were truly kind and considerate, some customers weren’t. It wasn’t always easy dealing with customers who were demanding or not-so-nice (especially after a long day at my 9-5), but no part-time job is going to be perfect; you just have to roll with the punches.
Con: You Might Get (Really) Bored
I remember many shifts (especially in the dead of winter when people didn’t want ice cream) where I was very bored. You weren’t supposed to be on your phone in case a customer did approach the shop, so at times you’d just be standing there alone with your thoughts… for hours. Haha I’m being dramatic but seriously – there were many days where it felt like my shifts would never end, and I really couldn’t do much else.
The boredom was truly grueling and I wished I could spend that empty time being productive elsewhere.
The amount of boredom you experience will depend on the part-time job you get, but this is something to keep in mind.
Con: Having a Part-time Job Can Be Tough on Top of a 9-5
By the end of my time at the ice cream shop, I was definitely getting burnt out. Like I mentioned before, I was working 3-4 times a week by the end of it, and it became too much for me on top of my full-time job.
The weeks were tough, but it also wasn’t easy when the weekend would roll around and I couldn’t relax or do whatever I wanted because I had to work at the ice cream shop…again.
It’s important to know when to slow down and give yourself a break. This wasn’t always easy for me, especially near the end of my debt free journey, but having balance is very important.
Had I worked just 1-2 times a week, I think I would’ve been in a much better place.
Is getting a part-time job worth it? If you are considering getting a part-time job, be sure that you’re not feeling worn out by your current lifestyle.
By getting a part-time job, you are adding an entirely new responsibility to your life, so take stock of your current mental/physical health before deciding to add a part-time job to your plate.
I would work at the ice cream shop if I had to do it all over again. Overall, it was a good experience, and it absolutely helped me reach debt freedom.
This blog post highlighted the part time job pros and cons.
Other posts you might like:
- How I Paid Off $60k of Student Loan Debt in 4.5 Years: A Timeline
- Paying Off Debt? 2 Books You Must Read for Motivation
- 3 Major Life Changes I Made on My Debt Free Journey
- Paying Off Debt? 2 Books You Must Read for Motivation