Is that loan really gonna cut it? Well, maybe in first year if you're staying in cheap(er) uni accommodation (big up Hermit's Croft) but it's always nice to have some security, and with the Edinburgh renting market being as competitive and expensive as it is right now, I'm gonna need the savings for next year. My solution? McDonald's.
I remember turning my nose up at McDonalds when i was searching for my first job just over a year ago, i expected minimum wage, horrible customers and exploitative managers, but this is further from the truth of my experience there. The wage has recently gone up to $8.50p/h for under-18s and £10 an hour for over, my qualms with such a big difference in youth and adult minimum wages can be held for another post but honestly I've been perfectly happy with this wage, it's the same as I got from Primark (my first job) and I prefer just about everything else, from my colleagues to the actual work I'm doing.
This wasn't meant to be an add for working at McDonald's though, so I'll try be a bit more general now, I liked the tip oriented style of my last post so here are a few tips for finding a good part time job at uni.
Tip 1: Read Reviews - But Don't Fully Trust Them!
I'd likely avoid reviews on job seeking websites (Glassdoor, Indeed etc) and instead prioritise the sites where you are likely to get an unfiltered view, so reddit and thestudentroom. These were great for me, the reviews of places like Primark and McDonalds were pretty accurate to my experiences, however there are some outliers with horrendous experiences telling you to not go anywhere near the place, just take these with a pinch of salt, trust the ones which are more moderate, and have fun reading people's experiences in the strange world of student jobs.
Tip 2: People > Pay
This one comes with a caveat - if the pay difference is big, go for the higher pay one, for example, if you were on £7.50 and found a job that paid £13, go for the £13 one. However, if the difference is minimal, say below a pound, prioritise the atmosphere, work culture and colleagues you may be faced with, this is what's going to make or break your minimum (or near) wage job - trust me, if the people I worked with at McDonalds weren't fun to work with, I would not be giving them such a good review, don't feel bad for turning down a job offer or leaving during your probation period if you feel like the people around you are bringing you down, the work you have to do will do that for you.
Tip 3: Be Social!
This one seems obvious but it really does make a huge difference when you're just starting a job, talk to people! Or even just someone, they will inevitably talk to someone else and you can join in! Go to staff nights out, add people on socials; you'll be having a laugh while making money in no time, it's gonna make your shifts go by far faster, and if that wasn't enough then you may even be able to get some more shifts covered/swapped if you know the people you're asking, there's nothing to lose, only stuff to gain!