Part-time work is essential for most students trying to survive in London. You may feel that working in a shop or cafe is going to do little to advance your career but part-time jobs can teach us many skills that we can take forward into a more professional job later on.

When you are working be mindful of what you are learning, situations you are dealing with and always look out for opportunities to develop yourself and your skills.

If you are new to London and unsure where to start with finding a job, look at these links I have added for recruitment to:

Hotels in the UK




General Job Websites

Recruitment Agencies

Below are a few of the transferable skills that you can develop through part-time work.

Customer service is vital in many careers. For example, banks may not expect their graduates to have a degree in finance, but for many of its schemes they look for a customer related work experience. In a part-time job, be mindful of how you deal with customer’s issues, how you solve problems and how you use your initiative as you may be asked about this in a job interview.

Dealing tactfully with customers

Customer complaints and queries can give you useful examples of your problems solving and communication skills, both of which most graduate recruiters are looking for. Communication is a broad term that employers may want you to define your abilities more for example, by referring to persuasions, negotiation or influencing.

Business Awareness

Business awareness can be developed through retail positions as you will see how business decisions are made, how profits are generated and marketing strategies are implemented for example. There may be opportunities for you to contribute, think creatively and come up with ideas. If anything you contribute is used, you will have some good examples to use in your future job interviews.


Initiative is an ability to take action when something happens like dealing with an unexpected situation, dealing with a problem without being told what to do. Initiative is a highly valued skill and you may be asked for an example of how you have used yours in a job interview.

Cultural Awareness

Many of you are international students with excellent language skills and strong cultural awareness which could be a real strength in the jobs market. Being able to build good relationships with people from all over the world is an important aspect of business.

Use of IT

The ability to learn and understand IT systems is central to many graduate positions. You may use electronic point of sale systems, supply chain systems that help monitor order and distribute stock; and management information systems that enable retailers to interpret sales data and analyse trends.


Working with tills, stock taking, cashing up, looking at sales trends and special promotions, analysing profit margins etc. Explore opportunities to use and develop your business skills while you are working. Good numeracy is a basic skill that employers are looking for.


Working effectively with others is an essential requirement for most jobs. This means working cooperatively with others to achieve a goal, recognizing your own and others’ strengths, making a constructive contribution and being able to overcome conflict diplomatically.

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