"I need to make a few extra dollars, but don't want just any old job. What do I do?" 
            Seek career-related, off-campus part-time employment.
"My professor says I'm not ready for an internship, but I want to gain experience in my major. What can I do?" 
            Seek career-related, off-campus part-time employment.

"My on-campus job is okay, but I want a change. What should I do?" 
            Seek career-related, off-campus part-time employment.

At Ball State University, off-campus part-time employment offers you a chance to expand your learning beyond the classroom in an environment that can be rewarding monetarily while preparing you for your future career. An off-campus part-time job may give you a first look at your chosen field or allow you to develop and enhance skills that will increase your opportunities for internships or full-time jobs later.
The Career Center posts off-campus part-time positions (including seasonal, temporary, and summer jobs) on Cardinal Career Link on the World Wide Web. You should contact employers directly either by sending a cover letter and résumé, calling, or applying online as indicated in the Cardinal Career Link description.

How to Identify "Good" Part-Time Job Experiences

When searching for a part-time job, you should strongly consider the quality of the experience and its future benefits to your career goals. Prioritize your search for an off-campus part-time position using the following criteria:
Atmosphere--In what type of environment do you see yourself working, now and in the future (e.g., office work, retail, customer service, outside labor vs. inside desk)?

Career advancement--Will this position provide strength to your résumé? Remember, an employer considering you for full-time employment in the future will want to know your work history.

Demands on time--Will this position physically drain your energy, thus taking away your enthusiasm to study for classes? Are weekends, nights, or early mornings required? Do you function well during these times?
Financial--Part-time jobs will generally pay between the campus minimum wage ($7.25an hour) and $9.00 an hour. Based on your needs, not your wants, determine the rate of pay that will satisfy you.

Flexibility with class schedule--Will this position impede your academic progress by forcing you to miss class time? Will you have to delay graduation?

Future references--Is your prospective supervisor the type of person you would want writing a reference letter on your behalf in the future?
Geographical mobility--How far away from campus is the job? Does the position require travel and a dependable car?
Image of organization--Does the image of the organization match your standards? Can you be proud of going to work daily for this organization?

Networking potential--Will you be able to develop contacts that will help you in your future search for full-time employment?
Out-of-pocket expenses--Will you be required to pay any initial expenses (e.g., kit fees, test fees) to be considered for employment? How much are these fees?
Personal ability--Do you have the ability to perform this job at a high level?
Personal interest--Do you have an interest in this type of work?
Personal values (ethics)--Does the employer have a reputation for conducting ethical practices? Will the demands of the job conflict with your ethical standards (e.g., working consistently on Sundays, representing a product you don't believe in, etc.)?
Skills development--Will this position allow you to develop new skills? You may want to consult with a career counselor or advisor to assess your current skills level and compare that with the part-time position you are considering.

Finding Off-Campus Part-Time Opportunities

Check Cardinal Career Link for a variety of off-campus part-time and temporary jobs, as well as full-time summer and internship opportunities.

Use a variety of resources and networks: 

  • Students in your department.
  • Professional organizations. 
  • Family and friends.
  • Help-wanted ads in the Daily News and Muncie Star Press.
  • Participate in Cardinal Job Fair (spring).

Visit the  Career and Experiential Learning Lab in Lucina Hall 235 to explore careers and majors, find internships and job opportunities, build job-search skills, and research employers.