Working a job while at Bible school is financially necessary for many students. This juggling act may seem daunting and overwhelming as you enter this new phase of life. Here are a few tips for how to handle a job along with everything else you are involved in:
1.Make a game plan.
Before heading out to apply for jobs all over town, make a game plan and know what you want. When are your classes, and what kind of hours will you need at work to fit into your college schedule? How many hours a week will be realistically manageable? How much money do you need to make each week or month?
This will require you to know your class schedule, the responsibilities you will have at school, and your financial needs well before you jump into a job.
2. Be realistic with yourself and your employer.
Be realistic about the fact that you are a student, and bring that to your employer’s attention at your first interview. Let him/her know up front how many hours you can handle, what holiday breaks you may want to take off, and if you have any mandatory school events that may affect your shifts at work.
Openly communicating with him/her about your schedule will help you both to get a true picture of what it look like for you to work there.
3. Be disciplined in your responsibilities.
Working a job while in Bible school will require you to be more disciplined with your time than someone who has less to juggle.
Be deliberate and intentional with each day, so that you do not become overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities. Make a schedule that works for you; know when it is time to study, work, invest in relationships, or spend time with the Lord, and do it!
4. Take advantage of free time.
When you do find yourself having pockets of free time, take advantage of it! If a class gets cancelled, maybe it now is a good time to be working on your homework for the day, so that you don’t have to do it after work. If your shift at work gets changed, consider working ahead on school projects or assignments. If you are all caught up, take a nap, or grab coffee with a friend.
Whatever you do, don’t waste precious extra moments given to you during the day.
5. Trust the Lord to provide for your needs.
There are only so many hours in a day, and you must trust the Lord to provide you with the right job and schedule that will be doable for you as an individual.
You have come to Bible School to know Him and His Word above all else, and He desires that. You can trust Him to provide for your financial and physical needs, as well as give you the strength and grace each day to carry out his will and be a good steward of what he has given you.
Working a job at Bible School is doable, though it may be a challenge and will probably stretch you in a lot of ways. As you learn more about yourself, the world, keeping a schedule, and balancing responsibilities and relationships through this experience, you can thank the Lord for all He is teaching you.
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Anna Wishart is a graduate of Ethnos360 Bible Institute and continues to seek ways to be involved with missions through writing. She currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, and enjoys biking, art, friends, the mountain views, and attending Fellowship Bible Church.