Lots of different kinds of business are looking to take on part-time employees. So, what sort of work is perfect for your first job?

This article is by no means a comprehensive guide of every possible part-time job you will encounter, but it will include a few of the most common kinds.

Retail Work

Retail jobs are probably going to be the most common kind of work you’ll find in your part-time job hunt. This is purely because large retail chains often require lots of part-time employees and large retail chains are everywhere. This type of work is probably best if you’re an outgoing, sociable kind of person. The pay may not be great, it’s likely to only be slightly above minimum wage in your area.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, retail work is going to have you dealing with lots of annoying people. You’ll have to learn how to smile when some holier-than-thou customer is berating you for something entirely outside of your control. Furthermore, it’s entirely possible that your manager and/or your co-workers will be incompetent or rude. This isn’t merely a fact of retail work, this is a fact of life. However, you should not expect everyone you meet to be annoying. Most people are normal. That all said, it’s not entirely a negative experience. For every annoying customer, there’ll be a hundred regular people. Furthermore, retail work can teach you a lot of important life lessons and many would recommend that it’s worth trying at least once, just so you can understand the plight of retail workers.

Anyway, enough about why retail work sucks. What will your job actually be? Well, there’s lots of different responsibilities within retail work. You might be serving customers at the till or stacking shelves or assisting customers with their needs. None of these tasks are particularly difficult or strenuous so you needn’t worry about whether you’re capable of them or not.

Factory Work

Factory work is a rarer form of part-time work nowadays with automation doing everything for you. However, it does mean that you won’t have to deal with customers. The same issue of annoying co-workers persists here though. I would like to stress again though, annoying people are everywhere and you shouldn’t expect them to be the norm. Factory work can be extremely repetitive though. It’s a great job if you’re looking to get paid to zone out and get lost in your thoughts. It’s an awful job if you can’t handle doing repetitive work. The pay is only going to be slightly above minimum wage, but you shouldn’t expect much for simple part-time work anyway.

There are lots of different jobs you could end up doing in the umbrella category of factory work, so I won’t go into much detail here. Suffice to say, it’s probably going to be repetitive and simple. Don’t expect the most intellectually simulating work.

Table Waiting

Table waiting is an excellent job to get into if you like money people. This type of work isn’t uncommon and pays quite well if you work in an establishment that encourages tipping. In the UK, tipping is somewhat less common, but in the US people tip everywhere. That’s not to say that us Brits aren’t going to get tipped for good service in a restaurant, it’s just not socially mandatory in the UK to tip your server. The pay is obviously going to vary hugely on where you work, and unlike the other jobs in this article, you may require experience for finding a job. This is particularly true in higher-end restaurants, which are the places where you’re going to get lots of tips.

Kitchen Porter

Last but not least, we have kitchen porters. Like the rest of these jobs, you’re going to be making minimum wage. However, you’ve got the benefit of not having to deal with customers all the time. For the most part, you’ll be doing cleaning and making sure that cutlery and plates and such are ready to be reused as soon as possible. At best, you’ll be doing basic food preparation. It’s worth mentioning that some restaurants share tips with the kitchen staff, so you may end up getting a bonus when you get paid. KP work is a great way to learn the functions of a professional kitchen if you’re looking to get into the food industry later in life.


To summarise, most part-time jobs are going to be paying minimum wage and the work is going to be simple. I’d strongly advise that you consider all avenues, even if you’re not the most sociable person. Just remember your reasons for getting a job when you choose your work. There’s no point getting a job you don’t like the sound of if you’re just a teenager looking for some pocket money.

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