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6 Perfect Jobs For Online College Students

6 Perfect Jobs For Online College Students

As many college students know, taking online classes offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities. A lack of face to face contact with peers and instructors can be difficult to adjust to for some, but opens a door of flexibility for others.

As someone who has taken an array of online classes at the high school and university levels, I certainly understand that working while at school is immensely helpful.

These six jobs work well with a flexible online schooling schedule. It’s possible to actually feel like you’re in charge of your scheduling while working and attending school, and these jobs are a gateway to this type of unique freedom.

Nanny or Caregiver

Oftentimes, being a nanny can offer some really flexible work schedules. I have friends who have gone to school online while working as a nanny. They were able to complete their homework at work, while their clients kids took naps.

While I’ve never worked as a nanny specifically, I have worked as a caregiver while I was attending college. My client was a 90-year old man, who often took naps himself, and I remember getting a lot of homework done from my laptop during those times.

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Nothing is better for a college student then being able to double up; completing school work while getting paid to work at your regular job.

Driver

Forget the old-school taxi driver job! Working for a contemporary ride services like Uber is a great way for college students to get extra money. All you need is a solid, newer car, and a decent driving record.

The best part about being an Uber or Lyft driver, is that you work only when you want to. And these companies can even assist you in financing a new car!

Freelance Writer

While my own freelance career took off after attending college, I can certainly see how this line of work would be ideal for those still attending school. If you really enjoy writing and blogging, getting started is probably much easier than you’d expect.

Start by finding blogs that you are personally interested in writing for, start by asking yourself, “what are my genuine areas of interest?” Develop a writing resume and then reach out to website that pay per article.

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This is exactly how I started as a freelance writer, and I couldn’t be happier with my career choice. The following two resources were great resources for finding sites that actually pay per piece:

Make A Living Writing: Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Sites Offer $50 and Up

The Write Life: 9 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

Writers in Charge: 45+ Authentic Websites that Will Pay You to Write

Starbucks Barista

You may be wondering, “why is Starbucks on this list? Barista work seems like an outlier.”

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But in fact, it isn’t at all.

As an ex-Starbucks barista, I can say that the corporate giant actually has some great incentives for employees attending college, such as awesome insurance benefits, weekly tips, and even tuition reimbursement for Arizona State University students! What’s better than your job paying for your college tuition?

Music Instructor

If you are musically inclined and have any experience teaching, working as a music instructor can be a job that is rewarding both personally and for your wallet!

Teaching beginning guitar or piano lessons can usually earn about $50/hour. Many students want half hour lessons starting out and that’s okay! The key is to build up a repertoire of clients seeking music instruction, and go from there.

Free websites such as Craigslist’s lessons & tutoring section are great ways to start building up clients. Good old fashioned flyering at relevant locations also works well!

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Web Store Owner

Sites like Etsy and Big Cartel allows anyone to create a web store, with little internet overhead. Do you enjoy screen-printing and have an idea for a t-shirt design that you are confident people would buy? Maybe you love making beautiful crafty accessories such as buttons, lapel pins, or other earrings?

Online storefronts are a great option for this type of work. And best of all, you can run the business from the comfort of your home. Your only limit is your own creativity!

Featured photo credit: Gratisography via gratisography.com

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Robert Parmer

Freelance Writer

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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