10 Part-Time Jobs for Students During SPM Break

Getting a part-time job may be a norm among SPM leavers, but if you’re looking for a job that’s different, here are 10 jobs that don’t involve fast food joints, boutiques and chicken suits!

Updated 26 Jan 2017

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Now that SPM is officially over, a well-earned break is something that you richly deserve after the past gruelling months. Finally, a moment of peace and tranquillity.

While some of you might be looking to make the most of your break – be it taking an IELTS test, travelling on a budget or getting a driving licence – the rest of you might be looking to gain some part-time working experience.

Not only is getting a part-time job important for your CV in the future, but you’ll also be picking up life lessons that you won’t learn in classrooms. On top of that, you’ll also be racking up some serious cash for yourself (which is always good)!

So without further ado, here’s a list of jobs that you can consider during your SPM break.

#1. Programmer

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"I think everybody in this country should learn to program a computer. Learn a computer language. Because it teaches you how to think." – Steve Jobs.

When a young Mark Zuckerberg hacks Harvard’s database to create facemash.com in 2010’s The Social Network, it perfectly encapsulated how powerful a tool programming is.

In the modern world that we currently live in, most businesses have made the transitional shift to digitalisation, making skilled programmers hot in demand. Whether it’s tech companies like Apple or small independent businesses, everyone needs a website to operate their business.

So if you have a strong foundation in a programming language, have the ability to design and create websites and possess good problem-solving skills, then a job as a freelance programmer is tailor-made for you.

#2. Graphic designer

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Are you someone bursting with creative ideas and who happens to be a master of editing tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator?

Then a graphic design job is one that compliments your illustrative talents. From designing name cards to a website logos, there are plenty of companies and small businesses that require your creative touch.

Sites like Fiverr and Damongo provide you with the platform for both job opportunities and for you to offer your services. These jobs are usually small, come at a fixed rate and offer you flexibility, which means that you can take up as many jobs as you want at your own desired pace.

#3. Videographer / photographer

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Do you own your camera gear, have a firm understanding of the rule of thirds or know your way around an editing program?

If that’s the case, then perhaps you can consider utilising your creative and technical skills working as a videographer or photographer. As with some of the jobs on this list, it involves plenty of creative juices and a strong knowledge of practical skills.

On a side note, if you aspire to work in the filming industry and want to take up a course in Film Production, working as a videographer is an excellent way of refining and improving your technical skills, like video editing and camera techniques.

#4. Writer

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If you can create sparks of magic with words and have experience writing on blogs, then a part-time job as a writer is a great channel for you to harness the most out of your writing capabilities.

Like designers, good writers are always in demand by businesses and individuals, whether it’s writing for their blogs, creative writing or translation work.

Best of all, you won’t need any pricey equipment like high-end laptops or cameras to work. All you need is a stable internet connection and a solid PC/laptop.

#5. Academic tutor

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As a recent SPM leaver, you should have a good understanding of what your younger comrades are going through, having experienced it yourself not so long ago.

Whatever tricks you employed to make Sejarah more intuitive and exciting, or shortcuts you had to simplify complex mathematical calculations, your knowledge and experience is something valuable that you can teach students (and something parents would willingly pay for if you’re good enough).

In addition, if you haven’t burned your old study notes after SPM, they could potentially be a lifesaver to your students.

On the other hand, if you are more comfortable with kids, know how to make classes interactive and fun, or intend to pursue a course in Early Childhood Education, then a teaching role at a kindergarten may just be the right fit for you.

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#6. Data entry analyst

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Granted, it’s not the most exciting of jobs because it’s repetitive and involves very little creativity, but there’s more to it than just trivial data keying.

A data entry job typically requires you to be a juggernaut in typing, have good attention to detail and be proficient in Microsoft Excel – an underrated program that has more uses than a Swiss Army knife. You’ll be surprised that knowledge and familiarity with the spreadsheet program will take you a long way in college and later, in work.

In addition, for a job that doesn’t require any particular skills, it pays reasonably well. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who prefers working within the comfort of the office, this is the icing on the cake.

#7. Salesperson

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This is a position that’s the polar opposite of data entry. While data entry is more towards working in an indoor environment and checking data, a salesperson differs by being both a more interactive and engaging role.

If you’re an extrovert, prefer to work away from the cubicle space and have always been good at convincing people, a part-time job as a salesperson might just be the perfect role for you.

Mind you, a salesperson’s role isn’t just about senseless blabbering. Much like selling houses, you need to understand the product or service that you’re trying to sell, know how to charm your customers and be highly adaptable to your surroundings. In addition, you also need to be highly observant, intuitive and keep up with the latest trends.

#8. Waiter / kitchen helper

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Do you aspire to be the next Gordon Ramsay? Want to pursue a course in Culinary Arts? See your future in the F&B industry?

Then finding employment in the F&B industry during this break is a good time to learn the gruelling trade of the business as it gives you a mild taste of what to expect.

Whether it’s a restaurant, café or a food chain, the highly turbulent environment combined the hectic schedule and the demands of the job will shape you to become someone who wears many hats.

As you’ll be actively involved in many of the activities like dealing with demanding customers and food preparation, you’ll definitely be learning how to be more patient, improving your communication skills and working together with your team in a hectic environment.

#9. Animal shelter worker

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If you genuinely love taking care of animals or plan to venture into a career that deals with the health problems in animals, then perhaps you have the necessary koalafications (excuse the pun) to work in an animal shelter.

Generally, your job scope includes cleaning after animals, looking after the well-being of animals and assisting in the occasional heart-wrenching act of euthanasia. Working in an animal shelter teaches you patience, love and sacrifice as dealing with animals is anything but a walk in the park.

Be mindful though that there’s not much prestige as an animal shelter worker. It’s not unusual for animal shelter workers to be paid very little and be stuck in uncomfortable situations. But on the flip side, this will look good on your CV as it will show your future employers that your passion for doing something outweighs monetary reasons.

#10. Lifeguard

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Do you swim like a seasoned Olympian and feel like the aquatic ring is your natural habitat? Your formidable swimming skills will come very handy to people should you choose to work as a lifeguard.

But don’t be misguided into thinking that being a lifeguard is all about looking good and being worshipped like a hero because the reality of the job is not like what you see in Baywatch.

While some of the downsides of the job include smelling like chlorine, being under the hot sun and dealing with bratty rascals children, the perks of working as a lifeguard are the flexible working hours, considerably high hourly pay rate and you’ll also pick up useful soft-skills like CPR.

Getting a part-time job during your SPM break serves as a litmus test of what to expect when you eventually venture into the working world. While the experience may not always be rainbows and butterflies, the experience will certainly help to shape and build character.

If you’re not doing anything particularly productive during your break, hopefully you’re looking for a course to study. But before you make a hasty decision, here are 7 pitfalls that you should avoid!

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    Kang Yen Joon

    Kang Yen Joon

    Films, video games and football. A lover of geeky things and a sucker for handcrafted items. Also dedicates a portion of his working days ransacking the office pantry for nom noms.