Have you felt the pull of destiny? Is it time to finally level up in your life go partial adult and get a job, to quote a film is the gold singing “Come and get me! Come and get me”?

You may think it is time to cash in your unique skills in exchange for limitless wealth. Unfortunately, I have learned that this is one of the follies of youth, the reality is that you will never be quite as broke as you are when you first start working. So in this piece, we will go on a journey of exploration, addressing the pros and cons of some of the most common jobs, with experience in three of the four positions I can share with you the joys of the most disappointing job you might ever have.



Alcohol promoter, being a promoter is a not all rainbows and sunshine, promo girls often have to deal with gawking buffoons and inappropriate sexual remarks. Male promoters don’t have the appeal of an attractive woman to the public. The hours of these jobs are often short shifts in a store, while sometimes fun, it can also be mind-numbingly boring when a store is quiet and you’re flogging a dead product.

As a promoter I soared to the top boasting the top sales record for almost an entire year, it was something I thrived at, however, there were off days and difficult people. It’s a job that is best suited to the extrovert as you need to be constantly enthusiastic to succeed.

Personally, I would pump myself up with a quick viewing of scenes from Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street, sometimes followed by a motivational CD about success in the car. All of this led to a charismatic sales individual that was more of a comedian than anything.

What’s the pay like?

Pay for these jobs can vary significantly from job to job and company to company. On average, you’ll probably get around R100 per hour.

The shortfalls are that most promotional companies only pay 3 weeks after the promotion, some don’t pay regularly at all. In addition, it’s not a regular income, you’re expected to respond at a moments notice and you can go long periods without work. It’s tricky to get into this shindig so its imperative that you have gumption and a bit of individuality.


The tried and tested method of any struggling student! It’s a steady salary, the hours fit the student lifestyle, there always seems to be a job for a waiter somewhere and the pay can be super exciting, there’s just one catch, its like voluntarily removing a tattoo with a roll of sandpaper and a bit of Vaseline.

Waitering requires the most effort, there are trying customers, lousy tippers, angry couples and I’ve never met a waiter who didn’t have the worlds angriest boss. Personally, as you may have guessed I did not enjoy my time as a waiter, minuscule pay, long hours and two partnering bosses who asserted that you were the dumbest person alive or just behaved like an idiot for a giggle.

Plates were thrown, staff were fired or quit, and I too eventually abandoned my post. Now, this is not always the case, some restaurants are nicer to work at than others, some bosses pay better, the patrons tip better and all in all, it is highly dependant on the workplace environment. Best advice is to ask the waiters at a restaurant how they like it, observe the head staff and make sure that tips aren’t pooled as this can drastically undercut earnings at a quiet restaurant.

What’s the pay like?

Depending on where you work, you can earn up to R700 per shift which generally equates to about 80-100 an hour. However, the last watering Job I worked at only netted me R200 a shift, so you really have to find a place that you know you’ll fit into.


Tutoring has without a doubt been the single most rewarding part-time job I have ever done, it’s interesting, it requires creativity and you get to prove how that one arrogant annoying high school teacher actual should’ve done their job.

Tutoring can provide a steady income that is also rewarding, however, you must be a patient person as young teenagers have the tendency to be the most frustrating people alive. They won’t do the work you assign them, there will be that day they’re grumpy and give you lip on everything, they’ll forget something you just said, did or taught them and they will definitely do badly on a test you expect them to ace because of jitters.But, you have the potential to help an individual not just with their education but with their lives and passion, it’s the opportunity to watch The Dead Poets’ Society and have some lazy, misunderstood sloth say, “Oh Captain! My Capitan!” as they slowly rise to greatness.

There are agencies that organise students for you, in addition there are facebook groups dedicated to helping families find their fallen angels an expert teacher. In addition there is always an option to approach your university and ask them to advertise your services. Obviously, being your own agent nets a greater income, however it requires a certain degree of effort and networking prowess.

What’s the pay like?

Sometimes you are required to head out to the student’s house, sometimes they’ll come to you – try push for the later, it’s never cool to see your R125 per hour paycheck get squandered on petrol because of traffic.

Au pairing

Now I have the good sense not to have become an Au pair, I mean we’re the generation of Millennials, our faces are constantly buried in our phones, Now parentals, do you really want us looking after your kids? You want me to take care of someone else’s life when I can’t even manage my own? Plus kids get hungry and thirsty and sick and grumpy and do I need that kind of responsibility in my life? Thanks, but no thanks.

What’s the pay like?

Once again it depends. You may end up earning R5000 for half a day’s work including petrol for your car or you may only scrape R3000. That being said the everyday commitment is far beyond any youth’s means, be it emotional or financial in addition almost every au pair I’ve ever met has had a naughty kid, so unless you really love kids or the offer is too good to refuse, don’t do it.

I will not claim that these are the only ways to make money, several of my fellow students have come up with dangerous and interesting ways to make a buck in the course of our degrees – from gambling, selling dodgy diamonds, writing, illustrating and being a part-time mechanic. However each of the above requires serious determination and a large supply of luck, skill or both. So for the time being stick to the tried and tested methods. Good luck!