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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

Many students are taking up work along with their academics, whether it’s to be self-sufficient, gain experience in their respective fields, or both. While working is a great way to build your resume as well as your character, it is important to not allow yourself to be stuck working for a company, big or small, that won’t treat you well and instead only cares about the business getting income.

Some things to look out for in a workplace that is struggling, is if there is a way too high of a turnaround in staffing. Struggling to keep staff, whether contingent or FTE’s (full time staff), is a good warning sign that the dynamic of the workplace is not stable. This past summer I started a new job, and in my third interview, I was told that one of the managers who had been the one leading the interview process with me was no longer at the company, and that the co-op (which had been pitched to me previously as an extra perk of the job) also fell through. Despite my feeling off about the whole thing, I accepted the job offer and quickly saw numerous staff leave one by one within the first few months. 

The way your supervisors speak and communicate things to you should also be something to watch for. If they give you ample notice and direction for projects, and set clear expectations and feedback, as well as overall are able to reply and get back to you promptly while also making an effort to hear out any concerns, that should tell you that they are doing their part to help you get the job done. On the other hand, if communication comes in the form of criticism, especially if it’s only via email, and has no constructive feedback to help you improve or understand better, then that is an issue. Employers should be comfortable talking face to face just as they are over e-mail, and since tone can be so easily misconstrued online, bigger issues should be discussed in person. 

Work-life balance is hard to manage in this day and age, but it is a key factor of one’s well-being. Oftentimes in a full-time job, you won’t be able to use sick hours right away, and you must work your way up to vacation time, which typically amounts to about 2 weeks in most places. If you are letting your employer know ahead of time that you will need time off or are calling in sick, and it was discussed and agreed upon before, you should not be forced to come in and work on a holiday, or when you specifically asked to not be scheduled. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of being asked to come in for coverage if you work a more customer-service related job and have a reputation of being reliable, but it is important to set boundaries when needed and be able to tell an employer no if you don’t want to be working, without the fear of being reprimanded. 

Be sure to take your breaks, and absolutely do not answer emails or work calls on your time off. Something I myself and many who live in America struggle with is separating work from our personal lives, and I see the effects it has not only on our physical health, but our mental health as well in the long-run. After all, we were not made to work. It’s crucial to find a job you love and are passionate about, but more importantly, we should prioritize making the most out of life. The hustle culture is toxic and far too glamorized. In reality too many of us are overworked and over-stressed, and are deserving of far better. 

Vera Maksymiuk

San Francisco '24

English major who is passionate about poetry, literature, pop culture, art, fashion, music, world news and politics :)