Positive and Negative Work Experiences

One section of our research questionnaire asked students about how they’d be treated at work, and whether they’d found the experience of work useful or difficult. This page looks at the answers and describes ways of getting help for those who will need it.

Mainly Positive

For most students most of the time, part-time work is a positive and rewarding experience. Numbers up to 900+ of our 1500 students felt that they were valued in the work force, that they had acquired valuable skills, that they had increased their understanding of other people and that they had been treated fairly compared with other workers.


Though the numbers are low, the negatives are there, and in such numbers as to suggest that somewhere between a third and a half of students will experience at least one during the course of their work.

According to our results:

  • 1 in every 5 students is ‘made to do work which other workers won’t do’
  • 1 in every 10 is ‘treated with indifference or contempt’
  • 1 in every 12 is ‘bullied by the management or other workers’
  • 1 in every 20 has ‘experienced racism’ at the workplace
  • 1 in every 20 has been ‘made to do something dishonest’
  • 1 in every 28 has had to accept ‘painful or embarrassing initiation’
  • 1 in every 30 has been ‘sexually harassed or not accepted because of their sexuality’

If any of the above has happened or is happening to you, what can you do?
(1) Remember that there are always people at the workplace or within contact outside who are interested in and responsible for people’s welfare – union representatives, youth organisations, legal groups, pressure groups etc.; there are always people you can consult.

(2) Look on this site for organisations you can contact concerning race, bullying etc. problems. A lot of resources are available on the Exam Aid site which will provide you with immediate and practical help.

(3) if in doubt, check it out! If you’re not sure about it, then look into it fully before you agree to anything; contact our Helpline (see Stress Zone), or the Part-time Work and Careers references in the Job Zone, or the Student Membership section in the Exam Aid Zone.

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