What is a part-time job?

    A part-time job is typically less than 35 hours a week and offers the flexibility to balance employment (read 'money-making') with studies, childcare or socialising. As such, part-time positions are generally favoured by students, parents or people beyond retirement age who perhaps want to supplement their pension.

    It's a common misconception that part-time positions are most easily found in the retail and hospitality sectors. We tend to think of bar jobs or Saturday work in a shop. In fact, most industries rely on casual or part-time workers to supplement their full-time work force so, when looking for openings, it's important to keep your search wide.

    Another key piece of advice: when you do find a part-time role, don't assume you're entitled to any fewer benefits than your full-time counterpart. Pay rates (including sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption leave) should be consistent. It's a similar story with holiday entitlement, training and career development, selection for promotion, transfer and redundancy and opportunities for career breaks, although some benefits are applied pro rata.

    Why work in London?

    London is a popular place for people seeking part-time employment, not least because it is host to so many universities and colleges - some 43 in total! Finding flexible work in the Big Smoke could finance your further education AND give you the means to live in one of the most desirable cities in the world.

    It's easy to see why so many students flock here to find a vacancy. Not only is the city a hub of business, tourism and commerce, offering far more chance of finding part-time employment, but these jobs can often be a foot on the career ladder rather than simply a flexible stop-gap.

    Those who work hard invariably play hard too. Working in London offers some tantalising opportunities to socialise and meet a friendly and diverse new mix of people. From parties to palace tours, museums to major sporting events, there are plenty of things to keep you busy outside of the office.

    Why work in sales?

    If you're interested in gaining transferable skills and moving your career forward fast, a job in sales could provide the perfect launch pad. The beauty of a sales role is that it can cover virtually every industry, whether that's fashion or finance, IT or insurance. As long as a product or service needs flagging to potential customers, there's a market for talented sales people.

    In the past, working in sales has had a bad rep. It's not all cold calling and cut-throat targets though. Far from it. Closing deals over the phone, developing new businesses, growing customer bases, motivating colleagues and identifying new market opportunities all offer exciting and rewarding job challenges.

    And you'll be handsomely compensated too. Promotion is usually based on results so stand-out sales executives can often expect to move into management positions quicker than they would in other fields.

    What's more, sales can offer some seriously tempting flexibility. There has been a growing trend towards interim recruitment with sales people hired to help drive a company's growth for a short period of time only, or for long-term positions at part-time hours.

    Popular part-time job locations in London

    Camden is a hot choice for students looking for part-time work in London. Its proximity to central London is an obvious advantage, but the borough's wealth of facilities explain the attraction too. Cinemas, clothes shops, music venues, bars and even London Zoo on the doorstep, mean there is plenty going on after work. This brings a diverse and exciting mix of people to the area, from media types to city suits, teenagers to tourists. Meanwhile, excellent transport links mean it's an easy commute if you're living a little further afield.

    For a quieter city experience, Highgate offers a slice of village charm in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a modern metropolis. Waterlow Park is a leafy refuge, but astonishing views of the London skyline below remind you the bright lights are still just a short hop away. History nuts will love the famous cemetery here, while hipsters will favour the laid-back vibe and excellent choice of pubs.

    A football fan? Combine your commute with a pilgrimage to see some of your favourite players. North London is haven for sports lovers, from Wembley and Lords to the Emirates Stadium. It's a match made in heaven.

    How do I get a part-time job in London?

    Securing a part-time position in London couldn't be easier. Scouring jobs sites is an obvious way to get a foot in the door, but don't forget university careers fairs too. Alternatively, figure out where you'd most like to work and approach the company directly, even if they're not advertising. If you're not sure exactly who your preferred employer should be, but you have your heart set on where geographically would most suit, spend some time wandering around the area looking for vacancies in local media or speculatively dropping your CV off. Finally, consider your friends. Are they flexibly employed and having fun too? Word of mouth recommendations can often be a great introduction to potential employers, and your mates could even earn a bonus for putting you forward!