Undoubtedly, returning to school or even earning new certifications while working full-time is daunting. As a working adult, schooling doesn’t look the same as it once did. Bigger responsibilities, your current career, and perhaps a family who depends on you demand your time and attention. As a result, it’s not so easy to sit down and dedicate the study hours.
6 tips to help you balance the workload
Consider Online Classes
Before taking the leap, choose a school format that best fits your schedule and lifestyle. Online classes are an excellent option for this. In addition, there are countless programs for degrees and certifications available for full-time, working adults. Of course, not all of these programs are created equal, but most are designed so you can go at your own pace.
Tell Your Supervisor
It’s essential to have support from your supervisor. Ultimately, this is a win-win for everyone, as your increased knowledge will also benefit the company. Ensure they know you are still dedicated to your role and are prepared to manage work and school. Keep them up to date with your progress. If there comes a time when you need some flexibility, it helps to have that relationship in place. It’s also possible that your workplace offers financial assurance for schooling and certifications.
Formulate a Plan and Schedule
Before you start, have a solid plan in place. Become familiar with the syllabus and the course requirements. Make a calendar with due dates and test dates. Map out a study schedule, carving out weekly time devoted strictly to studying and school work. It’s vital to protect this time. It requires the understanding of your friends and family, as there may be other things you must sacrifice.
Don’t Over Commit
If you’re going to take the plunge and go back to school while working full time, don’t take on more than you can chew. Over-commitment is a roadblock that keeps you from truly doing your best and throws your work-life balance off kilter. It might mean just taking one or two classes at a time, but find the balance that works best for you. That way, you can give it 100%!
Develop Your Pattern
Everyone has particular study habits that work best for them. Good study habits signal your brain it’s time to sit down and focus. These habits can include the time and place you study; the music (if any) you listen to while you work; what pens, paper, technology you use, and so on. For example, many people find that having a designated work space, free from distractions, helps them zero in on what they need to do.
Have the Right Mindset
It’s not about being the most intelligent or competent person with the highest grade; it’s about your mindset. Discipline. Intentionality. Perseverance. It’s about knowing that part of the lesson is in the process. These things matter the most when doing anything worthwhile, so make sure you have a good plan and tools in place, and then give it your best!
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