Going back to school as a full-time employee looking to further your career is no stroll in the park. First of all, go you! You’ve made a difficult decision that will ultimately pay in the long run. But if you want to make the grade, you need to figure out how to balance your work and school life. Apply our 3 expert tips to ace the juggling act and keep your sanity intact!
Consider your schedule.
Don’t try to keep your school secret or even downplay the time commitment. That will only result in an eventual breakdown. You’d be surprised how open your employer might be to the idea of you going to school. Depending on what you are studying, they might even help you pay for it.
Can you work earlier or later, work from home, or pick up hours on the weekends? Yes, even your boss might be into your schooling, if not to potentially benefit the company you work for, perhaps just because seeking a degree shows initiative.
Sit down with your employer and explain the benefits of going back to school, and he or she might give you some help you didn’t expect.
Organize your time.
Time management is the most important thing to consider when you’re trying to juggle work and school (and your own life, too). Make sure study time is dedicated and that you establish a space just for your educational materials. Eliminate distractions like your cell phone or email notifications.
Don’t forget: apps can help you be more efficient and limit your time on social media.
Be sure to schedule some time for yourself, too. Focusing on work and school all the time is not sustainable, and you’ll eventually face burnout.
Keep your eye on the prize.
Though it may seem like forever, juggling work and going to school won’t last forever. So if you lose some sleep in the short run, consider it payment toward a better future. Maybe mark down how many days of school you have left on a large calendar, and take it one day at a time.
No one said it would be easy, but take a deep breath — and don’t overdo it. The right mindset will help the whole circus make sense, and you’ll cross that wire and get your applause (and diploma) in no time.