Is it possible to balance a part-time job and school? It’s not uncommon for many students to work a part-time job while pursuing an education. However, working part-time and juggling a full load at school can be challenging, even for the strongest multitasker.
It takes a lot of self-discipline to balance school and a full-time job, but most college students do work and study simultaneously.
To ensure you have the tools and resources to both meet your financial needs excel in your college courses and, consider the following 10 tips for balancing school and work:
1. Choose a Job That Offers Flexibility
Working the night shift in a restaurant can be physically and emotionally draining. Instead, find a job that offers the flexibility you need, perhaps allowing you to work late afternoons and weekends when you're not in school.
However, it is never mandatory to work in a restaurant; you can even do an internship in a multinational financial organization that allows employees to work in a chosen shift or work in a call center as customer support. Only ensure that your selected work enables you to concentrate equally on part-time job and study.
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2. Work Close to Campus
Go for a workplace close to your college campus. It will reduce your time for commutation; you can attend all your classes and enter your job time. Moreover, it will help you fulcrum your work and study effortlessly; you will not tire yourself up if you choose to work the night shift. Finally, it will not affect your attention to the lectures since you will be less likely to feel tired.
3. Find a Company with a Work-From-Anywhere Policy
If you prefer the flexibility that a work-from-home job provides, many employers hire remotely. Many professions and industries that require desk jobs like system engineers, program coders, and assignment writers lend themselves to remote work, and many employees love the option. In addition, Working-from-home often allows employees to balance other aspects of their lives, such as school. Investopedia cites Harvard Business School research that found working from home can boost employee productivity and reduce turnover.
4. Talk To Your Boss
If you already have a job, talk to your employer early on. Communicate that your job is essential to you and want to be a good employee. However, you may want to ask for a more flexible schedule or reduce your hours if possible. Many employers are willing to support you once they realize your educational efforts can benefit them. You might even receive some tuition reimbursement or book-assistance benefits.
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5. Be Selective When Choosing a School
The best way to save money is not to spend it on the wrong college program. Compare schools. Find one that offers what you need at a competitive price. Explore all scholarships, grants, tuition reduction opportunities, and military benefits available to you. Consult with an Academic Expert for help if you need it. That can help reduce your costs significantly, so you can spend less time working and more time studying.
6. Keep Your Long-Term Career Goals in Mind
Sometimes the best way to further your education while earning an income is to work within the area of your long-term career goal. For example, if you are aiming for a career in finance, try to find a job in banking. If you plan to work in a hospital, see about a position at your local doctor's office. The key here is to ensure your education and job link up. It gives you real-world career experiences you can draw on later.
7. Don’t Be Too Proud To Ask For Help
For those working, going to school, and raising a family, it's not possible to do it all without help. Let your family and friends pitch in. Look for ways to save by not having to pay for daycare costs. You may also want to consider help with meals. Those who wish to support you will be there.
8. Create a Daily Schedule
Time management is a big part of your success in balancing full-time work and school. A pro tip to managing your schedule is to plan out most of your week in advance. Block off time to work and solely create areas in your program for study. It takes a lot of self-discipline to create a plan and stick with it, but keep the end goal in mind.
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9. Take a Mental-Health Break Every Day
Block off a slot in your daily schedule for “me time.” School commitments coupled with a busy work life can be frustrating and hard to manage. Taking an hour during your day to relax and unwind can benefit your work and study life. It'll help your mind stay on track. The key here is to give yourself a few minutes not to think—share a meal with friends, stream Netflix, take a hike, play with the pets.
10. Consider Online Degree Programs
Another time-saver (and money-saver) is enrolling in online college courses. These allow you to study on your schedule. You can access your class notes when you have the time, like on a break at work. Earn a degree at your pace, taking one or two classes at a time. You don’t have to waste time traveling to and from classes on campus, and it can alleviate a lot of the stress associated with going to school and working full-time.
Pandemic is Changing the Way People Work and Study
As of March 21, 2020, the number of Americans under virtual lockdown grew to over 80 million, as reported by NBC News. In addition, governors of New Jersey, New York, California, Connecticut, and Illinois have issued stay-at-home orders to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. Just a day later, nearly one in three Americans was ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With these restrictions, remote working and transitioning to 100% online college courses have never been as popular or more necessary.
The adjustment curve can be steep with so many people suddenly thrown into this position involuntarily. However, plentiful online resources are popping up, helping Americans navigate the new terrain of turning their homes into offices and study halls and how to continue balancing work and school. Here are some additional guidelines to equalize your time and focus in your work from home with your studies:
- Designate a functional work (and study) space:
If you’ve got a spare bedroom, this can be more doable than for a studio-apartment dweller. But even in small spaces, setting up a desk and chair in an unused corner can help you delineate between your professional and personal life.
- Ensure you’ve got the right internet plan:
With others at home, too, seeking entertainment and diversion online, you want to be sure your ISP provides the speed you need. FaceTiming kids can slow your connection and download speeds.
- Use phone apps:
Use reasonably priced internet calling options if you make long-distance or international calls. Check out Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Skype.
- Minimize distractions:
Noise-canceling headphones can save your sanity if the neighbor’s barking dog or kitchen remodel have you pulling your hair out.
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