Back To Career News

How to Balance Work With Continuing Education

Topics: Career Advice

You’ve decided you want to go back to school, but aren’t willing to give up the day job. Let’s face it — there are still bills to pay and groceries to buy. While this means you’ll probably have less spare time, it is possible to balance your day in order to get everything done and stay sane. Here are a few tips for keeping it together as you learn while you work.

continuing education
Image Credit: Jon Flobrant/Unsplash

Manage Your Time

Pursuing both paid work and continuing education means time will become a precious commodity. Get organized, keep a diary filled with important dates, and allocate the appropriate amounts of time to each of your ventures.

Make a commitment to reassessing your time budget at regular intervals, the same as you would a household budget. If you’re consistently running short in one area or another, it’s better to make tough choices now than suffer later.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Don’t forget to schedule time for relaxation and socializing, too. If there’s no downtime, you’ll burn out and risk losing focus.

Talk to Your Boss

Going back to school is a big change, and one that you shouldn’t try to keep a secret. Be honest with your manager about your plans, and show that you’re proactively taking steps to make sure it won’t affect the quality of your work. Depending on the amount of time you need to commit to studying, you may have made the choice to go part-time for a while.

Schedule a meeting with your manager as early as possible, so that they can be informed and try to meet your needs. If part-time, freelance, or flexible hours aren’t available, it might be worth starting a job hunt early. Be honest with yourself about how much work you can handle. PayScale’s free salary report will help you figure out the typical compensation for your experience, job title, and geographic location.

Accept That You Can’t Do Everything

While you’re working and studying simultaneously, some time-consuming hobbies might have to be put on the back-burner, while others will have to be rearranged around your new schedule. For example, exercising regularly is a priority for many — and will actually allow you to be more productive — but you might not be able to commit to this year’s half-marathon.

Take a look at how you currently spend your time and what might need to go. Whether it’s binge-watching Netflix or drinks after work with colleagues, there will be something you do regularly that might need to be cut out. It’s only temporary, but the reality is, your time just got a lot more precious.

Tell us What you Think

Have you studied and worked at the same time before? Do you have any time management tips to share? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.

Kirsty Wareing
Read more from Kirsty

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Alexa Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Nice article Kristy… The other one linked on GET ORGANIZED is a well written one too. I am going to ask my kids read both these articles and probably after that they might understand what I had been telling them is what people are doing… 🙂 I had been trying to implement the same kind of time management strategies that I use in office and I use personally and most of the days they dedicate themselves in spoiling the plan.… Read more »

What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.