For many students, they don’t have an option when it comes to getting a job while in school. As tuition fees increase, students are financially faced with needing to get a job while simultaneously getting their education. Balancing schoolwork, meeting deadlines and attending classes can already be enough of a challenge for some people. Now throwing a job into the mix certainly doesn’t make it any easier. Not to mention any family responsibilities or social pressures added onto that pile of stress can make it seem impossible to balance everything. It can be done though and these tips and tricks below for balancing a job and your education can help make this task easier (or at least a little less stressful).
Know your limits
We are all human – which means we are not invincible. Some of us can handle stress and large workloads differently than others, so make sure you understand your limits. If you feel comfortable working 30-40 hours a week while balancing school, that’s great. Just be careful not to burn yourself out. For some, managing 15-20 hours can even be difficult. In that case, try requesting fewer hours at work. Speak with your employer and request additional time off during the week so you can complete school work. If your education suffers from your workload, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to thrive.
Remember to invest time in your education
It’s important to remember why you’re working while in school. For many of us, it’s because we are earning money to pay off school debt or tuition. If this sounds like you and you’re stressed balancing work and school, be sure to invest a lot more time in your education. It doesn’t make sense to skip classes or miss deadlines because you’re busy working at a job you got to pay for that education in the first place. The reason you’re in school is because you are investing in your future career – so don’t take away from that by investing more of that time working a job you don’t plan on keeping forever (however, never assume the job you’re working at now won’t take you places or have opportunities open for you in the future).
Try online courses
Online courses are a great way to balance your workload between your job and school – especially if you are a commuter. By taking more courses that are accessible online, it opens up your availability. Not to mention it gives you a chance to tackle seminars and school work in the comfort of your pajamas. Less commuting to classes = saving money and time on travelling. As technology advances, the more online courses become available on the web so be sure to take advantage of these opportunities if they are available to you. If you’re unsure of what might be available or possible, reach out to your guidance counselor or program coordinator to see what you could be taking advantage of that is offered at your school.
Stay organized and stick to a schedule
Making sure you have enough time to complete schoolwork and projects while balancing a job can be tricky, but by setting a schedule for yourself it can make things a lot easier. Try using a calendar or an agenda to help you manage your time more effectively. They are very simple tools that help you outline how to manage your time and how much time to spend on specific projects or tasks. Be sure to schedule downtime for yourself though! Whether it be 10 minutes or an hour – giving yourself the occasional break is important, so you don’t burn yourself out.
If at all possible, try to stick to a consistent schedule. By using a routine, you’ll stay organized and it makes everything a little less overwhelming. For example, working Monday, Wednesday and weekends and giving yourself Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights to study and complete school work adds structure to your week. Again, don’t be afraid to ask your employer for fewer hours if you feel that your current work schedule is taking away from your education. Your career is your end goal, make sure you allow yourself the things you need to achieve that goal. You’re the only one who can make it happen.
Are you still worried about balancing a job while in school? Are you unsure of what type of job would best suit your needs and fit into your already busy school schedule? At FOCUS Employment Services, we can answer your questions. By working with one of our employment counsellors at either our Alliston or Angus locations, we can help you land a job that’s perfect for you. Don’t let time management and balancing a job and school be an issue anymore. Just remember to know your limits, evaluate your options carefully and most importantly don’t lose sight of why you’re making this choice. We are here to support you and cheer you on every step of the way.