The professional world can be intimidating. The competition is fierce and ruthless, and once you start climbing up the corporate ladder, you’ll have to compete with the finest. Plus, there’s always the looming threat of juniors catching up and jeopardizing your current position.
Survival in the professional world requires continuous effort. You need to constantly look for opportunities to expand your knowledge and add new skills to your belt. However, this is easier said than done. Balancing work and education can be challenging, and it’s easy to spiral down a path of hopelessness and despair if you’re not careful.
However, it’s not impossible either. If you follow the tips below, you’ll set yourself up for guaranteed success.
- Learn at your own pace
Perhaps one of the favorable outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic is the normalization of remote learning. You don’t necessarily have to attend college if you’re merely interested in learning a new skill. Online certifications have become quite popular, and you’ll find them manageable and convenient.
The benefits of online learning are innumerous. College classes can be impractical since they may clash with your work schedule. With online learning, however, you can learn at your own pace. In addition, any help with homework is also available online. Busy students who can’t prepare their homework on time can turn to experts from a custom essay writing service, who will get everything done quickly and efficiently.
Another benefit is that online learning can be tailored to individual requirements. Suppose you’re a programmer interested in learning the basics of a new programming language. In that case, you’ll find no shortage of short, elementary courses. On the other hand, if you’re a first responder interested in accredited training, you can avail yourself of CE Solutions EMS courses.
- Get organized
Undoubtedly, the last thing you want is missing a deadline because you were too busy with work. If you aim to always feel in control, you need to get organized.
First things first: create a schedule and a to-do list. These two are the elementary building blocks of unwavering productivity. If you’re one of the artsy types, you can always go with a notebook. Or you can go with something like Google Calendar in conjunction with and apps like Todoist or TickTick. Also, please keep track of all the deadlines and tasks, regardless of how insignificant they are. It will clear up your mind for more important things, like learning.
When it comes to organization, remember the KISS principle: “keep it simple, stupid.” If your organization system is too complicated, you’ll likely abandon it within a few weeks.
- Make the most of your time
Time is your greatest enemy. And as a student with a full-time or a part-time job, you’ll indeed be at time’s mercy.
Unlike other students, you may not be able to schedule dedicated hours to study and revise every day of the week. It means that you’ll have to make the most of your time. For instance, you can skim through your notes during your lunch breaks at work. Revision isn’t a mentally exhaustive task, and a thirty-minute lunch break is more than enough to revise anything you’ve learned.
Another option is to listen to podcasts on your commutes. There are currently more than two million active podcasts, which means that you’ll likely find one relevant to what you’re learning.
- Communicate, communicate, and communicate
Today, employers rate communication as one of the most critical soft skills. For you, however, the only way you can get others to respect your boundaries is if you communicate. Your boss and coworkers need to know that you’re a student so that they don’t interfere with your study schedules. So, inform them about any exams and projects in advance to avoid any hassles.
The same goes for your teachers and instructors. If they’re setting unrealistic deadlines that you’re struggling to meet because of work, talk to them and negotiate a solution.
Finally, talk to your family and friends too. Make them understand that you have a rigorous routine so that they aren’t upset when you miss a gathering because of work or studies.
- Get enough sleep
We’ll make this as simple as possible for you: studies and work can be compromised, but sleep can’t. Ensure that you’re getting at least six to eight hours of quality sleep every night. Don’t hesitate to buy blackout curtains, sleep headphones, white noise machines, or whatever it is that helps you nod off quickly.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, both your work and studies will be affected. Not to mention, you’ll exhaust yourself – both mentally and physically.
- Remember to unwind
You’ll have to master managing stress if you genuinely want to succeed. Stress is natural, but its potency can increase when you’re trying to manage studies and work.
Take the time out to unwind every day. You can meditate, practice yoga, or perform breathwork to de-stress at the end of an exhausting day. Doing this will help you reclaim your emotions whenever they’re not cooperating.
- Set realistic expectations
“Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination,” they say. So, accept that not everything you do will end up according to your plans. If you keep striving for perfectionism, you’ll never achieve your goals.
But this doesn’t mean that you get to slack off. If you don’t put in the effort, you will not reap any results.
Nonetheless, you should allow room for mistakes. Learn to recognize when something you’re working on is good enough or not and avoid wasting more time on it.
Strive for excellence, not perfectionism.
- Celebrate your wins
It isn’t easy to manage studies with a full-time or a part-time job. Reward yourself whenever you’ve achieved a goal. Get that shirt you’ve always wanted, grab some ice cream, or watch a movie. Our mind’s reward system is very primitive – it motivates us to keep pushing whenever it anticipates a source of pleasure.
By celebrating your wins – regardless of how small they are – you’ll keep your motivation high and your emotions positive.
Not everyone can pursue education while working a full-time or part-time job. It’s not easy. Admittedly, you’ll face tremendous challenges, especially when compared to students without jobs. However, if you organize yourself, learn to manage your time, and set clear boundaries, you’ll overcome it all.
The only viable way to balance work and education is if you’re both mentally and physically healthy. And that is why getting enough sleep, unwinding at the end of each day, and celebrating victories are essential. When all things fail, remind yourself why you started in the first place.