It can be challenging to juggle your work responsibilities while attending college or continuing education courses. As an adult, you have the added pressure of managing your family life, career goals, and educational needs. About 34% of adult students in the United States juggle work and education, making it a common challenge for many. But don’t worry – with some thoughtful planning and helpful tips, you can successfully balance work and education. Take a look at how it’s done here.
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1. Planning Ahead is Key
When you first decide to continue your education, looking ahead is essential. Consider all potential obstacles that may arise during your studies and come up with solutions in advance so that you are prepared when they arise. Make sure to plan for small details, such as when you will need to wake up every morning to complete assignments on time or how you will manage school holidays when your children are home from school. Thinking through these details ahead of time can help make the balancing act easier once classes start.
Some of the most important things to consider when planning ahead include the following factors:
Time for studying each week
Make sure you have enough time set aside for studying and completing assignments. A good estimate is 5-10 hours a week, but this may vary depending on your course load.
Time for work
Make sure you can arrange your schedule or get time off from work to keep up with your educational commitments. This will help you study better in the long run.
Time for family and leisure
Try to balance spending time with your family, working, and studying. It’s important to schedule time for relaxing activities like hobbies, exercising, or seeing friends.
Factor in the cost of tuition and materials. Consider if there is any financial aid or scholarships you may be eligible for, or if your employer offers any assistance with tuition or books.
2. Utilize Technology
Technology has made it easier than ever for adults balancing work and education to stay organized and productive while on the go. Today, countless mobile apps are available specifically for students who need help staying focused and organized while managing their other responsibilities outside of schoolwork. You can use these apps to create study plans, set reminders for upcoming due dates, or even access course material and lecture notes from anywhere.
Of course, you can also take online classes if you’d prefer not to commute to a traditional school. Many universities offer online courses that can be taken from home or on the go, with various courses available in various topics. For one, professionals who want to study a financial course can find a college that offers online Bachelors in Financial Management degree programs. You can then remotely take classes related to your interest, even if you’re working full-time.
Or if you have a bachelor’s degree in finance but want to advance your career, consider pursuing certifications such as Series 7, SIE, or Series 63. These certifications provide fundamental knowledge for the finance and securities industry. One of the benefits is that you can prepare for these exams online. For instance, to understand the structure of the exam and get prepared, you can browse Career Employer’s list of sample questions for the SIE exam and start your online preparation, which is time-efficient and allows you to maintain a balance between your studies and personal life.
3. Reach Out for Support
One of the most important things to remember when balancing work and education is that you don’t have to do it alone! Reach out to your family and friends for support, or find an adult students network if you just need to chat with a like-minded individual. It can also help to join an online community of students in the same field of study as you or even a local student group if you’re attending classes in person.
Finally, don’t forget to communicate with your employer and professors as needed. Let them know what your educational goals are and if you ever need to adjust your work schedule for school. Most employers waant to see their employees improve and grow, so they may be more than accommodating. You’ll also want to let your professors know if you have a hard time balancing work and school so they can provide you with the support you need to be successful.
Balance isn’t easy, but with careful planning and helpful tips, adults juggling both work responsibilities and continuing their education can succeed in both areas! Remember to plan ahead, utilize available technology, and ask for support when needed. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be on your way to achieving your educational and work goals.
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