Want to keep earning money and gain an education? Working and studying at the same time isn’t easy, but it is certainly possible.
There could be many reasons for wanting to work and study. It could allow you to fund your studies without having to take out a student loan. Alternatively, you may have commitments that you need to continue providing an income for such as your own home or kids – working and studying together could be a necessity in these cases.
To work and study effectively, it pays to have a plan. Here are just a few tips that could help you to pursue an education while working a full-time job.
Take an online course
Online courses are ideal for students with other commitments. You can study remotely instead of having to travel to a campus and you can choose your own hours to study. This could allow you to more easily fit education around a job.
Many colleges such as the University of Southern California offer online courses. Allow yourself enough time to explore the options that are out there so that you can find a course with a syllabus that suits you. It could also be worth reading reviews of courses left by students to ensure that the online course is recommended.
Or look for a flexible job
Another option could be to study a traditional course on campus while finding a flexible job that you can work around your studies.
There aren’t that many jobs that are flexible enough to do this. Online work such as freelance writing or accounting could be one option. Such work usually allows you to set your own hours, so long as work is done by a certain deadline. You can pick up odd jobs at sites like Fiverr or you can look for an agency to work for that could provide a steady stream of work.
Alternatively, you could try starting your own small business such as a t-shirt printing company or photography business. Such a side hustle could allow you to set your own hours around college seminars and lectures. Try to come up with a business idea that has low startup costs so that you’re not spending too much money on your business.
Tell your employer/college
It may be worth notifying your employer and college of your circumstances. An employer is likely to be more sympathetic to you requesting to take days off if they know that you’re studying (providing that you’re not studying in order to leave your current job). Meanwhile, your college may be able to help you work deadlines and tutor meetings around your job. All in all, it could help you to juggle the two more easily.
Get help with other commitments
It’s possible that you may have other commitments on top of a job or studies. This could include looking after a home or even raising kids. Studying and working will take up a lot of your time, which could mean that you have less time for these commitments. As a result, you may need to look into some help from friends, family or hired professionals.
For instance, you may need someone to babysit the kids for an hour or two per week so that you can get some study time in or work a shift. Friends may even be able to help with cooking or cleaning if you ask nicely enough.
Be wary that your college may be able to offer grants or some form of funding if you are studying with kids. There could also be charities that offer money to studying parents. This extra income could be enough that you’re able to reduce your work hours.
Allow yourself free time to relax
It’s important that you still have some free time to spend leisurely. If you’re spending all day, every day studying or working with no time to relax, you’ll soon burn out.
Try to make sure that you’re getting good quality free time at home. You could even make a rule of having a room in your home from which you’re not allowed to work or study from. This then becomes a space that you can associate with leisure time.
Study on your lunch break and on your commute
While your lunch break and your commute could be classed as ‘free time’, it’s unlikely you’ll get much relaxing done during these periods. As a result, it could be worth turning this time into study time so that you’ve got more time to relax at home. A train or coach commute could be perfect for studying providing that you can log on to wi-fi. If your commute involves driving, consider whether there are any audiobooks that you can play on your way to work that could help towards your studies.
Remind yourself of the end goal
You may find yourself getting down while attempting to juggle studies and work due to the lack of free time. It’s important to remember that this is a temporary situation. Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll have all your free time back. You could also be on your way to a better job as a result of completing the course, which could mean a better income and a better quality of life. Keep reminding yourself that this is what you’re working for. On those evenings when you really don’t want to study or those days when you really can’t bear to go to work, this will keep you going.