How to complete a degree while working full-time?
अरे राहुल, तुम्हारा प्रमोशन हुआ की नही? मैने मेरे दोस्त को पूछा तो तमतमाते हुए राहुलने जबाब दिया - कहा यार, नोकरी के लाले पडे है , प्रमोशन तो दूर की बात है. मेरी पढाई अधुरी रह गयी , ग्रॅज्युएशन नही है, बॉस ने तो बोल दिया के डिग्री कर लो वर्णा कंपनी जॉब से भी निकालेगी. अरे फिर कर लो ना ग्रॅज्युएशन किसी कॉलेज से. मैने बिना सोचे समझे सलाह दे दी . राहुल तालमीला उठा और बोला - अरे यार, घर देखू , बीवी बच्चे देखू , जॉब देखू , बॉस की मर्जी रखू या पढाई करू? How can I complete degree while working full time?
Till today we have counseled 1000s of full-time employees for their requirements in upgrading their skills or educational qualifications. During that interactions, we found that the top 12 challenges are faced by all employees whenever they enroll to upgrade their qualifications. While studying more on those challenges I came across a few important blogs written by the learnhowtobecome.org & Rasmussen University. Surprisingly, I found that the challenges or issues faced by employees are similar in nature, globally.
The 12 top tips will help you to complete the degree while working full-time wherever... whenever globally. Go through the tips given below and do comment at the bottom on a tip that you find most valuable for you.
- Choose a suitable learning mode and course for your full-time job schedule- Choose a course suitable to your career, Ensure that the course is available under suitable learning mode in India, Choose the nearest college or university suitable to your job schedule.
- Get your family onboard - Monthly budget is crucial. If you are married and having children, then discuss thoroughly with your spouse and let them know about upcoming changes in the daily schedule which may affect your availability for them, still assure them that for important tasks you will be there with them too, even if you’re working long hours or spending time studying. Without family support, it would be challenging to complete your degree. All family members must have been on the same page.
- Discuss your academic goals with your boss - Many colleges, particularly online colleges, offer flexibility for those working full-time. But there will still probably come a time when work and exam schedules conflict. Maybe you’ll want to be able to take a day off to have extra time to study or for an exam. Or maybe you’ll need a modified work schedule to accommodate a required class for graduation. Either way, make sure you know before classes begin if your employer will be able to accommodate your requests. If you’ll need to take a vacation day to study for an exam or miss a day of class because of an important meeting at work, figure out when these conflicts will take place as far in advance as possible and make necessary arrangements. A boss is likely to be a lot more understanding when an employee asks for a day of months in advance compared to the day before. And if you know you’ll miss class far in advance, you can take steps to compensate for what you’ll be missing.
- Create a designated study workspace - One way you can ensure you remain productive throughout your schooling is to create a space in your home that can help foster optimum learning. “Learning spaces should be clean and organized, ideally decorated with warm paint colors and comfortable seating areas,” explains Elizabeth Malson, President of Amslee Institute. “A desk (or kitchen table) and chair is a must for healthy body positioning for writing and working on a computer.” Use bulletin boards where you can populate with important deadlines, inspiring photos, or encouraging quotes can assist in creating a mindful environment that is tailored to your personal goals and motivators.
- Become a master of your time- Time is never more precious than when you’re balancing the responsibilities of working full-time and earning a degree. “When you choose to go back to college and have a career, you have chosen ‘the path of greatest resistance,’ and your time is at a premium,” explains Scott Vail, owner of C4 Communications. To succeed within high-stress circumstances like these, he urges students to be purposeful in how they spend their time. “You must schedule everything—class time, study time, recreation—if you want to be successful over the long haul,” Vail adds. Even if procrastinating has been your tendency in the past, Zona-Mendola advises avoiding it at all costs if you’re also balancing full-time work. “Get stuff done right away. Have a whole semester to write a paper? Start writing it as soon as you know enough about the subject, whether it’s the first week or halfway through. Turn it in right away. The professor will be happy about it,” she says.
- Find ways to be more efficient with your time - Not enough time? You might not be using your time efficiently. If you drive to work, think about taking the bus or train instead to give yourself time to study during your commute. If you spend an hour cleaning up the house each evening, consider cutting back and getting a bi-weekly or monthly housekeeping service if you can afford it. If your child is in a daycare that’s not easy on the way to/from work and home, try to find one that’s more convenient to cut down on the amount of time you’re on the road. You may have to get creative to squeeze everything in but shaving off even just five minutes here and there and reallocating that time to something like studying, work, yourself, or spending time with family can make a big difference.
- Take care of yourself - When you’re juggling work, school, and everything in between, taking time for yourself may sound impossible but it’s important to make space for “me time” now and then. Rush says making time for yourself is a must: “Force yourself to take a day off and force yourself to be social. I started going out once a week during my MA program just to preserve my mental health. It was critical.” Take care of your health - full sleep, exercise, spirituality keep you always motivated.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate - Competent communication skills seem to top nearly every list of tips to be successful in just about any realm. But when it comes to balancing college and full-time work, communication truly is key. “Having an open communication system with your managers and professors can help you,” Pehrson offers. “Make sure you and your professors and managers are all on the same page. More often than not, they will want to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed with your workload.” Communicating effectively will only help you in the long run. “Your communication skills will pay dividends when you are working and going to school,” Vail maintains, highlighting the importance not only of communicating with managers and professors but also with family members and close friends whose interactions with you will be impacted during this busy time.
- Become familiar with academic tools - The days of simply needing a textbook, pen, and paper are long gone. Today many courses require students to have a computer with high-speed internet access. There will also likely be online message boards, chat sessions, or class materials that must be completed or accessed via an online education portal. To have one less thing to worry about while working or in class, review all the technological requirements early on, make sure you have everything you’ll need, and familiarize yourself with all the new tools before your first day of class.
- Get the help of your in-laws, parents, or Hire a babysitter - Even if you’ll be home, consider hiring a babysitting service or having someone come over to keep an eye on your child while you get your schoolwork done. It’s a lot easier to concentrate without the distraction of a little one constantly asking for mommy or daddy every 10 minutes.
- Reward yourself for a job well done - When something great happens, like a promotion at work, acing an exam, or getting accepted into your chosen major, reward yourself! Stay sane by celebrating the small victories on your way toward the final goal. The anticipation of your reward can give you that extra bit of motivation to keep working or study just a few minutes more
- Don’t overdo it- Once you’ve got a good rhythm in place, it can be easy to go full-tilt all the time, but be careful; serious burnout can tank your entire college endeavor. “Manage your expectations,” Rush advises. “Your life will change if you add school to your normal responsibilities. It’s okay to let the laundry pile up. It’s okay to stock up on frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. Remind yourself it’s not forever. I think most people can get through hard things by taking them one step at a time.”