For those looking to go back into education, many learners decide to enroll in an online class, giving them flexibility and freedom. However, if you have other commitments that run alongside your class, such as work, trying to juggle the two can be challenging. Here are some tips on how to juggle your career while studying.
Pros and Cons
Before you sign up to an online degree program, it’s essential that you weigh up the pros and cons first. Consider what your life will look life once you have the demands of work and education side by side. You need to ask yourself what sort of benefits you will gain from your online degree, whether your current job can offer you flexible scheduling, if the field of study you have chosen is something you are passionate about, whether there are any in-person requirements in your degree program as well as whether your boss will allow you to have time off during mid-terms and finals.Whether you have chosen an online FNP program or you want a degree in another field, be sure you are making the right choice.
While one of the main benefits of online classes is that you can have a flexible schedule, you need to be aware that the curriculum they use is just as rigorous as an on-campus establishment. To avoid taking on too much at once, you need to be realistic about your objectives and goals, whether you can fit it into your schedule, as well as your work environment.
Have a Realistic Schedule
Once you have made a list of the pros and cons, you should be at the stage of deciding whether an online course is right for you. If the answer is yes, the next step is thoroughly analyzing your daily schedule. While it can be easy to say that you will do your coursework on the weekends or before bed, studying may be the last thing on your mind after a long and busy day at work.
There are various alternatives that you can use to create a healthy balance in your schedule. Don’t be scared to think outside the box either. There are some solutions which may work such as working longer hours so you can get more time off, or working through your lunch break. Creating a detailed daily routine can give you more structure and help you allocate time in the day for you to focus on your education.
Keep Your Manager Informed
Communicating effectively with your manager in the workplace is key. Letting your boss know about your plans is a good idea to ensure you have a smooth transition into your new schedule. You may find that your workplace is willing to be flexible where educational commitments are concerned, helping you feel more at ease with your decision. Your employer may be able to alter your working pattern so you can set aside blocks of time for your studies.
Another avenue to consider with your current employer is financial aid. You may find that some companies can provide tuition assistance for their employees, which can help you enormously when it comes to advancing your education.
Create a Time Management Plan
To help you stay on track with your coursework, you need to come up with a time management plan. Once you have enrolled in your online class, be sure to read the syllabus thoroughly so you can gain a strong knowledge of the assignments, deadlines and projects that the course entails. This will give you more clarity on time constraints and how to use your time effectively.
Focus on Long-Term Goals
Once you have begun your online class, you may find the change in your life overwhelming. Trying to juggle work commitments, studies and a social life can be tricky, so it comes as no surprise that you may lose sight of your future goals. Before you head into your studies, it can be beneficial to note down your goals and the reasons for why you are doing a degree. Whether you are going back to school to move up the career ladder in your current job, or you want to learn new skills to go down a different career path, you will want to stay motivated and consistent throughout your course.
Keeping the reasons listed in your mind while studying your online degree can make a huge difference and help you strive for success. While it can be challenging to be a working adult as well as studying, think of the major positives that it will have on your future endeavors.
Embrace Your Support System
Having family and friends in the background for when you need them can be hugely beneficial. If things get too much, you will want to know there’s someone there to provide support and help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones, even if it is just to get some reassurance after a long day. Many online schools provide students with support too. The services they offer can range from tutoring and virtual academic advising to career support. When researching online schools, make sure to inquire about what type of support services are available.
Make Time for Yourself
As a working adult student, the top priorities you will have are completing coursework on time as well as working to the best of your ability. However, if you have taken on too much, you will soon burn out which can cause you to lose momentum. Therefore, it’s essential that you make some time for yourself to keep you sane and on the right track. Whether you take a break to explore your passion, no one said that you can’t have any fun while studying. Also, it’s important to get as much sleep as you can. Shutting yourself off from the outside world and relaxing before bedtime can help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
While it may feel initially daunting to go back into education, signing up for an online class can bring enormous benefits and give you flexibility so you can work at the same time. To get the most out of your online degree, you should be doing it for all the right reasons, so make sure to do your research first.