Guide to studying part-time when you already have a job
As technology advances, the need for workers to upskill is growing too. It is also creating exciting new opportunities in entirely new industries for those willing to learn.
Gaining new knowledge and skills throughout your life can bring about good health, wealth, quality of life and future prospects for yourself and your family. Both the Mental Health Foundation and the NHS recommend lifelong learning to improve mental wellbeing, life satisfaction and ability to cope with stress.
There are many reasons you may choose to study alongside your job – but just how do you manage the extra workload? Find out below.
How to stay motivated
Remember your end goal and use it to drive you, whether it is a change of career, feeling more confident in your role, or getting a promotion.
How to plan ahead
Trying to do too much at once is a sure way to get yourself into trouble when balancing your job and your studies. Instead, break your responsibilities into smaller, manageable chunks.
Find out what your deadlines are, such as exams or work to be submitted so they won’t come as a surprise.
Get a planner such as a wall planner, online calendar or a pocket diary.
Mark down the time you need to spend on the commitments you already have – the hours you spend at work, your commute time, family commitments and other important priorities and dates.
Work out how many hours a week you need to spend studying – break them down into smaller chunks scattered throughout your days and weeks. For example, if you have a spare 30 minutes each morning to revise, schedule it in. If you’ve got three hours to spare on a Wednesday evening, commit that time to studying too. Maybe you could study during your commute? Or while the kids are at swimming lessons? These smaller, manageable chunks of study time will soon add up.
You’ve got to commit to your study time – no matter how hard it is
It can be tempting to forego a study session so you can go to impromptu after work drinks or a family barbecue. But your study hours should be just as non-negotiable as the hours between 9 and 6 that you have to spend at your job. If your family and friends are supportive of what you’re trying to achieve, they’ll understand. Just remember to schedule in time for socialising too.
Look after your brain and your body
The healthier your mind and body, the more able you will be to keep up with the demands of working and studying. Eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and exercise and remember to take regular breaks when you’re working – whether on your job or your studies. Leaving your work environment to grab some lunch, hit the gym or go for a walk can do wonders to lower your stress levels, increase your focus and allow your creativity to replenish.