7 Tips to help you survive graduate school alongside a job

The moment you step into adulthood, life becomes all about balance. When it comes to continuing studies while doing a job, your routine, the tasks, and time management can all take a toll on you. The overall experience of living two lives can be overwhelming and daunting at times, as you are trying to find a footing in a corporate world and pursuing academics.

There could be any reason, whether you are supporting your education expenses or working to gain experience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and you’ll have to assess what to do according to your situation. What works for you might not work for others. 

Therefore, below are seven tips to help you survive and find that perfect balance between work and school. Follow the ones you feel can help you out!

1. Create a plan at the beginning of the semester

We all know how important deadlines are. To ease things, you must plan your entire semester. Once you receive the course and syllabus, outline the important due dates for assignments, quizzes, and tests. 

Make a calendar and set reminders for each deadline. This way, you will always be ahead of things and track your progress. And you will not miss any deadlines that can damage your grades. You surely don’t want that.

Similarly, knowing your busiest days beforehand is critical. Typically, the middle of fall and spring semesters are bustling in grad school. Scheduling can help you manage the workload at your job, and you can ask for flexible working hours in advance.

2. Take online classes

When juggling between two places with time constraints, opting for online courses can be a savior, like an MBA General online program. Working smarter and efficiently can save you time and money. 

While working and studying simultaneously, there are other costs, such as traveling. You surely don’t want to waste your precious time in traffic or your money on fuel and fares. The perks of online studying are endless as long as you can master self-discipline. 

3. Carefully schedule courses

If the option of an online course isn’t available for your field of study, you need to schedule your courses smartly. Based on your job, you can take tough courses in the off-season or set classes on weekends. If not, then enroll in summer sessions to cover the courses. It all depends on the job and your workload management.

Once you make a plan and schedule it properly, you will feel less frazzled. Mark days on a calendar for working on the assignments and studies, and punch out early on those days.

Again, slow down the progress if it is too much of a burden. As mentioned, there is no one size fits all solution. Self-care and keeping mental peace are imperative. Earning a degree should be a fun process. When it starts to feel hectic, prolonging school can make it less stressful.  

4. Add new tools to your arsenal

In this journey, efficiency will be the key. Several tools can ease the workload, like citation manager, which can help you organize articles according to assignment and class. Then you have Evernote, an online notebook to keep lists. You can create different sections with varying notes like work, study, training, traveling, etc. But the best part is that it allows you to attach photos, files, or URLs for reference.

In addition, determine what learning method is best for you. Your old habits may no longer work for you. You may concentrate better by taking notes by hand, but if you want to study more effectively, you may want to use a laptop or digital recording device. Get to know new tools and tricks, and test them out.

5. Speak to Your Superiors 

This one will benefit you in the long run. Many employers encourage their employees to learn a new skill and offer incentives for taking courses. Look for such working opportunities and discuss with your employers how you can be more valuable after completing certain programs. Similarly, you can talk with your instructors and seek their help implementing theory to solve practical problems.

Being open with your superiors will make you effective and improve your performance. It might also make your instructor and employer more considerate towards you. However, you must prove that you can manage both challenges by providing undivided attention and keeping them separate.

6. Identify your support system and seek help

Taking help with class fellows and learning from seniors’ experiences is vital. Ask for guidance from those who are already in this juggling process. They will certainly share some tips on time management.

The same goes for the professors and coworkers. You can ask the professors about their grad school experience. It will be a good way of collecting tips to assist you in professional development and education. Seeking advice is never a bad option. Even if they do not have any strategy for you, they can tell you what not to do and things to avoid.

7. Be strategic in what you do

When the reality check hits, your morale will go down. Indeed, it is tough to manage 40 hours of work and attend multiple classes every week. You will feel demotivated at times, but keeping your eyes on the prize will keep you moving.

Reflect on your learning after every class, note down the important elements, and keep it for future reference. While working, if your position allows you, delegate work. Share responsibilities and learn to collaborate.

Regardless of the place, working with others can teach you a lot, like analytical thinking, decision making, negotiating, etc. all these soft communication skills will help you climb the corporate ladder. Collaborating with different students will enhance your networking and allow you to explore new ways of learning.

Conclusion

To conclude, finding the right balance between a professional career and grad school requires effort. After gathering all the advice and tips, it will all come down to your will and commitment. 

The goals and expectations from the job and which career you want to pursue will be deciding elements. Working two roles can be taxing, but preparing for it and strategizing can reap many benefits. An online degree program will be much more feasible if you’re working full-time, so it would be better to do some research before continuing your education. 

About the Author: mike

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