As you take the next big step and decide to continue studying you need to decide whether you will be able to manage working at the same time as well. For most of you, working and studying is the only option as financially this will support you in managing costs of your study.
Firstly you need to think about whether you can actually work full-time while studying and how much you can take on without it affecting either your work or your study.
Managing Work and Study
Managing work and study can be challenging if you don’t plan ahead. It’s not as simple as completing a few assessments and assignments then heading off to work. You need to spend quality time and try and manage both of these because they are both as important as each other.
If you work full-time you have certain work commitments that have to fulfil. In our case in education, it would be staff meetings, working-bees, working various shifts and sometimes working your study around this can be stressful and quite difficult.
Working and studying is hard, probably harder if you work full-time and try and study rather than studying full-time and working around that. When you have decided to study that should be the main focus. Find a job that fits in with your studies. Work as a casual first and see how you can manage both. You can also work part time if it fits into your schedule. Only take the option of full time work if it’s necessary or if you are going to cut back on your studies so it enables you to work.
Depending on what qualification you are studying for, at Uni it is recommend doing 1 unit per semester unless you have done a fair bit of study while working before and can handle more than one. Keep in mind what level of study you are doing as well, 1 unit of a Cert III will be less intensive than a Diploma which would be less intensive than a unit at University level. However if you are getting fee help or government assistance you need to make sure you are studying the required amount of units otherwise you may not be qualified to receive financial assistance.
While working let your director know that you are studying as well. If you have exams coming up you will need to let your director know in advance if you need to take time off work. Usually directors are pretty lenient for exams. Although if you need to take time off to finish assignments don’t expect directors to supportive of it. When it comes to work commitments you need to be responsible and show up. It’s not your employer’s fault that you cannot manage work and study.
If you need help though ask, study institutions and workplaces have people you can talk to. Let your superiors know at work if you are getting stressed as well, they cannot help you unless they know what is going on as well.
Tips On Studying And Working
- A fair bit of your study can be done while working, especially for your Cert III & Diploma of Children’s Services as you will use your work experience to answer your questions and will have prac to do as well, which at these levels you can usually do at your own place of work. Please check with your director before hand as some centres may not appreciate you taking time away from your job to focus on your studies, so it’s best to confirm. Most centres will be accepting of this.
- Be organised and work out in advance when you will be studying once you have finished work. Will you go home from work and study straight away, study in the morning or late night. Work out a time that best suits you and stick with it.
- Plan your time and make sure you are not just working and studying, you WILL burn out.
- Reading study material during your breaks / lunches is always useful as it gets some out of the way. Also bounce ideas, topics off your colleagues as you gain a lot of insights and information from talking to others.
- If you have children you will have to give them time so maybe studying after their bedtime would be best, however for someone with no children you can study straight after you come home from work so you have your late evenings to wind down and relax.
Everyone is different so you need to organise things so everything gets done and nothing suffers. Easier said than done, but once you do manage to do it things will be much easier. There is no point in saying “make sure you study everyday”, “allot a certain time to study” and other things but at the end of the day it is YOU who are balancing your work and life and study so YOU will have to see what works best for you.