Combining full time studies and part-time work. Many young people work part time during their studies out of necessity, to pay the costs of education or simply to gain work experience. Although there are many benefits to working, reconciling full time studies and part-time work is not always easy. Here are some tips to get there.
Aside from earning pocket money and increasing your financial independence, working part-time permits developing multiple skills. Here are a few:
- Exploring the job market
- Defining your professional interests better
- Acquiring skills
- Developing your sense of responsibility, organization and priorities
- Developing independence and discipline
- Obtaining appreciation and recognition
- Building self-esteem
However, studies have demonstrated that working more than 20 hours a week is detrimental to academic performance. Indeed, young people tend to skip classes because of their work, extend the length of their studies to balance studying and work, and especially they no longer have the energy required to do their school work. There then follows reduced commitment that could go as far as failure.
In this context, how do you combine full time studies and part-time work ?
Choose between part time and projects
First ask yourself if the part-time formula is right for you. Sometimes it’s preferable to do one-time projects at certain times of the year rather than doing regular work.
Choose work related to your studies
Several university programs offer paid activities. This is an ideal solution to combining studying and work. If your industry does not have job possibilities, try to find work related to your studies. You will thus be learning in the field of your future professional environment and begin to build your network.
Find work with schedules compatible with your studies. The business, restaurant and sales fields are highly valued by students, since they allow them to work in the evening or on the weekend and continue attending classes. Write down your courses, your working hours, your various activities and the time that you would like to devote to studies on a single calendar in order to have an overall view and plan your weeks accordingly.
Focus on proximity
Look for work nearby. You will lose less time in transportation and will be less tired.
Talk to your employer.
Even before being hired, agree with your employer on a schedule that suits you. Try to see if, during exam times, your work hours could be reduced or otherwise distributed. Find out about your holidays and the possibility of working remotely.
Set your priorities
By combining work and studying, you will have less time to be with your friends and other activities. You will therefore have to learn to say no. You will also need to remember the reasons why you are working and what your goals are.
Learn to manage stress
Don’t forget to pay attention to the most important thing: yourself. Set aside some time for yourself, make sure to sleep well and have a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and take time for outdoor activities. At the slightest sign of depression (intense fatigue, irritable mood, losing interest in your work or studies), take action! Discuss it with your doctor or your parents. They will help you find a solution.
Ask your parents for help
If you are struggling to manage your time and get organized, ask for help from your parents or an adult. They have more experience than you and will be able to guide you.
In any case, keep in mind that your education is the most important thing. A diploma is an investment in the future, even thought work can open doors. Best of luck!