You’ve decided to make life better for yourself. You’re working in a full-time job, and considering going into a new, more promising career. You could be worried about job security in today’s uncertain economy, you want to get into a more interesting career or you’ve stuck in a job where opportunities for advancement are slim.
Whatever the reasons, once you’ve decided to study for a new career, start going for it as soon as you can. You’ll never be as young and mentally alert as you are today, and delaying your move may result in missed opportunities you’ll regret for the rest of your life. Some suggestions about balancing a full-time job with higher education could help you get started.
1. Determine the direction you want to pursue, and the ultimate goal. Create a realistic plan to earn a degree or certificate in a field you believe you can meet the requirements.
2. Examine all ways you can fit studies in with your current job schedule. Consider classes held at night, weekends and on the internet. If you’re seeking a basic or advanced degree, check with appropriate college or university admissions offices and campus counselors. Explain your current work time requirements and ask how you can best fit in your class and study schedules without interfering with your job commitments.
3. Seek out all ways you can manage to pay for the courses. Ask if your company encourages higher education or certification by paying tuition. Check your eligibility for allowances, scholarships, assistantships and, if a veteran, GI Bill and other government tuition and personal expenses coverages.
4. Check the status of courses you’ve already completed in previous education institutions. Additionally, inquire if the college or training school will offer credits for past job duties and experiences. That way you may eliminate unnecessary classes and be able to start your studies as close to a degree or certification as you’re allowed.
5. Consult with your family about your need for help when you get into your courses. Adding study hours and class time away from home to the requirements of your full-time job will require full cooperation. If you have young children, try to allow as much quality time as possible to be with them.
It will take considerable time, commitment and determination to balance a full-time job with studies for new career. However, whenever you feel the pressure may be getting to be too much, just think of the goal ahead and how it will greatly improve your future.