If you’re bored with your current career, you may be wanting to return to study, but while you’re still working, this can be difficult. Most people also have a number of other commitments to deal with, such as kids, hobbies and the home, so it may sometimes feel that studying is out of reach. However, there are ways you can get a new qualification for a career change or to grow in your current role, and even if you’re busy, it’s still possible to reach your goals.
Look for flexible study programs
While your local college may offer part-time study, this is often dependent on you attending for fixed hours, which many people struggle with when they work. For example, if you have a family emergency or need to do overtime, you may have to miss lectures, which can soon put you behind. That’s why many students now opt for online courses such as Michigan Tech statistics programs, which can be done from home at times to suit you.
If you plan to study a higher-level course such as a degree or masters, even if it’s online, it’s important to put time aside to do the work. You still need to be disciplined to pass the course, which may mean making sacrifices elsewhere to free up some time.
Ask your employer what support is available
Many employers are happy for their employees to upskill, as it means they bring more to the role and can progress into more senior roles, which saves the business money compared to bringing in new people. If you’re not happy in your current role, or simply want to progress to the next level, then have a conversation with your employer. They may offer support with studying, whether it’s financial or time off to work on your degree.
The average employee works for a company for 4.6 years, and this kind of turnover costs businesses a lot of money. By letting you incorporate studying into your workday, your employers could actually save money by building loyalty.
Study little and often
If you have children and do activities such as sports, then it may be a lot to ask to get free hours in the evenings or weekends. However, you could spread out the hours throughout the week, studying in short bursts, which can actually make it easier to learn new things.
For example, if you used every lunch hour to study, that’s already 5 hours a week you can commit. Call in favors from your spouse, parents, and in-laws to get some weekend babysitting so you can get some peace and quiet.
Some other times you could study include:
- Evenings – knuckle down and do an hour when you arrive from work, that way, you won’t be able to avoid it
- Early mornings – if you are a morning person, set the alarm an hour earlier and get your studying out of the way before everyone gets out of bed
- Late at night – some people are more productive in the late hours when everyone is in bed, so get your homework done when it’s nice and peaceful
Get the family involved
Some people struggle to study because they are trying to juggle their work with housework and childcare, so it’s important that you seek outside help. Unless your children are very young, they can pick up some chores, and you should explain to them that you need peace and quiet at certain times so you can get your work done.
Get really, really organized
When you have two conflicting commitments like working and studying, you have to get highly organized to make sure you have enough time to do projects and can hit deadlines. There are lots of tips online for how to organize your schedule, and you should use an online calendar to ensure you get alerts when important events and deadlines are coming up.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If at times you find it hard to study or don’t get the grade you want, don’t be too hard on yourself. Studying as a young college student and studying when you’re an adult with responsibilities are two very different experiences, and not everyone in the latter category will click back into studying. Give yourself plenty of time to review materials and allow things to sink in.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s no shame in not understanding things the first time around, especially when your brain is already at capacity dealing with everyday life.