Studying while working part-time is becoming a reality for more and more students. This can be attributed to a number of reasons including higher living costs associated with life in big cities, the ambition to gain professional experience early on, or perhaps the generational obsession with smashed avocado and the effects it has on our bank accounts. Whatever the reason may be, studying while working part-time is a struggle that most people underestimate.
I would first like to introduce myself – I am studying Finance at university and work at SKL as a Candidate Manager. My role at SKL is to provide advice and guidance to job seekers with an actuarial background. So, although these tips are drawn from my own experiences of studying at university whilst working, they can be easily transferrable to those who are working while studying towards their actuarial qualification.
I recall getting my first part-time job while still in university and thinking some additional late night study sessions would be the only change in my lifestyle. But it takes a lot more than a few more productive hours to ensure you maximise your university performance while fully taking on the added responsibility of a job.
Here are some tips to ensure you keep on top of it all:
Yes, that cliché. Developing a strong sense of communication is a vital skill in keeping yourself and your employer informed. Your responsibilities at work and at university will inevitably coincide so it is important to keep work informed of any upcoming unavailability with sufficient notice. Upcoming exams and classes should be communicated in advance so that your studies can proceed without disruption.
Plan for the unexpected
Things don’t always go as expected. Whether it be a last-minute assignment handed to you at university or a previously unscheduled meeting that requires your attendance at work, you can’t always have everything planned. But what you can do is allow yourself some flexibility with your agenda. If something unplanned does come up, a buffer will help you to stay on track without going off schedule.
Don’t leave things until the last minute
This one may not seem all too important now, but it is vital to your future goals. Leaving a few tasks until the last minute may not seem all too alarming, however with added responsibility it becomes almost impossible to handle all of your tasks long-term.
Prioritise and be realistic
It is easy to set yourself goals that look good on paper, however, you should be asking yourself – is this realistic? Giving yourself ample time to do the one task which is important rather than multi-tasking. Instead of thinking about work while sitting in a classroom or the other way around, it is much more effective to focus on one thing at a time. This will ensure that your time completing a particular task is well spent.
Finally, after working hard at your job and studying hard at university, it is important to reward yourself. This can be in the form of some quality alone time spent reading, or finally going out to watch that movie with your friends, whatever the reward looks like for you it is important to make the time for it.
These are all great tips for you to consider when taking on a new job whilst you are studying. However, take them as guidelines. We all have different methods in which we work and study, so it is important that you find the way that is right for you.