One of the most important decisions in your life is to seek a greater amount of education than you currently have. The problem with this isn’t always the money involved as there are often plenty of ways to fund an education. The challenge is finding a way to balance your current career with your education. Many people use their current job, and the threat of losing it, as reasons preventing them from acquiring a higher education. The good news is that there are strategies you can employ to prevent yourself from losing your job while trying to better yourself academically.
Follow these six tips to advance your career and take advantage of continuing education opportunities without losing your job:
1. Balance Your Budget
The biggest concern about juggling your job and an education is often your budget. This is why ensuring that you have enough money to pay your living costs, your education expenses and any other items is vital to ensuring you can continue your education. Take a good look at your budget, and get professional help if necessary. You may be able find ways to work fewer hours which will allow you to have more time to study and attend classes without living paycheck to paycheck.
2. Work With Your Superiors
Depending upon where you work, your superiors may be more lenient towards your scheduling needs if you explain to them that you’re seeking an education. You may be surprised to find that your company even has special programs and working policies when you’re enrolled as a student.
3. Utilize Online Degrees
You may have a job or work situation that is inflexible, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on a higher education. Online degrees are flexible and many allow you to work at a pace that gives you ample time to study when you have the opportunity to do so. You can even get a master’s degree in project planning and management online. Don’t feel like you can’t progress simply because you can’t leave the office.
4. Take Advantage of Financial Help
Some people make the mistake of trying to pay for their education from their already strained pockets. This results in a need to work more which, in turn, limits how much they can focus on their education. Take advantage of scholarships and grants that apply to your situation and interests. This will significantly reduce the strain you face as a student continuing your education.
5. Take Small Steps
You may be unable to seek a complete diploma this year or even in four years. If you’re unable to make the commitment now due to work constraints or personal responsibilities, then you try to make small advances whenever you can. If this means you have to take just a few courses a semester, then that is what you should do.
6. Work with Your School
Most colleges and universities understand the needs of working people. This is why they offer different programs that are designed to be more flexible for employed individuals. For example, associate’s degrees programs usually take two-years to complete and you may be able to stretch them to three or four years to fit your personal schedule. You can also advance your career more quickly and for less money with accelerated degree programs as well as postbaccalaureate and graduate certificates.
You shouldn’t have to choose between a higher education and your current job. You can carefully balance the two in such a way that one does not harm the other by following the strategies outlined above.