Work Hard For Your Money


Part IV: Work Hard For Your Money
by N. Menendez, Meaghan Lally, Sonia Montenegro, and Melissa Rebullosa

“Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.” – H. Jackson Browne

One of the biggest adjustments when going back to school is finding a way to balance your two biggest time consumers, work and class. We all have to work, whether it is being a part of the 9-5 grind or raising your family and keeping the home. Don’t feel like you have to sacrifice one for the other, learn how to make the best of both situations.

Tips for the new adult learner to successfully manage work and classes:

Honesty is the Best Policy

One of the first priorities when learning to balance work and school is being honest with your employer. Open communication with your superiors about your entrance back into school will help them see the types of commitments that currently exist in your life.  Employers are often more inclined to work with schedules ahead of time when they are informed of them early enough. Although there are employers who might not be happy that you won’t be available for overtime, it is up to you to create the boundaries and set aside time. You owe yourself and your employee quality performance so make sure you’re not distracted from work and work does not hinder your goals of a higher education. When, or if, you have this conversation with your boss come in with a game plan so you show initiative and control over your situation. This will show them you are not only for this new challenge but you’re embracing it as well. They will appreciate and possibly reward for this extra responsibility. Know your workload and your current projects. Your boss is not your life coach, and will not appreciate having to help you make these scheduling decisions. They should, however, appreciate the fact that you approach them half an hour before quitting time, and ask, “I am currently working on ____, and since I must leave on time today, I want to ask you now if there is anything else you need me to do by the end of business today.”

Get Paid for Work and School?

Many employers also offer incentives and tuition reimbursement to those going back to school. Often if you are able to show your company how your job will benefit from your additional education, they will pay for portions of your classes. Aim to find programs and classes that help you not only finish your degree, but also get a promotion too!

Find a Job That Makes You Happy

It is important to have a job you enjoy. Find something where you can use what you are actively learning in the classroom and apply to your daily life. While switching jobs is not always an option, find something that currently exists within your current position that could help you with school.

Kids can be Harder to Manage Than Adults

Not only are many of full-time corporate individuals, but also many adult students are the stay-at-home parents. Don’t let others act as if this important job isn’t a real one, most times the average executive couldn’t last a day in your shoes! Like most situations, communication is key. Be honest with your spouse and work together on creating a schedule that can help you succeed in school and make all of the family members happy.

Keep School and Work Separate

Your employer pays you to work for them, not for you to finish those last few chapters you have due tomorrow. Make sure to be conscious of your time and work and not take advantage of your employer’s time or resources. Complete all work activities when you are at your desk and keep your school work in your bag. If you find yourself with extra time, ask your boss if they need help before thinking about schoolwork. Still nothing to do? Respectfully approach your boss and ask him if you can take an extra break while you have the time to go work on your schoolwork. If they approve, walk to a local coffee shop and work on your homework for a few minutes.

Be Honest About Your Work and Education Goals

Sometimes what makes it even more stressful is that in order to get a good job with decent pay, you need an education. Many jobs nowadays, especially in this economy, are requiring a degree as a bare minimum to be qualified for the job. Think about what your end professional goal and see what is needed to get there. Look into special programs that might be geared to your profession and be aware of certain classes that could help you succeed.

Previously: Making the Most of Your Education

Up next: Family Matters


4 Responses to “Work Hard For Your Money”

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