Managing a career can take a lot of time and energy on its own. Add in personal responsibilities and, of course, personal interests, and it feels like all of your time and energy has been eaten up. It’s for this reason why many decide to take time off from work when they need to further their career with another degree. After all, it’s how you can get through your new degree faster and, in some cases, even more effectively. It is not, however, the only option.
This option isn’t even accessible to many people. While yes, you can take out a loan, chances are you haven’t finished paying off your previous loan. The loan that you would need to take out would also need to cover your living costs, and even your other debts, so that you can focus your efforts on your degree without worrying about the debt piling up.
This money management issue is why an increasing number of people are turning to online degrees. The ability to spread out how you tackle your degree, from taking just one course at a time to opting for a part-time option, allows many professionals the ability to continue to work and support themselves while furthering their career ambitions with a degree.
Tackling a degree while continuing to work full-time is no easy feat. You will need to have the right support, a quality online degree, and use this guide to help you successfully juggle all of your responsibilities.
Choosing the Right Degree
There are a variety of excellent online degrees today, allowing you to truly improve your career, your prospects, and your future without completely uprooting your life. With an online degree, you don’t have to move, do not have to take time off of work, and can work your degree into your life, rather than the other way around.
You can even get intensive degrees, like WPI’s online masters in Data Science. This 100% online degree will help you extract insights from data and articulate what you have found to provide actional solutions for a broad spectrum of problems. The reason why this example is being used is simple. The university itself is within the top ten of highest-paid graduates, is in the top 75 of national universities, and is one of the top 25 of STEM colleges in the United States, and they offer an entirely digital, online degree that can be completed remotely wherever you are located in the country.
This means you can continue to work, but, more importantly, it means you can now get educated at a top university without making sacrifices or moving to where your university is located.
On-campus education does have its place, but for those who are already working professionals, online degrees just make sense. They can, however, be extremely stressful to add to an already full plate, so use these tips to help you manage your time, your stress, and your health:
Caring for Your Health
Your health can take a nosedive before you know it. It doesn’t matter how much you eat, or even if you are gaining weight. It is all about nutrition and about ensuring that your body gets what it needs.
That is why there are a few good habits to get into before you start juggling a career and a degree. The first is to prep healthy meals. If it is easy to eat healthy, to snack healthy, and to drink healthy items at home, then eating healthy and nourishing your body will be your go-to. If it isn’t easy, you will continue to eat poorly, and soon you will notice.
The same applies to sleep. Routine is actually your best friend when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep and, more importantly, feeling rested when you wake up. In order to do this more consistently, you are going to have to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time. Consistency is key, though an improved sleeping setup can also help.
Managing Your Time
Your time is crucial, especially when you have so few hours available to you in the day. The best way to get through everything is bit by bit. Go slow rather than try to cram everything in – particularly in regards to your degree. If you can set aside an hour or two to work on your degree per day, you will be able to easily accomplish everything that you need doing, even the extra readings and assignments designed to give you a better understanding of the topic and how it can be used in the professional world.
Do a little every day, and you can work that time into your routine. This is how you can manage your time better, but more than that, how you can manage your energy levels.
Stress is a killer. It can also completely ruin your efforts to succeed – unfortunately, it won’t always be up to you, either. Stress can cause panic attacks, it can cause breakdowns, and it can seriously impact your mental and physical health. The best and only way to get out of this stress haze is, in some cases, to remove yourself from the stressor.
Simone Biles, an Olympic competitor with several gold medals under her belt, withdrew from the Olympics due to mental health concerns. This is completely valid, because at the end of the day, mental health doesn’t care if you are doing something important, sometimes it is imperative to take a step back so that you can go at it again in the future, rather than burnout and even develop an aversion to your stressor outright.
For your education, you will always have a student advisor and the ability to take a semester off in many cases. For work, it can be much more difficult, but it still needs to be done. Take time off of work, or even consider quitting if it is too much and your degree means more for your future career than your current job does.