Are you preparing to go back to school and start the new semester? Are you thinking of working and studying at the same time?
For many, the concept of studying and working at the same time can be frightening and rightfully so. It can be very stressful to try and balance two separate lives. It requires a high level of time management and planning too!
Regardless of whether you’re looking at a part-time degree or a full-time diploma alongside a part-time job, it can be tough to figure out whether you’ll be able to hold down a role in admin, sales, retail, or F&B while pursuing your educational goals.
Before you make your decision, though, why not take a look at our list of pros and cons to see how to combine work and school together?
What are the Pros of Working & Studying at the same time?
PRO - Source of Income
Of course, the most important reason that people work while studying is the money that they receive through a part-time job. Many students prefer not to rely on their families for monetary needs.
They will have the ability to take care of themselves and lessen the financial burden on their family with a student job. Students who study abroad could use the extra money to pay bills, contribute to accommodations and daily expenses.
We’ve previously discussed how a part-time job in Retail can help your career.
Take it as an opportunity to be independent!
PRO - Learn Time Management Early
Full-Time students usually only learn how to manage their time when they start to have to balance work with family; although schoolwork itself can be tough to manage, the lack of other distractions means that students can focus on their grades. However, this means that they often struggle to manage when they have to balance their work with finances, etc, when they start working.
On the other hand, mothers who work while taking care of their children have mentioned that they are masters of time management; since they have limited hours at both work and home, they learn how to increase their productivity and maximise the amount of work they can get done.
Students who are holding down part-time jobs have similar constraints, and hence learn how to manage their time much faster than full-time students. They know how to balance the stresses of work with the deadlines of schoolwork, years earlier than others.
PRO - Get a Head-start on Work Experience
Some entry-level roles such as F&B and Hospitality jobs request for candidates to be proficient at both soft and hard skills. This can be impossible for fresh graduates, who haven’t had the job experience necessary to have developed these skills.
If you’ve been working while studying, the job experience in your resume can help you to stand out to potential employers. Another advantage if you choose a part-time job in the target industry you want to excel in: you get to network and work with professionals who have been in the industry, allowing you to make relevant contacts that could help you to get a better full-time role in future.
PRO - Easier to Adapt
Having experience in the working world will definitely help students adapt better once they’ve secured a job. Some students find it difficult to assimilate into a working environment which may be due to multiple aspects like expectations, change, processes and how change can be very sporadic.
With prior experience, an individual will find it easier to assimilate into a work culture as they better understand the functions and processes of a company.
PRO - Networking & Building Connections
Work experience is a realistic measurement of someone’s real potential on the job. Knowing the right people who are aware of your potential can get you better job positions and potentially better opportunities career wise.
The best way to get connections is to be out there actively meeting people either through networking events or passively through student jobs! More often than not, companies are willing to offer you a position after you graduate if your performance is up to standard.
What are the Cons of Working & Studying at the same time?
As it comes to balancing the art of schooling and working at the same time, there are some disadvantages to the act as well. Let’s take a look at some of these factors below.
CON - Stress
Working during the day, and studying at night can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns and cause a large amount of stress. Especially as you get nearer to exam periods, the need to study even more can make a part-time job feel like a burden.
Without the proper downtime to destress, you can get burned out by the end of the week. School alone can be stressful enough so adding a job to the mix will only increase the stress.
If you reckon you can’t take on the stress, it might be wiser to just stick to one of the two for now.
CON - Lack of Time
Part-time work tends to rely on scheduling and shift work, and this can be subject to changes. For example, you might be called in suddenly to cover for a colleague on your off-day that was planned for studying.
Of course, while this is problematic in the long-term, it might be manageable in the short-term if you have colleagues and classmates who understand your situation and are willing to help you in taking notes or shift work. It is up to you to figure out if you’re able to manage the stress that comes with schooling and working concurrently.
Although it may be tempting, keep in mind that studying should come first. When you have tests and exams, your student job should not interrupt your preparations. Neglecting your studies will only lead to regret in the future.
CON - Lack of Time for Socialisation
How do you manage to find the time to work and study while still maintaining a healthy and active social life? It sounds almost impossible!
When studying and working at the same time, social events may have to take a back seat. You may not always be able to fit your social life amongst your immediate priorities.
6 Tips To Manage Your Time Working & Studying at the Same Time
1. Use Your Time Wisely
When you get breaks or vacations from work, use the time to get more studying done than you usually do. Perhaps even get ahead of the class. This simply helps to make sure that you do not fall behind when you start having a tough time managing both your job and school work.
2. Break Up Your Study Load
Carefully plan out what and when you want to study during the free time that you have. This keeps you from panicking when you have to read hundreds of pages at a time.
3. Maximise the Minutes You Have
There are many days where you might get a spare minute. Create flashcards and keep them with you or use your phone to type your notes. You can also find apps that might help to study.
Use the time it takes you to commute from your home to the workplace. Most people have at least 20 minutes to commute to their student jobs making it the perfect time to turn into micro-study sessions.
4. Choose Your Sacrifices
It is obvious that when you choose to try to balance so many things at once, sacrifices will have to be made. How much priority do you give to your student job?
It is your duty to decide what are the things or activities that you will be sacrificing. An example of that would be deciding against watching TV for an hour and using that time to get some revision done instead.
However, do not sacrifice things like family and friends time or work out time because that is critical to maintaining your healthy work-life balance.
5. Update Your Employer
Keep them up to date. Assure your employer that you can manage your schedules. It is also beneficial to get their attention and let them know that you are eager to work for them.
These jobs are flexible for students hence they are student jobs. If they think that you are serious about your job, they might be more open to negotiations when it comes to needing a more study-friendly schedule.
6. Lastly, Look After Yourself.
Ensure that you have a way to handle your stress in a positive way. Find a hobby that calms you down, such as journaling or working out. Exercising has been proven to be effective in relieving stress. Find at least 30 minutes of your day to doing something you enjoy as a way to reduce the pressure of learning to work and study.
At the end of the day, studying and working at the same time has both its advantages and disadvantages. We hope this guide has helped to give you a clearer picture on student jobs too.
If you’ve considered all the factors above and have decided to take on a part-time job, why not visit GrabJobs and browse part-time job opportunities?
We hope this article has been especially helpful for you students out there!