Have you made the decision that it’s time for a serious change in your life and that change comes in the form of a new career? Maybe your current job isn’t what you had dreamed it would be, or perhaps you just no longer feel challenged or passionate about it. There are plenty of reasons that contribute to wanting a new job, and it’s actually very normal to switch careers a number of times throughout your life.
But what happens if your next big move requires you to head back to school and get your MBA? Quitting your current full-time job may not be realistic; after all, you need to pay your bills. So is there a way to mix a full-time job with your MBA studies? Can you truly have it all?
The short answer is yes, there is a way to mix both, but in terms of specifics, you can let these tips act as your personal guide.
Enroll in an Online MBA Program
The very first tip is easily the most important one, as this will allow for the most seamless flow in your life when it comes to juggling a full-time job and your MBA studies. Enrolling in an online MBA program means you can “attend” your classes from the comfort of your own home, work around your job schedule, not have to spend time commuting to and from campus, and most schools typically offer a variety of start dates offering flexibility that working people need.
Of course, in order to make this option work, you need to consider a few things:
- You’ll need high-speed internet that is reliable
- You’ll need a comfortable work/study station complete with a desk and chair
- You’ll need to find a place in your home that is distraction-free so you can fully focus on your studies
- You have to be the type of person who works well independently, and doesn’t need an in-person classroom experience in order to thrive
Be Aware of the Program Expectations
It’s also important to go into the process with your eyes wide open, which means you are fully aware of the program expectations. Get an idea of how much work will be required on your end so that you don’t end up with any unpleasant surprises. It’s really hard to mix a full-time job and your MBA studies if you have no idea how much time will be required of you from a schooling standpoint.
Time Management Will be the Key to Success
This is your time to let your time management skills really shine. If they don’t happen to be a strong skill for you, it’s time to brush up on them. Time management skills are what will make it possible to get to work on time, complete all your tasks at work, and still have time to dedicate to your studies and excel.
Most experts would suggest creating a daily schedule that you stick to, that provides enough time for each task. Not only will this help you get through all your work and responsibilities, but it’s also the kind of skill that can be very helpful when you enter into your new job field after you graduate. Effective time management skills allow you to tap into your most productive and efficient self.
You can click here for more specifics on how to boost your time management skills while enrolled in an online MBA course.
Improve Your Organizational Skills
This one goes hand-in-hand with time management as the two skills play off each other and actually enhance each other. You need to ensure you stay organized in terms of upcoming work projects, tests, assignments, and tasks. In order to organize in a more effective manner, you may want to think about downloading an app that is meant to improve your daily organization skills and contains things such as a note-taking tool, a list-making tool, and, of course, a calendar.
Get Everyone On-Board with Your Endeavors
Because this is such a huge step in your life – deciding to pursue your MBA while still working full-time – it’s really important that your support system is on board with you. Your support system often contains family and friends who are there for you when you need to vent, need advice, and emotional support.
Speak to them before your plan kicks into action, let them know your time may be stretched thin, and let them know of any ways they can help make the experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Perhaps that means your significant other needs to provide you with peace and quiet each day at a set time so you can focus on schoolwork. Maybe you could use extra help around the house to free up some of your time. Or perhaps it’s more of the emotional support you need and basically a cheerleader who is there to give you that all-important pep talk when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed.
Don’t Forget to Allow Yourself Downtime Daily
The final tip is to make sure you are also scheduling in downtime each day. This is when you disconnect from all your work and studies and just allow your brain to relax. You may choose to spend this downtime catching up with family and friends, entertaining, exercising, or doing something ultra-relaxing like meditation, enjoying a nice long bath, or reading. It’s all about creating a healthy balance in life, and downtime is essential.
It should also be noted that you shouldn’t feel guilty during this time. Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing; it’s often harder than it sounds.
Before you decide that it’s impossible to hold down a full-time job while studying for an MBA, it’s wise to look at these tips and ask yourself how you could integrate them in your own life and schedule. By thinking outside the box and re-working some of the things in your life, you’ll find that you can go ahead and pursue your dreams while maintaining a healthy life-balance.