Now that school is back in session and you’ve crashed the classes you need to get into and your starting to set up your routine you begin to realize that you need some money in your pocket to survive. Trying to manage a job and going to school at the same time is in and of itself a full-time job so here are few ideas to help you manage the two competing aspects of your life vying for attention.
First you need to decide what is your priority. In today’s world with the economy the way it is you need to decide are you going to be a Student who works OR a Worker who goes to school. This priority thing is important because being a student and getting a job to survive and get work experience are both really important. Having a clear defined goal is the key to success so you need to know which is your priority right now.
Knowing your direction will help you figure out what matters most and how you will organize your priorities. First step is to start bringing some structure into your life. Are you going to go to school 2 days a week all day and then work 3 or 4 days? Are you going to work weekends? Whichever works best for you is fine but you need to plan this out ahead and create a realistic schedule and stick to it. I remember going to school at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, living in the Antelope Valley – a 2 or 3 hour drive depending on traffic – and working part-time. My first Semester didn’t have any organizational structure I scheduled my work and job back to back and I would always get stuck in traffic I would be late and all sorts of chaos. I’m sure my boss at the time must have hated me because he never knew when I was going to make it in. Needless to say the following Semester I scheduled school on certain days and work on other days; my life became much less hectic and calmer.
Now that you know your path, have determined what your schedule will look like, you now need to begin the search for work. You can begin with places like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com or Craigslist.com but a search at your schools student services department should offer a list of local businesses that are searching for interns or have posted job openings. These leads are the best because they know you are a student and so they are much more likely to understand any craziness in your schedules that come from studenthood.
In the end knowing your priorities and sticking to a system will greatly help you navigate the crazy waters of school and work.
Do you have any other tips on how the manage the School vs Work battle?