Student Tips: Juggling Part-Time Work and Study

Balancing part-time work and study can be a daunting challenge but it will be one that will give you skills which will be useful for the rest of your life, as Shane Doherty explains.[br]OrganiseOrganisation is the key to getting the grades you desire, it’s even more important to organise and plan if you have a job. Make sure to keep a diary and plan ahead. On Sunday, plan the coming week ahead and what needs and can (realistically) be done each day taking into account work times, class times and free time. If you know you have a tutorial or assignment due in two weeks, do it a week before, if you have pre-lecture readings make you do them as soon as possible, keeping on top of work is important. PrioritiseMoreover, when you are planning the coming week ahead be sure to prioritise the daily tasks. A rule of thumb would be to do the most difficult tasks first. This way if an unexpected event that you haven’t planned comes up mid-week, at least you’ll have some of the more important issues out of the way. Know your limitsIf you are currently searching for a job be sure to be realistic in the hours you can do. Take into account the money you will make but it is also important to look at money you may be able to get in the form of grants or guardians to help you get by. While it is noble to be completely financially independent while studying, it is also important you don’t work more than you need to, burnout and then have it negatively affect your studies. Don’t be afraid to let your employer know that you are a student whose main priority is his/her degree. Be crafty and make use of spare timeIf you finish some work earlier than expected or just have some free time in general, even if it’s only ten minutes, that time can be useful to top up on knowledge or draft answer some past exam question. If you walk or get public transport to work then stick in your headphones and listen to an audiobook relating to your course or even recordings of your own voice talking about a course topic. Oftentimes it is what you learn in these short bursts of study that you remember the best. Social commitmentsYour life doesn’t have to just involve work and study, when planning the week ahead make sure to include time for other activities or hobbies, again this ties with not being too tied down by your work schedule if you can. If you have planned to go on a night out during the week make sure you have the most important work done beforehand to avoid trying to study with a bad hangover. CVKeep in mind that employers look favourably on students who work during their studies, it shows that you are motivated and hard-working. If you are looking for a job try and apply to ones that might tie in with your degree, this will give you many transferable skills that can be used to boost your CV.