Contributed by Elle K.
With everything you have to handle, going back to school might seem like an impossible dream. While there is little question about the potential upside—more money, advancement and knowledge—the question is how can you juggle working full time, family (if you have one) and other responsibilities? Here is how I did it.
Be clear about your needs. The best part about going back to school these days is there are many options. So, the first question I asked myself was what form of school would fit best for my lifestyle? Night classes? Weekend classes? Online degrees? I opted for an online, continuing education program that included an on-premise class once a week because it allowed me the kind of flexibility I needed.
Be open with your boss. Let your boss know upfront that you are planning to go back to school and emphasize how doing so will benefit the company. Then make a request to leave early if you need or work from home and include a plan of how you will get your work done. I found that my employer was quite accommodating and I was able to negotiate a four-day workweek. Of course, I made sure I did all that was required of me so my department output was not compromised.
Your tuition fees. Check with your Human Resources Department. Many companies help to pay for a portion of educational expenses.
Use work situations for class projects. Whenever possible, use a project you are working on at work as your homework. I had to learn a bit about accounting and saving costs. I was able to overhaul a budget at my job and save the company some money. Both my professor and boss were happy.
How do you balance work and school? We invite you to share your ideas in the box below.