The concept of work-life balance is a familiar one, but what about having to deal with work-school balance? Students pursuing MBA face distinct challenges, however, unique opportunities for growth while attempting to simultaneously maintain a full-time job.
MBA can be very demanding, with studies, class-related activities and networking efforts. We know that both areas are essential to your professional development and fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice either.
In fact, the skills you gain or sharpen in an MBA program can make you more efficient at your workplace, and the hands-on experience you gain from working full time can enhance your performance in school. As long as you tackle both the ventures with principled strategies, you can overcome potential challenges and achieve many fold success, both at the workplace and the classroom.
Earning while learning has its own perks. It would not just gain you the sought after degree, but will also help you climb up the corporate ladder with managerial knowledge and skill set. Pursuing MBA while maintaining full time job commitments will also increase your academic qualification and thus, the brand equity of CV.
Take these steps into consideration to keep your career on track while you get your business degree!
Best managers always set clear expectations
Before beginning with the program, meet with your boss to discuss your plans and get on the same page with him/her. Once you’ve conveyed and convinced that getting an MBA would be an asset for both you and the company, you can negotiate regarding flexible work arrangements like being able to work remotely one day a week while you’re on campus.
If you’re good at what you do, your boss will help you create an arrangement that works just in favor. Also, updating your boss quarterly about how you’re growing as a professional will go a long way.
Maintain healthy professional relations with your co-workers
It is as important to get support from your colleagues, as it is to be on the same page with your boss. After all, they’re going to be the ones taking on extra work when it is crunch time for you. Maintain a healthy communication with your co-workers and let them know in advance about blackout dates so they’ll be prepared ahead of time for it.
A correct study-plan works wonders. Schedule is the strategy!
Because you’re balancing school and a full-time job, it’s essential to have a plan of how you’re going to divide the time to ensure your performance doesn’t get compromised in either.
Keep track of responsibilities and priorities for both your job and MBA. Set up one calendar for important meetings and tasks from your job and another for assignments and tests. Designate specific study times and follow the same strictly. This is the way to finish your assignments quickly with quality.
Also, ensure that you do not complete MBA assignments during work and do not work while studying for MBA either.
With the availability of so many apps and tech devices, it’s become easier to multitask. For instance, you can study certain topics or schedule the work plan for the day while you commute. You can even send important e-mails or have a quick Skype meeting with a client, another way to benefit from technology is by creating a perfect study and work balance.
Also, you can record B-school lessons and listen to them on your headphones while taking a stroll.
What’s better than a part-time or online MBA for working professionals?
A part-time or online MBA is specifically dedicated to working professionals and is equally acknowledged and valued by employers. These have the same curriculum and value as traditional full-time MBAs, exactly what you need in terms of schedule and career goals.
From a flexibility perspective, online programs enable you to tackle the workload on your own schedule with the most convenient course delivery. An online MBA program is the most viable option if you have a strict 9-5 schedule.
Apply classroom lessons to work and vice versa!
MBA programs provide opportunities to participate in group projects that allow you to hone your leadership skills which is essential for you as a future manager.
Furthermore, the valuable insight you gain from your professors, mentors, and peers about your leadership abilities is advantageous and applicable to your full-time job. Your success in the business world will also depend on your ability to work as a team, so group assignments will help you better your collaboration skills.
Allow yourself to relax
Having a job while studying for MBA could be overwhelming at times. However, it is necessary to fit in a little time for yourself in your busy schedule. It helps in maintaining a psychological and emotional balance. So it’s alright to take a coffee or movie break once in a while. This will help unload and focus better on what you need to do next with your studies and work.
If you do not maintain the balance between work and school, you are likely to get agitated with both and your performance may deteriorate. It is important to have a life besides these two activities to maintain a healthy balance.
Besides, "socializing" can turn into "networking" quickly if you have the right attitude. Talking to new and old friends can give you fresh information for your MBA assignments or give you some insight on how to handle a task at work, ensuring overall development! Juggling work with school could be a major task but with the right strategy, you are sure to succeed at both. Good Luck!