Is it possible to combine work and study?
At first glance, this is not easy. But studying and building a career is a common practice for many. About 65% of Russian senior students have work experience. Moreover, it is not always relevant to the chosen specialty – sometimes a stable income is more important.
It is not at all necessary to give up on training if you have already received a profession. A survey among 70,000 developers on the Stack Overflow website showed that 38% of respondents who master programming have a college degree. Of course, going to school after 30 or 40 can be scary, but there are success stories in adulthood. For example, the author of the book “Choice. On the freedom and inner strength of man” Edith Eva Eger trained as a psychologist and began private practice after 50 years. Here is what she writes about this:
I confess to the director that I’m going to get a degree in psychology. I declare my dream out loud, but immediately share my doubts:
“I don’t know… by the time I complete my education, I will be 50.
You will be 50 anyway.
People are also afraid of combining because they run the risk of running out of time – for family, hobbies, normal sleep. It seems that when you take on both study and work, success cannot be achieved either there or there. In fact, it is possible to cope with difficulties if you approach the organization of this difficult period of life wisely.
It is easier to combine work and study when you are on fire with a new business. In order not to get lost among the many options, take a look at the Yandex Practicum online education service. Here you can learn programming, data analysis, design, or choose another relevant IT direction. Training takes place in simulators and simulators that immerse you in real practical tasks. You can do it at any convenient time – for example, in the evening or in the morning, before work. A large escort team will help you not to go astray. Mentors, curators and teachers are always ready to answer questions and share their experience. Don’t know where to start? In Yandex Practicum , you can take a free introductory part of those courses that you liked the most.
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How to combine work and study
1. Arrange flexible hours at your school
If you are a student, try switching to an individual schedule for attending classes or even transfer from full-time to part-time. The management of the university can meet halfway when you are already working in your specialty.
Some online schools and courses also allow you to study on an individual schedule. You will independently master the material at a convenient time and hand over homework for verification by the curator. This option will require more discipline, but you can practice at any time. For example, in the early morning while the family is sleeping, or during the lunch break at work.
2. Share your plans with your employer
This advice is relevant if you want to upgrade your skills. In this case, the employer, most likely, will not interfere. Warn him that you will be busy at the courses or at the university on a certain day. Be more proactive – for example, take on more tasks during periods when there is no high study load.
If you are looking for an opportunity to leave the company or completely retrain, focus on the emotional “compass” of the relationship with the leadership. In a team with an environmentally friendly atmosphere, your decision will most likely not be welcome. But if you continue to work responsibly and with involvement, perhaps they will meet you halfway in matters of time off and vacations.
3. Make a realistic schedule
A clear plan will help you not to break deadlines and find time for rest. But it is important to remember that people are very bad at predicting the time it takes to complete tasks. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, in his book Think Slowly… Decide Fast, lists two reasons. First, it is difficult for a person to objectively assess how much time was spent on similar tasks in the past. Secondly, when making a plan, he does not take into account the difficulties that slow down the work.
For correct planning, you need not only to estimate the deadlines in your head, but also measure how many hours it takes to complete tasks. Keep in mind that you cannot work non-stop – there will always be breaks to pour tea, check mail or exchange a few words with colleagues.
Manager of HR-tech-products “Yandex Practicum”.
Each person has their own unique circumstances that determine their schedule of work and study. The main thing is a systematic approach, not speed. We recommend that students set aside 10-15 hours per week for study and regular rest. Some courses last more than half a year, and you can burn out if you drive too fast. Or drown in academic leave and abandon your studies.
Try different planning options to find the one that works for you. For example, there is a popular method 1–3–5. Allocate up to nine tasks each day and complete them in order of importance. One is the main one, let’s say prepare a quarterly report at work. Three are less important: put together a presentation of an educational project, hold a meeting with a client, listen to a lecture. And five more – little things that you need to do if possible: fill out the duty schedule, send a letter, and so on.
You can make energy lists – distribute tasks according to what efforts are needed to complete them. Indeed, sometimes a small task requires more moral resources than a voluminous one. When you feel full of energy, take on the most difficult things.
4. Ask for help from loved ones
Tell your family about your goals and discuss how to achieve them together. For example, a partner can temporarily take over some of your household chores like cleaning or cooking. Sometimes the help of elders does not hurt either – grandparents can take their grandchildren to classes or walk the dog if they live near you.
Planning will also help delegate responsibilities. For example, in order not to keep household tasks in your head, you can make a schedule and write down who is responsible for what. Try to consider each other’s preferences. If someone in the household hates cleaning floors, offer an equivalent alternative. For example, vacuuming or cleaning plumbing. Children can also be involved in taking care of the home. A small child is able to put toys behind himself, and a teenager is able to take out the trash and clean up after the pet.
Don’t forget to spend time with your family. Your personal life is what helps you recharge and find the energy to combine work and study. For example, set aside one or two evenings a week that you are guaranteed to devote to your family. Make a list of interesting things to do and invite loved ones to choose leisure activities together.
5. Don’t Multitask
You have to accept the fact that you can’t do everything. Multitasking is an illusion, but in reality, the brain simply switches from one job to another. This increases the likelihood of making a mistake. You may not notice this when you listen to music while walking or do the cleaning while the TV is on. But the more concentration the tasks require, the stronger the negative effect of trying to combine them can be. Therefore, it is important to prioritize – for study and work should be allotted time.
Do things in sequence. If you find yourself having a hard time concentrating, use time management techniques. One of the most famous is Pomodoro. It assumes that you work in sessions of 25 minutes, and then take 5-minute breaks. After four such segments, the rest period can be increased to half an hour.
Community manager of the Yandex Practicum backend faculty.
Let your family know that you have set a timer and try to spend all the time on classes. Do not get distracted, do not get up from the table, do not drink tea. Try to negotiate with yourself. For example, decide that you work out for an hour in the morning, and then treat yourself to something tasty and go to work. It is important to thank yourself and reward yourself for actions that are going hard.
6. Get rid of activities that steal time
Check how much you spend on social networks: it is possible that instead of the expected 15 minutes, it will turn out to be 2-3 hours. Learn to say “no” to unnecessary things. For example, gently say no to a colleague who constantly asks you for help but disappears when he needs to help you out. Or turn off the sound in the entrance chat, where unfamiliar people have been discussing minor problems for several hours.
Some studies show that office workers work an average of less than three hours a day. Try for a few days to write down what you spend time on and analyze the results. It is possible that it is not necessary to do some things – for example, connect to that part of the calls where your active participation is not required.
If you find it hard to say no to other people, offer an alternative. For example, if your boss asked you to join an important project, take only the part of the work that you definitely have time to complete. And reschedule a meeting with a friend for a time when you are less loaded – for example, pass exams or prepare a quarterly report.
If you want to save time, choose distance learning. Yandex Practicum students make their own schedule to easily combine work and study. You can also choose the duration of the courses. For example, it takes 4 months to become a junior tester from scratch, and 6 months to become a data analyst . If you want to fully immerse yourself in learning, choose advanced courses – for example, you can learn to become a data scientist or a Python developer . After successful graduation, the Yandex Practicum career center will help you prepare for interviews. Experienced recruiters will check the resume and teach you how to respond to vacancies correctly.
If you don’t know what profession to choose, take a career guidance course “Practicum”. It will help you understand how the IT industry works and what kind of specialists are in demand there.
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7. Plan your vacation
Do not try to fill the entire diary with only work and study – you are a living person who sometimes needs to relax. Plan activities that bring you pleasure: meet up with friends or read a book. Include activities in your routine that do not require increased concentration. For example, go for a short walk in the middle of the day, for 20-30 minutes, without music or podcasts.
The authors of the book Burnout, Emily and Amelia Nagoski, argue that a person should dedicate about 10 hours a day to rest. This time includes sleep, physical activity, communication with loved ones and a quiet meal – on the run or watching TV does not count. It’s also important to set aside at least half an hour for something personal: morning rituals, chats with friends, and anything else that brings you pleasure.
Try to find an activity that does not overload your brain. It can be a sport, a walk in the fresh air. It is important to give time to rest the nervous system. If you feel anxiety or tension in your body, take a break from your study for five minutes, breathe and imagine how your body relaxes with inhalation and exhalation. Eliminate all pathogens an hour before bedtime – do not stick to the phone and do not watch TV shows.
8. Try to move more
When school and work responsibilities pile up, it’s easy to forget about exercise. This can lead to a deterioration in well-being, which over time will affect productivity. Exercise affects the so-called plasticity of the brain – they stimulate the growth of new neural connections between cells. If your busy schedule does not allow you to go to the gym, work out at home. You can search for yoga, fitness, dance cardio programs. Many do not require equipment, and you can train at a convenient time.
What kind of work can be combined with study
By and large – any. Freelancing is suitable for university students – write articles or make up websites to order. If you are confident in your knowledge of academic subjects, consider tutoring. The first students can be found among acquaintances who have children in school. And if you need hourly employment, a vacancy for a courier or a waiter is suitable.
It is easier for specialists to immediately choose courses or schools, focusing on the work schedule. Remote work will greatly help in saving time – you won’t have to spend precious hours on the road. If the company provides such an opportunity, it is worth using it at least partially. For example, work from home on the days of extra classes, and come to the office for important meetings and meetings. If it is difficult to combine full-time work with study, consider part-time work or a reduction in the rate. But it is better to exclude night shifts altogether – it is important to get enough sleep before classes, otherwise the effect of them will tend to zero.