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It’s a juggling act: How to balance work and postgraduate study. Congratulations! You’ve completed your bachelor’s degree. 

Now you’re looking ahead and debating whether you should join the workforce and start earning a salary or enhance your career even further with a postgraduate degree. You have a third option: you can do both.

Making decisions about your future is never easy, but here’s a little advice to help you juggle the two so you can enjoy both your job and your studies.

  1. Time management

Master the art of organisation. With responsibilities and commitments from both sides, it’s key that you plan ahead and get organised. Create a detailed schedule that helps you find the balance between your work obligations, academic studies and personal life.

It’s inevitable that you’ll need to make some sacrifices, but finding time for a run is just as important for your overall wellbeing, as spending time on an assignment. It’s essential to be realistic about the time you have available, so you can work ahead of your deadlines. This gives you a little more time if you have an unexpected crisis at work or in your personal life.

  1. Communication

Honesty really is the best policy. Keep both your boss and professors updated about any situation that arises. If you find that the workload is too great – on either side – then communicate your concerns and find a workable solution. Knowing about your commitments from the outset means that everyone should be more understanding of your situation and perhaps more flexible about deadlines.

Remember that you aren’t alone in your choice to study and work. Embrace your postgrad community and use this support network to discuss challenges and solutions. Ask for help when you need it.

  1. Micro tasks

The amount of work on your plate might feel insurmountable but it’s manageable (especially at the end of a long work day) if you divide it into bite-size pieces. When you regularly tick these smaller jobs off your list, you feel that you are making headway. Remember to celebrate these achievements, so you’re motivated to continue.

There are only a certain number of hours in a day, which is why discipline is key. Doing a lot of work more often is easier than trying to do it all the night before a deadline. With regular progress you won’t run the risk of falling behind on your commitments.

  1. Motivation

After a hard day it can be challenging to know that you still have a few hours of study ahead of you. Take a moment to remind yourself why you’re doing this and find the motivation to continue. However, quality study time is more important than quantity, so if your tiredness is going to impact your ability to study, be flexible and find another time to catch up on missed work.

Remember your end goal and that the pressure you are putting yourself under now isn’t permanent. Working and studying can be financially and professionally beneficial in the long run and it is a huge undertaking, but when you’re doing something you’re genuinely interested in, you’ll find the motivation.

From honours to doctorates, Nelson Mandela University offers quality and accredited postgraduate qualifications that enable you to build on your success and accelerate your career advancement.

Enrol for a postgraduate programme today by contacting us for more information or by visiting our website.

Posted on 13 December 2022 11:59:47

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