Karōshi: that word should really cause jitters for anyone that has a thing for drudgery and being too obsessed with work. It simply means; death from overwork. Though this may not so much be a concern for many of us, we might have at one point or the other, used these words; “the exams are coming up! I’m dead!” If you have, then chances are that you are caught in the tough work-study balance which is slowly becoming the norm.
The ruffling sound of pages from your text books is particularly one that you don’t want to hear in the evening after a long day’s work. However, the rather dizzying pace of change and the shift, evolution of industries, and transformations (not forgetting the choking economy) are just some of the reasons that have compelled many to go back and upgrade their skills set. The need to engage in part-time studies has also been occasioned by the response to changes in their current roles or even a total shift of careers. This has thus evoked the need to achieve and manage the work and study balancing act.
First, I totally understand if you occasionally have a stifle an overwhelming urge to bust into your boss’s office and cry out for some non-traditional arrangement to suit your studies. Well, this may be possible in some organizations but, let’s face it, if your studies are not company sponsored, it’s a tough call. But it’s worth a shot anyway. If you can successfully convince the management that it is in the organization’s interest that you pursue those studies, you have one foot in the door to getting flexible hours. Therefore, you need to craft a strategy if you are to achieve this balancing act.
Second, with an intricate understanding of your work and the organization as a whole, you should always seek to link your school projects with situations at work. You could for instance, use your organization for assignments or projects that require a sample organization. This will certainly be welcoming to the organization as they could greatly benefit from some fresh insights and ideas. What’s more, the management is constantly bemoaning the unprepared nature of fresh recruits in handling tasks. You may also make use of some unexpected downtime or lull within to catch up on your school projects.
Third, make the most of your free time; you don’t want to shoot yourself in the leg here. You may have to cut on your time consuming trips to the barber’s or hair consultant. The time that you save up collectively can instead keep you from being on the edge and constantly being attacked by school deadlines.
A tough balance indeed, but with numerous benefits. Studying and working at the same time can not only mean great financial benefits, but also contribute towards a greater workplace insight. You get to practice what you learn and therefore become more effective. Further, that you have bothered to up your skills and consequently your effectiveness is a pretty impressive thing to do – especially in the eyes of your boss’s (hoping you don’t have the insecure type).
Go for it!