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Work or study - which should I prioritize?

According to statistics, 71% of American students combine study and part-time work. At the same time, about 60% of this number work outside their specialty. Indeed, most job search resources place a number of vacancies in a separate category - "work for students," which shows the acute demand for such activities.

In this new piece, we talk about how to increase your income while studying at university, how to prioritize, and how a working student can keep up with the crazy pace.

Where do students get the idea of combining work and study?

In fact, the reasons for densifying work and study schedules during the student years are simple. Mostly it is a lack of money.

There are different ways to improve your income during your study in college

- to get an increased stipend;

- earning from scholarly publications;

- to find a part-time job or start your own business.

But these ways will show their effectiveness only after a certain period of time: first, it is necessary to participate in events, Olympiads and collect diplomas for half a year, or it is necessary to collect material for research, conduct it, describe it in an article and wait for the decision of the magazine on publication, or first, you need to make a business plan, gather a team of like-minded people, etc.

So what do you do if you need to improve your financial situation as soon as possible? You have to give up earning money from academic and scientific activities for a while and look for some other options.

You come to the same decision when faced with other reasons. For instance, students think about looking for a job when they want to gain additional experience, increase their circle of acquaintances, feel independent, etc.

Anyway, when the job is found you have to solve other problems. The key problems are: how to manage everything, how to combine study and work, and if you fail, what to choose?

Prioritize

As we noted above, the need to go to work for students is dictated by different reasons. That means different priorities will be set in different ways.

Combining work and study, in fact, is almost never a perfect harmony. Both of these activities require a lot of effort, time, and labor, so the combination is more like a pendulum when you have to invest in one or the other. But this pendulum can be balanced by turning for help to paper writing service, which will help with homework while you work and earn money.

This mode is very exhausting, and often something still suffers: work or study, and if neither, then most likely your sleep, health, and personal time.

Often we think that we can manage everything, all we have to do is try. Psychologists believe that this is a dangerous attitude. Here is what Eva Clayton, a psychologist at the Center for Psychological Counseling at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, says:

"The feeling that you don't have time for anything probably comes from the expectation that you can manage everything. It is such a common fantasy that you can manage everything, be good and successful at everything, make no mistakes, get upset, and lose nothing. Unfortunately, the real world is not like that most of the time. Do all the things that can facilitate this multi-tasking mode: make plans, to-do lists, try to rank tasks by importance and urgency, try to stay in the square of important and non-urgent tasks. Make time in your schedule for rest, sleep, and meals.

In addition to following these tips, it is worthwhile to decide in advance what you need to prioritize in the long run. If you are a student-budget student who is studying in a promising direction, it makes sense not to forget about the study: available scholarship and future prospects will compensate for the current difficult situation.

At the same time, say, in those situations where the university is more of a formality, and you need to live on something, preference will be given to work, in which you can get real skills, experience and, of course, earn money.

Working while studying full-time or part-time is there a difference?

The obvious answer that comes to mind ("Of course, there is a difference! What kind of question is that?") is not so relevant to reality.

Yes, there is a difference, and it lies in the scheduling of the academic schedule and the opportunities to devote oneself to work. However, taking into account the workload of correspondence students with independent study of subjects, they cannot be called "free": they will still have to catch up on academic material, only, if they work a full 8-9-hour day, they will probably have to do it at night.

Modern working conditions offer quite a variety of options - from a five-day workweek to schedules with night shifts, flexible schedules, part-time schedules, and remote format of work. Each of them allows for a different way to manage the time available to find the best combination option.

So sometimes one employer who is sympathetic to your education can let you go 1-2 days for full-time couples from a five-day workweek, while another, who does not want to see beyond his own nose, will not allow you to close a session at the correspondence department. It's all very individual.

Where to Work

We mentioned above that many job search resources have a separate section called «work for students».

This is true, but this category often includes hard, low-paying, part-time work: from working as a loader to a waiter, promoter, or courier.

Of course, all jobs are good, but with limited time, energy, and the need to learn, a student needs to optimize all his or her labor costs as much as possible. In this case, it is important to find the most suitable place of work: that, if possible, not to take much time for travel, that the salary was sufficient, acquaintances - useful, and the activity itself allowed to gain experience.

In this case, we advise you to look for work after all in the specialty.

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Looking for a job in your field is very useful because firstly, by the time you graduate you will have experience, and you will develop much needed soft skills (communication, stress resistance, the ability to quickly navigate in unfamiliar surroundings, etc.).

Secondly, you will be able to actually evaluate the level of your professional knowledge and the profession itself - do you really like it the way you imagined it in your first year at university?

Thirdly, more often than not such a job brings more income.

Don't be intimidated by requests for years of experience in job postings. Prove that you are willing to grow, develop, and learn new things it is always appreciated, and a forward-thinking employer will not miss out on such valuable talent. Pros and cons of working while studying

Pros and cons of working while studying

Challenges

The most important part of combining work and study is prioritizing. Combining excellent grades in college and building a career is unlikely to work without help from homework services. With an emphasis on a study it is difficult to achieve a high position and salary, and with an emphasis on work - a red diploma and real expertise in the profession. But the choice is for everyone's.

The degree of difficulty of combining depends on the conditions of work: somewhere you need to sit down for 8 hours 5 days a week, somewhere a floating schedule with a choice of shifts, in other places the schedule maybe 2 / 2 (two working days’ alternate with two days off). But there is a win-win option - work remotely. You can go freelance (independent search of customers and orders), or you can find an employer and work exclusively for him. Earnings on the Internet no longer seem as unrealistic as before, and the salary can exceed that of office workers.

Pros

Financial Independence. Every student dreams of gaining financial independence from their parents as early as possible, and of starting to provide for themselves. Some strive for this because of moral considerations or out of conscience, some for the sake of respect of others: few people provide for themselves from the first or second year. Among their peers, these students have a good reputation.

Pocket money. In the case where the full financial independence of the salary can not pull, the earnings become pocket money. So the student can afford more, improve the quality and conditions of his life, not use public transportation, and much more. Such money is not a lot, which means that you can earn it not much to the detriment of your studies.

Work experience. Not every professional experience is a more important criterion than a diploma, but, for example, programmers or designers can get a high-paying job with good working conditions without even mentioning their diploma. In such professions, it is important to competently perform a test assignment, provide a portfolio and talk about the previous places of work. To the student of such professions even it does not make sense to think about combining study and work: you need to immediately grasp the opportunity to get experience and work for the portfolio. By the way, the profession of a programmer is now one of the most paid, and in hiring, most often the diploma is optional.

Mastering a new profession. If a student works and studies in different directions, then after receiving a diploma, it is as if he will have two specialties: one in education, and the second in skills and experience. And if the professions can also be combined, then such a student can be a valuable employee in a particular position.

Work as a hobby. Part-time work can become a real hobby if a person really has a soul for it. Freelancing comes to mind at once: if you've always liked to draw or, for example, take pictures, then it's worth trying to make money on freelance exchanges. On photo stocks, you can sell painted images or photographs. They were made in a burst of inspiration and then began to make a profit. Isn't that a dream? In this case, the work can serve as a break from school, an emotional release, and a change of activity.

Minuses

Reduced academic performance. Working, you won't be able to study as well as not working: less attention to study, less concentration and focus, less effort. And when working with 5/2 and 2/2 schedules, you will have to miss classes, some subjects may not be closed by the session, and then there will be "tailgating", which will lead to withdrawal from the scholarship.

Reduced time off. Working and studying at the same time is an important skill - the ability to relax. The main difficulty will be not to drive yourself, not to earn depression or other types of emotional disorders.

Lack of a lot of free time. In addition to the ability to rest emotionally and fully, the ability to rest physically can be lost. Student years are called the most interesting and fun time of life, is it worth depriving yourself of parties with friends, heartfelt conversations, and student activities? Free time may not be enough for hobbies, meetings with relatives and old friends, trips to cities of your country and trips abroad.

Little income. The easiest way to avoid the above problems is to work as a freelancer. But here another detail appears - it is literally impossible to earn really much at first. In the first few years, freelance work will not be able to provide for a person or bring him to a new level of quality of life.

Distraction from the main specialty. For some professions, such as those in the exact or natural sciences, working "on the side" can have a bad effect on one's studies. For a mathematician or chemist, cold sales experience (call centers, sales departments, and so on) is probably not helpful. Representatives of such faculties should either devote all their time and energy to their studies or work part-time in departments or in their specialty (lab assistant, tutor, teacher).

Instead of a conclusion, or time management for the working student

If you are serious about starting to work in parallel with your university studies, whether this decision is dictated by desire or necessity, it is worthwhile to start planning your schedule rigorously right away.

You can make a schedule and follow it clearly. Repetitive office hours and scheduled classes usually allow for this.

Make to-do lists more often, use notes on your phone, a calendar, a paper planner. It's important not to forget anything and to get everything done now.

Be sure to leave time for your basic needs. These are mainly eating and sleeping. Don't think that anything on this list can be sacrificed without risking productivity - it's not.

Don't forget to take small breaks during the day to rest, as well as personal time. Otherwise, you won't be able to keep up with this stressful "home-university-work-home" mode for long.