Taking online classes is a great way to help yourself advance in your career while you learn something new.
But there’s also the fact that life moves faster than ever, which means you can easily become overwhelmed juggling classes, work, friends and any other obligations you have in your life. Do yourself a favor and learn how to find and maintain balance while enrolled in online courses to jumpstart your career.
Let Your Company Know You’re Taking Online Classes
If you haven’t already, let your boss know you’re taking online courses or plan on doing so soon. Not only is your employer sure to appreciate the fact that you’re expanding your educational horizons to become better at your job, they can help you with your workload as well. Rather than assigning you an especially demanding project, you can instead fulfill a less demanding role while still contributing. Something else to think about is the fact that your employer might offer to pay for your education.
Online Courses Might Not Be As Easy As You Think
Besides their overall convenience, another reason you might take an online class is that you could be under the impression that they’re easier than traditional on-campus courses. Know that this isn’t always the case. While you’ll be able to learn on your own time, that doesn’t mean you’ll have fewer assignments to complete. Do yourself a favor and research courses you’re thinking of taking and find out just how much work you’ll be expected to do and how much energy you’ll need to put in on a regular basis.
Make Sure You Have the Technology Necessary to Succeed at the Course
One of the great things about on-campus classes is being able to use the school’s computers, labs, libraries and other such technology. With distance learning classes, you might have to procure such materials on your own. As you research classes to take, make sure you have fast internet so you can get all your studying, reading and assignments done and done on time. Additionally, check to see if you need certain software, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Excel, as well as which version you’ll need.
Learn How to Manage Your Time
Before you become overwhelmed with class and work assignments, go ahead and make a rough schedule for yourself with specific blocks of devoted time. It’s best to get ahead of disasters, and setting aside specific hours of the day to get work done is better than flying by the seat of your pants. Know that you can adjust your schedule over time as you get into a rhythm, just make sure you don’t procrastinate on getting work done for school or your job. In fact, it’s a good idea to change deadlines to a few days before work is actually due to give yourself a bit of a buffer.
Put What You Learn to Good Use
You don’t have to wait until you’re finished with your online classes to use the knowledge you gain. Look for opportunities to put your new skills to the test at work so you’ll know for a fact whether you’re taking the right classes and if what you’re learning is helping you to be better at your job. On the flipside, you can also use what you learn at work in your classes to see if they help you there as well. Both strategies can assist you in various facets of your life and help you to accelerate your career and personal life.
Don’t Forget to Take Some Downtime
You don’t want to run the risk of spreading yourself too thin or of scheduling yourself into a corner. Leave yourself some time to relax and not have to worry about class or work. Putting too much on your plate puts you at risk of burning out, which will negatively impact your performance at work as well as in school. It’s vital to tend to self-care and take out time to engage in hobbies and interests outside of work and school.
There’s a definite learning curve involved with balancing out work with taking online classes. Put these tips to good use and you’re sure to make the most of your education while being a star player in the workplace.