We all know how much of an expense good education can be.  This is why most of us opt to work whilst in our college years.  It’s difficult, but this experience molds us into better and more industrious people.  We learn how to multitask to ensure that not only will we be effective in school, but also at work.  And as most of us know, the biggest challenge in being a working student is time management.

Again, it’s not easy but it’s doable. Here’s how:

Consider an online job

Back when we were in college, my friends and I worked as part of service crews in several different dining establishments.  It was quick cash, and the work hours were very flexible.  With the dawn of technological innovations, you can have the same perks while saving even more time and money.  You won’t be burdened by the hassle of traffic and travel expense to your work.  And a lot of online gigs have very flexible hours, as well as set weekly deadlines, instead of daily.  This allows you a little more control of your time.  And you have a myriad of jobs to choose from.  Customer care representative, transcription, writing, proofing, editing, blogging, telemarketing, and virtual assistant jobs are only a few of the paid gigs on the Internet.  All you need is a stable Internet connection, a computer or laptop to use for work, and a free VoIP provider (more info) to communicate with your employer.  Just be wary of scams.

Be open with your manager

You don’t have to tell the guy your entire life story; you just have to explain to him your situation.  Tell him that you’re a student and submit your class schedule to him.  That way, you can work out an arrangement for your work hours.  Furthermore, there will be days wherein you’ll have to attend makeup classes, field work, and other school activities.  Being open about it with your manager and informing him as early as possible increases the chance for you to be excused from work.

Better early than on time

Remember that the road on the way to work can spiral down in an instant.  Try to be at least 10 minutes early, at most 30 minutes early.  This is good training for you because no professor or even employer would want a regularly tardy student or employee.  Furthermore, this gives you ample time to prepare for school or work.  Maybe you can have a quick rest, so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.  Or even read and review your lessons so you don’t have to spend as much time on them at home.  The idea is for you to save as much time as possible, so you can have time for recreation and sleep.  Both are very important.  You don’t want to focus all your energy and time in just work and school.  You would burnout before the semester ends.  Trust me.

Get your head in class

I have to admit, more often than not, it’s difficult to get your head into the discussion even if you’re physically there.  In the beginning, your mind would seem to reject any information because of exhaustion from working and studying.  It takes some getting used to; but with the right amount of caffeine and making the habit of active listening in class, you’ll be alright.  Remember, the more you participate and understand in class, the less reviewing you’ll need.  That means more time for spending time with friends and family, and more importantly, sleep.

The author juggles being a wife to an engineer and a mother to a witty toddler. In her spare time, she involves herself in getting the word out about office phone systems. Find Monique on Google+.

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