The Pros And Cons Of Working And Studying At The Same Time
While education is a priceless weapon in any man’s arsenal, many of us cannot afford to get it. You might be a university student struggling with your fees, or you just want to support your parents by contributing the little you can to your family finances while you still study.
According to research, 54% of high school students want to work and study, while over 78% of university students wish they could study and work at the same time.
Hence, If you are seeking to find out the disadvantages, as well as the advantages of working and studying, I am glad to inform you that you have indeed landed on the right article.
For special reasons, I am going to start with the advantages of working while you study, then I will move on to the disadvantages and also recommend ways to balance work and study effectively.
1. Financial Security
This is one of the reasons you went to school in the first place. You want a life with financial security where you can afford to get good things for yourself and support your parents in their prime.
Hence, working while studying can provide job security at an early stage. Financial Security includes providing for yourself, paying your bills and if possible contributing to your fees or accommodation. This is one of the reasons why working while you study might not be such a bad idea.
2. Work Experience
This is an underrated aspect of the curriculum. Real work experience is very essential to every student who intends to work in the corporate world. The truth is that nobody will teach you is how to manage your finances, or keep track of your bills.
In school, most of these things are learnt by working in the real world. And what is more than that extra experience on your resume, it could even set you apart from your peers in the labour market.
Do not get me wrong. Working in a coffee shop or a cyber café is still a work experience, in fact, adding it to your resume gives employers a good impression of humility and hard work.
3. Sense Of Independence
You will agree with me that earning your own money creates a sense of independence in you. The single thought that you could actually afford to get things for yourself, makes you feel independent and responsible for yourself in a way that nothing else can.
This is a big step to becoming an adult who is capable of handling his/her problems, and also providing for your families. You probably do not like asking your parents for little things like new clothes, cell phones, shoes, bags e.t.c.
This is one of the reasons why working and studying might not be such a bad step. If you have spare time in between lectures, or you have some free days in the week, why not apply for a job as a bartender or a janitor, that financial security the paycheck provides at the end of every month, creates that sense of independence.
4. Time Management
The importance of time management in the real world cannot be overemphasized. What better way to learn how to manage your time, than effectively juggling school and work.
Time management is an essential skill that leaves an impression of maturity and responsibility. Your ability to decide on what is more important at a particular time, plan and schedule properly, builds you for the real world experience after graduation.
5. Increased Marketing Skills
Working while you study could actually increase your marketing skills. This is a very important skill for people who want to work as sales representatives, insurance marketers, or any job that requires the marketing of any product at all.
This is one of the major advantages of working while you study because it builds your ability to convince customers to patronize your services or product. If you are seeking to work while you study for the sake of honing your marketing dexterity, then it might not be a bad idea at all.
I would also encourage you to look for jobs that involves selling a product, or marketing a particular service. This will help put you on the right track to mastering the art of marketing.
6. Communication/Decision-making skills
Informal education is equally as important as formal education because, in the real world, informal education will help you interact with your colleagues, friends, strangers and communication with customers.
Students tend to learn a lot by working while studying, and one of them is a higher class communication skill and a superior decision-making ability. A bartender’s interactions with different kinds of people every day, make him a better communicator than a typical lawyer, a study has found.
So if you are an introvert, and you are searching for a means to communicate better with strangers, working and studying are a good combination for you as well.
At times, students end up getting a job through a contact they got while they were working in school. This is very common especially when you work in an establishment that is closely related to your field of study.
In this case, working while you study could help you in a big way, where job opportunities are quite low.
Once you meet a colleague that you feel has the right connections and can guide you on the right career track, do not hesitate to establish a solid relationship. Form a good link with that person because you never know, you just might need that connection someday.
Even though you might be seeking to work because of the money involved, it is important to also pay close attention to sorting out jobs that could be beneficial in relation to your field of study.
This will help you grow as an individual in skill and knowledge. Just like they say ( Money isn’t everything)
Disadvantages Of Working While You Study
Now that I have told you the advantages of working while you study, it is now time to list out the cons of getting a job as a student.
Everything has a good side and a bad side, and this is no exception. It is left to us to decide whether the good outweighs the bad. Only then shall we go ahead with whatever it is we plan to do in life.
With all that said, here are the disadvantages of working while you study:
1. It Hogs Your Time
Even though working while you study might seem like a great option, these two activities are both very demanding. It would take someone with exceptional time management skills to manage his/her time effectively and balance the two activities.
If you are planning on taking evening shifts, this could negatively affect your study pattern and could even lead to low grades, especially if you are a “below-average” student.
In the same vein, if you also decide to take morning shifts, you might miss a couple of lectures, go late sometimes, or you could be too tired by the time you get off a long shift with no time to sleep.
2. It Could Lead to Bad Grades
I mentioned this earlier, however, it is important that I lay a little emphasis on the possibility of getting a bad result as a result of working while you study. This could be due to the demanding nature of some employers or productivity and consistency expected from you no matter the season.
This may also be required when you are writing exams, or when you have to study for a quiz or an exam. This would definitely have a negative effect on your grades no matter how intelligent you are especially if you do not know what you are doing.
If you are a university student, lecture attendance is probably a criteria to write the course exam, but juggling school and work might jeopardize your perfect attendance and could prevent you from taking multiple exams.
As a student, it is not news that lecturers are fond of pop quizzes and this could count in your general result. So, attendance is very crucial if you plan not to repeat any course. If you are planning to work while you study, it is important you pay attention to the real reason you went to school, and that is to get good grades and earn a degree.
I will tell you this from experience, working while you study is exhausting. It is probably one of the most exhausting activities you can ever try to balance. I am aware of two friends who fell sick as a result of the stress that came from working and studying.
My advice – if you have a medical condition that makes you susceptible to illnesses as a result of stress, do not attempt to work and study at the same time.
HOW TO BALANCE WORK AND STUDY
Earlier in this article, I promised to introduce you to simple ways you can balance work and study, and avoid all the bad grades and exhaustion.
Firstly, you must decide on the type of job you want to do. Typical jobs for university undergraduates include:
- Sales representatives
- Shop attendant
- Office typist
These are jobs that will give you at least 16 hours of personal time to study and do school stuff. You can consider arranging with the manager or employer about days you will be available or unavailable. This will help you to plan a time table that you can follow effectively.
1. Maximize Study Time
If you want to effectively balance school and work, you must learn to maximize the little hours you have to do school things like: study, attend classes, night classes and group study.
Since you have decided to walk the road of a responsible youth, you must let go of night parties, unnecessary outings with friends e.t.c. In order to make this work, you must maximize the time you have to study.
2. Plan A Schedule
In order to balance work and school, you must take time to plan your schedule and eat foods that are beneficial to your brain. Ask yourself the following questions.
- When do I have to be at work?
- What time should I be studying?
- Who or what are my distractors? Love, friendship, family?
- What are the implications of examination malpractice?
These questions could help you stay on track and make you have the time to study & still, make time for your shift.
You can also consider working on weekends instead of weekdays. I know a friend who works at a Cinema during the weekends, but goes to school during the week and has successfully balanced the two activities.
Hence, try to speak to your employer about working on weekends only if this will give you enough time to cover up school things during the week.
About 52% of students can actually afford to pay their fees, the rest cannot afford to pay theirs and wish there was a way to work and study at the same time.
Although, the Nigerian university curriculum hardly gives any space for job and study, therefore, it makes things difficult for students who can’t actually afford to pay their fees.
There is also a way around this as well. It is typical for students to just sit at home and enjoy a long vacation. However, I will urge you not to do the same. Instead, you should make use of the holiday to search for jobs around your area that will at least give you enough money to start your new session on a soft ground.
While you are at this, it is also important to be familiar with the disadvantages that might arise as a result of mixing work and study.
If you follow the tips I laid down above, you will be able to balance the two activities effectively.
Remember, your primary goal in school is to get a good grade, earn a degree and be useful to society. Nothing is more important than these three goals, do not jeopardize your education for anything or anyone.
Good luck to you as you combine working and studying!