House of Math blog post authorAstrid Heimsjø · 

How to Balance Being a Student and an Employee

Young barista making coffee

Having a job in addition to being a student is perfect if you want extra income as well as work experience. However, there is no secret that combining those two can be challenging, especially when the workload at school is heavy. This article will provide you with a few insights on how to deal with the combination of work and school!

Work Efficiently

Make sure you are being effective when you are studying. Most students often find themselves feeling like they haven't accomplished much even though they have been studying for hours. Many of us get easily distracted while studying, and combined with not defining plans for our study sessions, it leads to ineffectiveness. Read about techniques for avoiding distractions here. If you figure out in what ways you study most efficiently, you will save a lot of time! Define goals for yourself and create a plan for how you will accomplish them. Decide what parts of the curriculum you want to finish each month, week, and each study session. Reflect on what makes you focused and distracted: does the company of others affect your studying positively or negatively? How often do you need breaks to make sure you stay focused? Do you prefer studying in quiet surroundings? By reflecting on this while also concretizing your study schedule, it is likely that you will study more efficiently, which will give more time for other activities – like working!

Set Healthy Boundaries

As mentioned, making sure your studies don´t take up more time than necessary is important to balance your everyday life. For many of us, however, it will be even more important to not let our studies be affected by work. After all, you study to gain knowledge, and if your job prevents you from that, it might not be worth it. An important piece of advice for students with jobs is to set clear boundaries in the workplace. Figure out how much time you realistically have for working, and be open about this already at the job interview. Also, remember that you have certain rights as an employee, and you are not supposed to work more than what is stated in your contract. Inform your employer on when you have final exams or stressful periods at school as early as possible. Many employers that hire students are aware that students' work capacity varies throughout the semester and try to take that into account. For many students, adjusting the workload to their studies works well, such as increasing the amount of work during the holidays and reducing it during exam seasons. Other students find it best to work only during summer and focus exclusively on their studies during the rest of the year. Think through what would suit your needs and everyday life prior to applying for jobs, and be open about your level of capacity!

Balance is Important

Work experience will prepare you for life when you finish studying. Balancing studies and work is a good way to get better at prioritizing and using your time efficiently. A part time job will be a good addition to your CV, and if the job is within a field you want to get into in the future, you get an even bigger advantage. Check out the web pages of companies you are interested in (here’s ours)!. There are many benefits of having a job while being a student, but don't forget that spare time and a social life is important to perform well in both those areas. Finding a balance is important in many aspects of life, and this absolutely applies for combining working and studying!