I have recently decided to go back to part time education while working a full-time job. This wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I’ve always had a mental block regarding Academic study and felt like secondary school was a waste of time. (I don’t do well being told what to do)
I didn’t follow the typical path of others and decided against University and opted instead to start working straight away, I started out in Retail, moved on to Childcare and then found the wonderful world of Recruitment.
I am a firm believer that you learn by doing and after three and a bit years in Recruitment I can confidently say, I now know what I’m doing. This then got me thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to have some form of qualification in an area that I am working and interested in?
What to study and where to do it?
A lot of research and planning and the power of the internet!!! I knew I wanted to continue to be able to help people find their perfect job and to be able to give them the best advise so I chose to study a Diploma in HR management.
There are so many options out there now. Do I do an online course? - Will I actually do the work? Do a condensed course? – Would I realistically learn anything in such a short space of time? After work? – This was by far the most doable, I work in the City Centre and the reputable course providers are all in town. I attended every open day with my list of questions and researched each college, checked their reviews and spoke to past and current students.
I had to ensure I could fully commit to a course and also ensure my work standard wouldn’t slip and that I could still have a life.
09:00 – 17:00 Mon – Fri is work time! I have a strict work schedule that gives me the most out of my day. I have also found ways to incorporate what I have learned into my daily tasks which has been really beneficial.
I have set myself a study plan which I have had to tweak to get it right. At the beginning I had myself doing 2 hours college work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with four hours on a Saturday plus 4 hours physically in college on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you can find anyone who is able to stick to that and also still manage their life outside of work and study….. please give them an award as this is not realistic. I have now reduced this to a more manageable schedule. I set myself a time frame and if I go over that time, I stop. Nothing is that important that it can’t be revisited.
Put your phone away!!! When I am in study mode, my phone is in airplane mode and in a different room. The amount of time that I would waste scrolling through social media, texting, voice messaging, watching videos if my phone was beside me. My dedicated study time would not be productive, and I would come away frustrated and annoyed with myself. If someone needs to contact you that badly, they will get you somehow. Turn your email notifications off. This is something I also implement in work. If I had my notifications on, I would react to every single “ding” and the task at hand would suffer. Again – if somebody needs you that badly, they will get you.
Ask for help
If you are working in an industry that relates to your study, use the resources that are on hand and tap into the experience and knowledge of your colleagues. They don’t know it yet, but my colleagues are going to be my practice audience for my presentations that are due at the end of the month. Listen to their feedback and take on board any advise that they will give you.
I am lucky that I am surrounded by an extremely supportive team. It took me 12 years to upskill, but so far so good.
If you are considering going back to part time study, but don’t feel you will get the same support from work as I am receiving, why don’t you consider a change?
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