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How do I manage my college and work the best?

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I’m a full time student (16credz) , I am looking to get a job but worried I won’t be able to handle the two. Any suggestions ? #work #jobs #social-work

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Ken’s Answer

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The first step is to determine that you are on the right career track, as this will give more meaning to your work and make it easier to balance everything as you have a focus. I will give you tips on that and on balancing your life during your education/career journey and after that have helped many from the experiences of those who have done it.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are tips on how to balance your life: ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective ## ## http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html ## ## http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/ ##
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Chelsey’s Answer

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Hi Alpha,

Working full time and going to school full time is a balancing act - I know from experience! Though this is difficult and requires great time management, your dedication and commitment to excelling at both will prepare you for your full time career and really enhance your work ethic.

What worked for me is finding a job that you are passionate about or enjoy! I worked at a clothing store during college and enjoyed meeting customers and becoming friends with my coworkers. The discount was awesome as well!

Stick to a schedule and make time to study. This is very important. Though studying or completing homework may be the last thing you want to do after working, this is a priority and you need to map out time for this. Set your schedule at the beginning of the week and try your best to stick to it.

I worked full time to pay my way through school, and I knew that I was not going to slack off during class or on school work because of how hard I was working to make it happen. Stay driven, set goals, and know that it will pay off.

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Ben’s Answer

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Hi Alpha,

I was able to manage both school and a job by doing the following:

  • Planning out my week through a schedule
  • Not overloading on one or the other
  • Making sure not to work or study too late
  • Getting a good night rest
  • Working a job and or taking classes you are really interested in. This makes it mentally less strenuous.
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