4 Best Practices for Making Time in Your Schedule for a Job

By Chelsea Jackson on May 15, 2017

Let’s be honest for a minute: college is difficult. Going to school as a full-time student, heck even as a part-time student, and trying to work a steady job can seem nearly impossible.

But remember there are some benefits and downfalls to working and going to school simultaneously. After all, going to work when all you can think about is that research paper that you’ve been procrastinating since syllabus week can be a bit distracting, to say the least.

Although working during your college years can require some calibration in your normal lifestyle, finding a source of income can help you prevent the inevitable: student loan debt.

Before you start Google searching how much you can get for selling your kidney, and consequently the health complications of living with only one kidney, there are ways that you can attend your university and get a paycheck that doesn’t require you to sacrifice your mental or physical health.

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1. Organize your schedule

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Crafting a multi-functional schedule that fits all the things you need to do in a given week takes some practice. After all, if everyone had the natural gift of time management, then it wouldn’t be considered a skill.

While you could use some trial and error to find a schedule that works for you, there is an easier way to work in time to study, sleep, go to class, eat, and go to work.

The art of schedule-making is learning to make compromises. Unfortunately for you, those compromises will likely include omitting Wine Wednesdays from your weekly agenda, so you can — you know — study. Plus, you won’t be too hungover to go to work the next day; and by hungover, we all know you mean ‘under the weather.’

Additionally, you should prioritize your needs and desires on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis (depending on your preferences), so reroute your schedule around your personal, academic, and career needs.

Most importantly, don’t forget to finagle in some ‘me time’ into your weekly, daily, or whateverly itinerary. Seriously, showing yourself some self-love can help you succeed in your classes, work, and social life. If you’re feeling a bit run down, how can you expect yourself to feel motivated enough to get out of bed for that 8 a.m.? Who are we kidding, it’s a struggle to get yourself out of bed for any early morning class, but you get the point.

2. You don’t need to have everything all at the same time

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So what’s the ‘all?’ Well, that’s dependent on what your long-term and immediate aspirations are. While your friends might give you some flak for not being able to go out on a Friday night, if you need to study or need to go to work the next morning, you need to put your priorities before a night out. Your friends will understand. If they don’t, you might want to make some time to make new friends. After all, what friend doesn’t want to see their friends make money and succeed in school — or do decent in their courses (we all have those classes)?

Regardless, you need to take a page, or several, from Oprah and recognize that you can have it all, just not at once. Everyone’s weekly workload (and course load) differs day to day and week to week. Some weeks you might be able to get an A on a paper, finish all of your work assignments on time, and have time to have a movie marathon with friends. On other weeks, last minute work deadlines could come up, leaving you at work later than usual, which makes you rack in some late night hours.

But it’s important that you don’t reminisce on that one week where you could do everything because this week clearly isn’t that particular week. This week you barely have enough time to work on your course project, but you realize that no grade is worth being sleep deprived. Whereas, on a different day the roles could be reversed.

Yes, we all have goals but we can’t have a perfect life or juggle a dozen responsibilities and still expect to be a partially functioning adult. Please, don’t make the excuse that “Sherry has it all;” Sherry probably don’t have it all. Sherry is either on the verge of a debilitating emotional breakdown or she has one part of her ‘perfect’ life on lockdown from Monday through Thursday. On Friday through Sunday, you have the rest down pat, but Sherry doesn’t have it all down pat.

You will have it all, just not all in the same week or even the same month, and that is perfectly okay.

3. Take online classes

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Online classes get a lot of criticism for not being ‘real’ classes, whatever that means. However, online courses are indeed real classes. If they get you one step closer to wearing that cap and gown, then they’re definitely legitimate credits.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to take all of your classes online. Taking one or two courses online won’t necessarily help you magically develop free time. However, a few online classes will give you the freedom to watch virtual lectures, study, and complete assignments and test on your own time, wherever and whenever you want — well any time before your deadlines.

Having some flexibility in your schedule will save you from stress eating when you find out that you nearly forgot your roomie’s birthday tomorrow and you need to find them a gift ASAP. Thankfully, you just finished your Econ 101 quiz online, and you don’t have to physically go to a lecture tomorrow because you decided to commit to a virtual class.

While online courses allow you to work on your own time, online classes aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, you can still find some comfort in online work.

4. Work remotely

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While virtual positions might not get the same type of flak as online classes, there’s still a stigma against working remotely. In reality, online jobs are more diverse than just some odd freelance work. Plus, there are some great websites, like WayUp, that make finding online jobs and gigs for online students virtually painless.

WayUp is an innovative website that is teaming with virtual jobs in basically every industry. Plus, WayUp has an easy one-click-apply option on a lot of their job postings. Did I mention that this site is completely free to use? WayUp essentially does everything short of applying to jobs for you, though that would be an outstanding update to the website.

Regardless, this company is constantly updating its website to ensure that college students and recent college grads get hired. Who knows, maybe WayUp will be the first company to create a virtual reality interview option? After all, phone interviews and video interviews lack face-to-face communication; throwing some VR into the mix will only make the virtual interview process more authentic.

On the other hand, a VR interview would force you to put on actual pants during your home interview. On second thought, please don’t start the virtual reality interview trend. We aren’t ready for this technology. Though, you should be ready to take the lead and apply to some online jobs.

Just like online courses, online jobs typically make your schedule more pliable, because you can clock in at any hour of the day or night. While you might need some time to get used to working from your home, being able to update an Excel file for your employer and walk two feet to your couch to begin annotating your text is well worth any adjustment period.

I live in Iowa now, but I was born and raised in Florida. When I'm not writing, I'm probably drawing or cooking.

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