So you want to change careers or upskill to keep growing in yours, how the heck do you do that when you have a full-time job? This is an issue particularly close to my heart, as somebody who loves her job and refuses to give it up but also just started studying again.

First of all, there are so many great things about going back to study as a mature age student. You’re starting off with a lot more solid base than you did straight out of high-school, for starters. Any nerves you may have once had around talking up in class are completely gone. You also appreciate what you’re learning so much more because if you’re going back when you’ve already been in the workforce for a few years, it’s going to be for something you know you really want.

But then there’s the very real difficulty of time management, and how to work around your study/work life with a little snippet in between where you can actually go be social with your mates. The key word here is ‘difficulty’ because it’s very far from impossible to achieve all these things.

Find Study Options With A Bit Of Flex

You’re not willing to give up your fulltime job – either because you enjoy it and/or because you literally need that fulltime income – so you need a study option that works in with you. Maybe that means night classes, maybe that means part-time study, maybe that means online courses. Whatever you need, there are options available.

Get Organised Or You Will Die

I hate to be dramatic (no I don’t, I love it) but honestly, you will not get through it with your sanity intact unless you get your butt into gear. Gone are the days of racing through an assignment the night before it’s due. Partly because you’re putting too much effort into studying again to just waste it, but also because now you have a legit job that probably has deadlines and you can’t just take the day off like you used to. Know when everything is due and start prepping way ahead of time.

Make A Schedule & Use It Religiously

If you’re like me, there’s something soothing about having your schedule mapped out when life gets hectic. If you’re not like me yet, you’re about to be. Noone can be truly organised unless they take the time to set up a schedule that works realistically for them. Putting it in writing helps keep you honest and avoid those tele binges and the extreme regret you feel when it’s done and you still have 10 million words to write.

That Includes Any Chill Time

Which you will have less of, it’s the sad truth. However, less shouldn’t mean none at all. If you don’t have any leisure time you will go mad, no question. The trick is not to get caught up in too much downtime, and the best way to avoid that is to add pleasure to your daily schedule. Maybe that’s an hour of mindless movies, maybe it’s the gym, maybe it’s time with mates.

For The Love Of God Use Your Commute

Admittedly, if you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of work or study this won’t help you. Everyone else, your commute just became useful, instead of a pain in the butt. Use it to your advantage to get any preparation and reading done, instead of sticking in the headphones.

And always remember:

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