Striking A Balance: 4 Tips to Earn Your MBA Online While WorkingBy David Thompson
Getting an MBA may be the best decision for your professional career. A lucrative postgraduate degree like an MBA cannot only secure you a well-paying job but also ensure that you're able to tap into management-level positions. But pursuing this degree is hard work, especially if you're working full-time, so how can you manage? In this competitive world, it has become increasingly crucial that you avail yourself of every opportunity that comes your way, and getting an MBA is one of them. However, holding down a job and trying to stay on top of your postgraduate degree can be tedious, which is where this article comes in. Below are some ways you can earn your MBA without neglecting your professional life:
Why Get an MBA?
An MBA is a globally recognized degree, and acquiring it can open many top-tier jobs for you. Technology has made it much easier to obtain an MBA now; you can easily get one online without returning to traditional schooling. An online degree carries the same merit as degrees obtained from conventional education. The only difference is that online degrees are much more flexible and offer a greater leeway to study at one's own pace than a traditional degree.
However, before enrolling, understand that you can specialize in a curriculum to get the skills to work in a specific industry. In other words, there are numerous online MBAs you can pick from with different concentrations, and you must know what's in store for you before you make your choice. For instance, if you're pursuing a Master of Business Administration in agricultural economics, your curriculum will walk you through the importance of marketing and accounting in the agricultural sector. A few other options are:
• MBA in Management
• MBA in Geographic Information Systems
• MBA in Human Resource Management
• MBA in Business Analytics
• And more!
Therefore, explore your options, evaluate where you will thrive, and apply for your postgraduate degree.
How Can You Balance Your Work and Degree?
As you try to navigate through the complexities of managing your job and education, here are some tips you can look into:
1. Become More Schedule Oriented
A schedule can help you stay more organized and give you the structure you need to manage your day. It is natural to feel overwhelmed when you have many tasks to complete, but you will feel more motivated by jotting them down and arranging them according to their priority. However, ensure your schedule is realistic, and you can follow it thoroughly. Never overfill your day with more than you can handle, or you will struggle to meet your goals. Try creating two schedules, one for work and one for your studies. One of the perks of pursuing an online degree is that you can study during your downtime, so whenever you have a break or have ample free time, log in and get to work. During the weekends, review your routine and reflect on what aspects of your life need changing.
2. Communicate Effectively at Work
It would help if you kept your employer informed about your online MBA. Unless your employer is in the loop about your situation, they cannot support your decision to get a postgraduate degree. Make sure that you meet with your manager and provide them with details of your program and why you plan on pursuing it. At this point, it will work well in your favor if you highlight that your educational growth will benefit the company and your professional development. Furthermore, reassure your boss that the flexible nature of your degree will not get in the way of your commitments, and be transparent on how you plan on effectively doing your job while studying.
3. Delegate Tasks
You don't have to shoulder everything on your own while working with a team; get into the habit of delegating and prioritizing tasks. There are many ways you can do this. You can choose to use a system like the Eisenhower Matrix. According to this method, you will categorize your tasks into four quadrants and divide them as urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not necessary, and neither urgent nor essential. This gives you a clear view of what needs to be handled immediately and what can take the back seat.
On the other hand, establish clear long- and short-term goals. You need to understand what tasks you must deliver quickly (according to the needs of your company) and what can wait; this allows you to create a roadmap that integrates your degree into the mix. As your degree progresses, you will need to delegate more time to your degree than your work, but let your team know. If you pass on the responsibility to them, make sure they understand what needs to be done so that the quality of your work doesn't get compromised. You should also consider your team's strengths and weaknesses and delegate your work to those you believe can best handle the job.
4. Leverage Digital Tools
Technology is an asset; the right tools can help you seamlessly manage your job and get your degree. Digital resources can help you stay organized; for instance, project management tools like Trello and Asana allow you to set deadlines, list the tasks needed, and let you collaborate with your team to get them done.
You need to befriend the calendar app and sync your work and academic calendar. There are numerous calendar applications online; pick any that suits your needs. The purpose of syncing your academic and work calendar is to gauge if you have overlapping commitments. This allows you to deal with the problem beforehand and resolve the issue instead of letting it fester. Calendars also allow you to set reminders, color code your tasks, and facilitate you in making a schedule that enables you to study online and submit your work.
Similarly, find out if your MBA program offers online learning resources like libraries to access e-books, journals, and research databases that can further help you study. This saves you the hassle of physically purchasing a book and allows you to study on the go.
Getting an online MBA is a wise decision. You get the opportunity to gain valuable experience while you further polish yourself for the job market. But doing justice to your degree and your job requires all hands on deck. The last thing you would want to do is prioritize one over the other. But there is a way you can manage both. Management is all about using your time smartly. So, know what you need to do for your degree and work, utilize all the tools at your disposal, delegate, and keep reviewing the techniques you apply to stay ahead of your commitments. With these few tips, you will effortlessly breeze through your degree without losing your place at work.
* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of universityherald.com