Getting an MBA is no small feat, and neither is holding a full-time job. Doing both at the same time may seem too daunting for most people even to consider that as an option. If you want to advance your career and do not want to stop working or cannot feasibly stop working while you get some additional career-focused education in an MBA program, consider tackling both simultaneously to be a short-term sacrifice that has the potential to yield extremely high long-term benefits. It can be done, but it requires intense dedication and focus to be done well. Read on for some advice to help you determine whether you will need to make any adjustments before you decide to further your education without giving up your current job. From there, you can learn how to answer “how hard is it to get an MBA while I continue working?
Answer: Excellent Balancing of Work, Life and Classes Will Be The Only Way
If you are going to continue working while you get an MBA, your life will need to be all about balance, balance, balance. To simplify matters and to ensure you give yourself the best chance to meet all of your productivity goals, you should set a regimented schedule for yourself that will keep you accountable in each area of your life. Make time in it for work, school and at least some recreation, and do your best to stick to it. With multiple time-consuming obligations on your plate simultaneously, orderliness and structure will be your best friends.
As a working student, you want your class schedule and degree requirements to be maximally flexible. You should look for MBA programs with as many remote class offerings as you can find, and preferably those that offer classes with asynchronous lectures you can view whenever it is most convenient for you. Remote, asynchronous classes will give you the flexibility you need to build the schedule that works best for you and your loved ones. If asynchronous or remote classes are not an option your educational institution of choice offers, schedule classes that do not conflict with your work schedule and consider taking fewer credits each semester than you would if your schedule were more flexible.
Completing a rigorous graduate program while also working a full-time job can be mentally taxing for those who attempt it, and it can quickly lead to burnout if you are not careful. Even if it may seem like you will have no free time whatsoever, you need to prioritize some amount of recreational activity. Any non-work, non-school activity will do, so make time in your schedule for a hobby or even just to relax with your loved ones. You may fret about not spending this time on work or school, but taking some time away from your obligations will leave you feeling reenergized and give you a renewed focus on your professional goals.
The material above is just a brief overview. Here are a few more recommended in-depth resources for you to consult while you are making your decision about whether to get an MBA without taking a hiatus from your job:
- Studyportals - Combining work and an MBA is difficult, but it can be done. It will be much more doable if you find an MBA program that is partially or entirely conducted online. That will give you the flexibility to design the optimal schedule for your specific situation.
- Monster - If you want to balance work and your MBA program successfully, you will need to enlist help from those around you. This means your boss, your coworkers, your family and your friends will all need to be on the same page as you and willing to lend you a hand if you need it.
- Earnest - When you are getting an MBA while still working a full-time job, what you may not realize is you are also getting a graduate-level education in time management and organizational skills. You will have no choice but to use your precious free time wisely, and you may want to consider a part-time MBA program to ease your load.