Pursuing higher education is a worthy cause, but it does have its hurdles. The most challenging hurdle of all is getting back into education after spending years in the working sector. For many, it is not even possible to take time off work without hurting their career, so they need to juggle work and a degree and all their other responsibilities at once.
The decision to go back to school is a big one, but unlike your undergraduate degree, you will have the benefit of insight and wisdom. You will know better what you need from a degree for the betterment of your career. You might not be in the hang of studying any more, but with a few easy lifestyle changes, you can easily prepare yourself for success.
Master’s in business are versatile, useful degrees, but even they have variations. You need to know precisely what you need out of a degree, and then find the right provider. Only then will you see the full range of benefits that completing an MBA can have.
Combine a great MBA with excellent study and living tips, and you can successfully pursue a business degree while working, even from home.
- 1 Phase One: Research
- 2 Phase Two: Preparation
- 3 Phase Three: Juggling
- 4 Phase Four: Putting What You Have Learned to Use
Phase One: Research
This is one of the most important steps you will take. You need to know what degrees are out there and which one is best for you. You can specialize in a great number of things in your MBA, and these specializations are what will help you stand out in your career, or give you the necessary background to open your own successful business in your industry.
Some MBAs specialize in global production, management, and a variety of other specializations. They provide you with the full scope of a regular MBA but target more specific areas that you will need to personally succeed.
A business management degree, for example, will work on improving the leadership skills and qualities companies look for in their executive-level management. They help train and perfect technical business management skills, critical analysis, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and presentation skills. Business management degrees like this one from Aston Online can help you in global business careers, finance careers, in organizational development positions, and if you are looking to be an entrepreneur.
Business supply chain degrees, however, will better position you to regional manager positions or overproduction in an executive role.
Finding the right type of MBA for you is critical to ensure you get the most out of your degree and can use it more readily towards your career.
What You Need to Be Hired in Your Dream Career
The first step to research is to understand what you want to do with your career. If you are hoping to complete an MBA to better position yourself as an entrepreneur, then your options are almost limitless, but it is still useful to research future competitors to see what their CEO and owners’ experience and education entails.
If you are going along the career track, then being aware of what experience and skill set they are looking for can help you decide on the right MBA for you.
What Job Opportunities are in Your Sector
It also does not hurt to see what job opportunities are available at the executive level. You might discover a dream job that you have never heard of before and will want to target your career and pursue a degree that will help you take a step closer towards this new role.
What Skills You Are Lacking
You can do this through self-reflection, but it is also helpful to look at any employee reviews you have had in the past, or simply ask co-workers or friends what traits you have, and which ones you are lacking. The top candidates are well-rounded in all areas of leadership and knowing where your weaknesses are will enable you to work on them and improve.
What Degree Will Best Help You Achieve Your Goals
You will already have an idea of which type of degree is best to achieve your goals, but you will want to research further. It is not just what you learn, but it is the quality of the education that matters. You want the degree to boast high employability scores, online and flexible study options, and triple accreditation at least.
How You Study Best
The best way to maintain your career trajectory and pursue a degree is to take advantage of the new online study format, which allows you to complete a degree entirely online. This is not, of course, the only method available. You can also complete your MBA full time or through night courses. You need to be aware of how you study best. If you need the enhanced structure of attending classes, then it can be hard to stay on track on your own.
By opting for the online version, however, you can improve your commutes, better manage the work/life/study balance, and even save money. As a bonus, you will improve time management and other similar skills that you can use throughout your career.
At the end of the day, it is up to you and how you will thrive best.
With all of these details in mind, you will be able to narrow down and select the right degree for you, based on what the degree will teach you, who will teach you, and in what format they will teach you in.
Phase Two: Preparation
There is no reason to wait before you start preparing. Even if you do not get into the program, you are hoping for, prepping your schedule to make learning a natural addition to your everyday life is going to help you achieve your goals. For those of you who do get quickly accepted, use the time before the start date to your advantage to make it easy and stress-free to begin working from home, and studying from home.
Create an At-Home Office Space
If you have been working at home already, then you will have likely discovered how hard it can be on your mental health to mix business with relaxation. Working in areas that you typically should be able to calm down and enjoy yourself will only introduce anxiety into previous safe spaces.
An excellent way to avoid this issue is to set up a home office space. Regardless of whether you have one already or need to set one up, going through and optimizing the space now is an important step to help keep you active and productive
Get in the Right Habits, Now
You need your health and your lifestyle to support you while you take on the additional stressors of a degree. Trying to change habits while working and studying, however, is a recipe for disaster.
That is why you should start now. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Try to eat a healthy breakfast every morning, and to exercise to get your blood flowing and your brain working. You will know exactly what your body needs, so try to adjust your routine to better accommodate and care for these issues in your life.
Only when your body is at its fighting best can you push you after a full day of work to spend time on your degree.
Start Being Productive During Your Set Out Study Time
When we first start a new job, the days seem long, and tasks seem exhausting. This is because everything is new. You do not want to have to deal with that new-set exhaustion when you start a degree, so instead set aside an hour or two each day to study.
Read from magazines, find some academic journals relating to your field, find new resources, build up your professional presence online – all of these tasks can help get you used to working consistently every day before your degree begins, and are also wonderful tips to help boost your career.
Phase Three: Juggling
When your degree finally does begin, it is going to feel like a juggling act between your work, your study, your social life, your responsibilities, and your mental health. Using and relying on your support system is going to be the difference between burning out and succeeding.
Getting Support at Work
If you do not feel comfortable informing your employer or manager that you are working towards an MBA of any kind, then you have the wrong employer. You need to be able to put to work what you have learned and showcase your new skills right off the bat.
For one, this will help reaffirm what you have learned and make revision easier and more dynamic. Most of all, however, it will help you showcase your new abilities and set the framework for a promotion in the future.
Getting Support at Home
If you live with housemates or a partner and possibly kids, then you will need to get them on board. This means potentially setting aside a quiet time where they do not blare out music or have people over while you study. Working at the same time every day can help kids understand that you are not to be disturbed during your working hours so that you can stay focussed and accomplish your goals for the day.
If you live at home alone, then you will need to request the help of friends and family.
Getting Support from Friends and Family
You need to maintain your social life because disregarding it will only hurt you in the long run. By getting help from friends and family, you can even combine strategies. Have a rolling dinner date, where one day each week, someone from your family or friend group hosts dinner for the rest. This way you can enjoy a good meal, see your friends at least once a week, and start a new tradition.
Alternatively, you can get people over to either help you prep your lunches for the week, or to have everyone prep their lunches together. It will combine time you need to spend anyway with family time, so you can better balance your health and wellbeing.
Phase Four: Putting What You Have Learned to Use
If you want your degree to benefit you in the best way possible, then you need to
Keep Up Your Studying Habits
There is no reason to abandon all the study habits you have picked up over time. By keeping the habits up, you can switch from coursework to reading industry news, reports, the latest theories, and so on. Lifelong learning is the only way to go, especially if you want to be a leader who knows the path forward.
When you can go back to work, try to switch this study time from home to your commute. You can do this easily if you take public transportation, but if you drive or bike try to find podcasts that will do the trick of keeping you informed.
Putting What You Have Learned to Good Use
Always use what you have learned at work in any way that you can. This is how you will internalize what you have learned and be able to remember it properly. It is also how you will demonstrate your ability to excel in higher-level positions.
Advancing Your Career
Not every employer is going to appreciate your efforts or reward you for them, however, so do be aware that sometimes to move up, you need to move out. Before you reach such a stage, it is worthwhile to ask for that promotion, or for a raise, especially if you can demonstrate additional value to your work.
If all your efforts to advance are pushed back, then be open to external opportunities. Now might even be the time to finally take the leap to start your own business and forge a future and legacy for yourself once and for all.
With an MBA, your future is bright, and your options are nearly limitless. Just remember to work hard, stay dedicated, and be prepared to fight for your dreams.