How To Survive When You’re A Full-Time Software Developer And A Part-Time Student
Let’s face it, in this economy most of us have to go through the sacrifice of working to pay for higher education or at least, living with the lingering ghost of student loans after getting our diploma.
You can pop into any company and probably find a crowd of students. At Exaud, some of our team members start the day coding and then, they code a little bit more to get those postgrads and masters’ degrees going. Yet, what we wanted to know is how they do it, besides relying on caffeine, and how the company can be an ally to their somewhat sleep deprived employees.
You got this – tips for students:
Make The Most Of Your Time
Being organised has become easier than ever. Connect your e-mail to your phone schedule, glue post its on your forehead or download the latest apps, but whatever you choose, make sure you’re able to get an A+ when it comes to time management. Prepare ahead, start your Monday by updating your calendar and prioritising tasks!
Work Ahead & Do Not Procrastinate
Here’s the deal: you have a commitment with your boss and fellow co-workers and your studies aren’t an excuse to perform poorly on your 9 to 5, especially if you’re in a supportive company that respects your working student status. Guarantee that your performance isn’t spoiled by your lack of effort. Besides that, you also have a commitment with yourself since you’re investing in your own education. If this means skipping a party or a night of drinking during the weekends to wrap up a paper or studying for a final, you’ll have to put your big person pants on and tackle your responsibilities first. College life is over and once you’re done with finals and papers’ deadlines, you’ll be able to party all you want!
GTS AKA Get Some Sleep
For the love of God, learn that you can’t live off caffeinated drinks in the long run! Make smart choices regarding your health – you already have too much in your mind so make sure you don’t overwork your body as well!
Slow But Steady
If managing work and classes plus your social life is getting increasingly harder and you’ve done every possible thing to improve the situation, maybe it’s time to consider a partial study regimen. It might take you a little bit longer (usually +1 year) to finish your post grad or master’s degree, but you’ll make the most of it by clearing your schedule a little bit. It’ll be more likely for you to be motivated to attend classes and your participation levels might even spike up!
Get their back – tips for companies:
Yes, They Really Have To Go To Class
Chances are, that unless you were a prodigy child, you went to school and you’re aware that attending classes makes a big difference. A student won’t learn exclusively from reviewing class topics and powerpoints – allow your employees to leave in time for their classes and make the most of it. After all, their learning process will also benefit the company in the long run!
Remember How You Felt During Finals
Evaluation periods are extremely stressful and we must admit that it’s pretty hard to focus on other tasks when we’re about to show off all the knowledge we absorbed from an entire semester on a two hours long quiz.
Make sure you allow your employees to take the day off. In some countries that is literally what the law obligates you to do if they applied to working student status.
Let Them Work From Home And Allow A Flexible Schedule
What do you value the most? An employee that arrives at 9am sharp and doesn’t get their work done properly or an employee that doesn’t have a fixed entrance time but it’s pretty much perfect when it comes to get the job done? Students are night owls and not even the strongest expressos will save them from being extremely sleep deprived once in a while. Make sure they’re allowed to work from home whenever is needed to improve their routines or just sleep in for extra forty minutes.
We’re In This Together!
Make sure their project team is informed about their student obligations and respects their time and availability. This means being thoughtful when scheduling meetings and attributing tasks. If your employee has a 6pm class, you won’t be scheduling a meeting for 5pm. If you can’t move it for earlier that day, make sure you nominate a speaker to brief the rest of the team about their work progress. Provide a meeting briefing, in person or by e-mail, so they can keep up to date with what is being done. No one likes to be missing out!
Celebrate Their Accomplishments!
This is just a ‘101 of how to keep your employees motivated’ really! Ask them how their doing, if they can use some help and wisdom from their work acquaintances and above everything, make sure you celebrate their accomplishments. Someone just managed to complete their thesis and excelled at their presentation? Have a small celebration or give them a congratulations card!
‘Always Be The Student’
Did we just quoted Sandra Bullock? Yep, and she knows what she’s talking about.
Investing in your employees is one of the best things you can do as an employer. Make sure their learning process isn’t over once they finish their post grad or masters’ studies and encourage them to take part in bootcamps, workshops and other activities they can benefit from. We don’t need to emphasise that highly qualified employees are a long term benefit to the company and these initiatives are amazing to work up your company’s culture.
Do you have any personal tips you’d like to share? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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