If you are like me when I was in school, you do need to work. Education today is expensive. Your financial survival as a student likely depends on some combination of loans, grants, subsidies from parents and family, and carefully chosen part-time work. It is just a fact of life that most students at some point will have to work and study at the same time.
Working while in school can actually be a benefit to the study process. And it can help ground you in practical matters, with the result that what you learn can be applied and deepened through the balance of work and school.
What are the Challenges of Working While Studying?
Being a full time student, though, is not like being a full time employee. When one is a full time employee, one has a set schedule and an expected number of hours he or she has to work. A full time student however, has no real set schedule other than the scheduled class periods. The work of a student never ends— there is simply no amount of studying that can be too much.
Given that as a student your main “job” is to complete your education and prepare for your future career, any paid work you take on needs to fit in with and not deter you from your primary path. It is possible to plan for and establish a good balance between school and work. However, this is an active, not a passive process, and requires that you have a well thought out plan that includes time management as well as logistics.
The good news is that the job market is different today than it was when I was in school. For me, working and being a student meant that I went to class and then I went to work. So, every shift that I worked was 8 hours on average that I could have used studying, plus an hour or more coming and going, generally on foot. Today we have the advantage of the internet, and that is what can make all the difference when it comes to combining earning money with going to school.
Would You Want an Online Job?
Think about it. Students today spend most of their study time with their laptops, whether they’re writing a paper or online doing research. It is my contention that the logical first step for any student needing money is to look to those same sources as a means to their lack of ends!
Just as the internet is vast and infinite, so are the online job opportunities. Unfortunately it’s not just a matter of what one wants to do and what one feels he or she could be good at. It is also a matter of knowing where to look to begin with.
This is the part where one needs some guidance. Of course there are the obvious routes to take, the primary one being a Google search for the type of job you want to do. This is the tricky part. If you are a student who is out there looking for an online job, you can be very sure that there are thousands of businesses that are out there looking for you.
The ads that you see about working for Google or working for Facebook seem like they would be great jobs to have. The problem is that a lot of those ads that we all see everyday are in fact not really ads from Google or Facebook. What they are, in fact, is a third party that wants to sell you some sort of service that MIGHT help you to earn money with these companies.
Ready–Fire–Aim OR Ready–Aim–Fire?
The point of all of this is that, if you or anyone you may know would like to earn money online, and if you are like most people who feel like the concept of doing so is a little blurry and out of your grasp, you are in the majority. This is a very common type of confusion…and it stands in the way of many students who could be earning money working at an online job while continuing to keep their main focus on school and preparing for their future careers.
Whether you are a student just looking for a part time blogging job for extra money, a parent of a student whose financial needs exceed your budget, or anyone else who wants to learn how to earn money online, I sincerely suggest that you learn about what you are doing first by completing these necessary steps:
- Read and put into practice the guidance of key resources that will save your valuable time and lead you in a direction that will benefit you, both financially and in terms of building your portfolio of skills and work experience.
- Learn the search strategies that will yield the kind of results you need—job opportunities, not so-called “investment opportunities.”
- Determine what you do best. Include any and all of your Internet skills as assets that can make you a valuable contributor for online employers.
- Develop a clear idea of how much time you can afford to work, and when. Keep this guideline in mind as you are searching and selecting the particular work you will do.
- Set aside time to prepare and organize your workspace; gather your equipment and resources; strengthen key online, file management, and software use skills.
- Dedicate 10 days to conducting a systematic job-search, focusing on freelance, outsourced, and web-based employment. Work this search like it is its own 9 to 5 job.
- Notify your network, including friends, family and colleagues, both in your local area and remotely by e-mail and Facebook, about the services you will be providing for pay, the evidence of your skills and abilities in these areas, and the types of job assignments you are looking for.