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How professionals can balance study and work

Juggling work and study is a common challenge, yet for many, finding a way to navigate the two is a financial necessity, argues one professional.

Speaking to Wellness Daily, UniLodge general manager of residential life Casey White said that finding a healthy balance is about more than just getting enough sleep and time management – it first starts with assessing and defining your own success.

According to the company’s research, Mr White said, more than three in five students undergoing a first year of a tertiary degree have competing work commitments.

He outlined three steps to feel in control of work and study:

Define your own success

Before you can successfully balance work and study, Mr White said that you must first define what success looks like to you.

“While success for a peer might be a full-time semester with an internship and two part-time jobs on the side, don’t let that be your benchmark,” he said.

“Consider your individual goals and responsibilities, both personal and academic, and be realistic about what you can and want to achieve. While it may seem impossible, try to stop comparing yourself to others around you, and focus on what will make you feel fulfilled.”

Strive for progress, not perfection

For many, he continued, success and perfection are considered synonymous.

“When taking on both work and study commitments, we can sometimes let ourselves feel paralysed by pressure to succeed and avoid failure at all costs,” Mr White mused.

“This mindset only adds stress to the situation and overshadows efforts. Take a moment to slow down, reflect and prioritise. Recognise what you’re doing well, and where you’d like to focus more attention. Strive to be the best you can be and learn to appreciate progress over perfection.

“Lastly, don’t be afraid to fail, or to ask for help – you’d be surprised just how many are feeling the same.”

Find your tribe

Finally, Mr White said one should never underestimate the importance of a strong support network in finding and maintaining a healthy work-study balance.

“During times of stress, friends, family, colleagues and other communities can all offer a little perspective and allow to us talk through our issues with no judgement,” he argued.

“Try to keep in touch with your network on regular basis and remember that support is a two-way street.”

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