Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Who Are Considering Going Back to School
The recent Covid crisis has underscored how short life really is for many people, causing them to pursue lifelong dreams while they’re still able. For many parents, this is going back to school: 44 percent are seeking education to pursue their lifelong (work or business-related) passions, while 56 percent want to refresh their perspective on life (through education).
If you’re thinking of going back to school yourself, you definitely should – it’s how you can find that success you’ve always craved, not to mention make your life much more fulfilling. Family Health & Wellness offers some tips to help you succeed below, from choosing a degree to putting together a CV that will help you land a job after you graduate.
Be clear about what you want and then set specific goals
It’s crucial you know exactly what you want and then set concrete goals that get you there. Be realistic and practical. For instance, if you want to build a new successful career in a certain industry, find out the education you need to qualify for an entry-level position there. Then, set goals to acquire said education.
If you would like to be a business owner, ask yourself what you need to learn to make your product or service successful. Then, set time-bound goals to acquire said knowledge or skills. Without clear focus and direction, you risk floundering or misdirecting your efforts.
Choose a degree that builds up your business acumen
Your choice of degree is important – you want to pick a degree that both equips you with valuable skills and builds up your business acumen. For instance, you are likely to gain the most traction in the current job market if you choose a degree in an in-demand field like information technology (IT), health, finances, and engineering. If you’d like to start your own business, you want a degree that gives you “hard” (like accounting, administration, and time management) and “soft” entrepreneurial skills (like leadership and communication). Your aptitude, interests, and available time also matter.
You could make school more affordable
Education doesn’t have to be expensive. You can make school more affordable in various ways – finding scholarships or grants (there are many for parents), paying in cash, creating a 529 plan, going to trade school or military school, choosing community college, and working (or running a business) while you learn. You can also cut back in other ways.
Earning a degree online could be an option
Online degrees are worth looking into – they’re typically more affordable, save you commute time, and allow you to learn at your own pace. You could look after your kids and work while earning an online degree. If you choose a degree like a Bachelor of Science with a Leadership and Management Certificate, then you’d learn valuable skills like business communications, organizational behavior, and accounting. If you’re looking for an online school, make sure it’s accredited and offers competitive tuition rates.
Balance learning with parenting and working (or starting a business)
Learning is a full-time job, being a parent is a full-time job, and having a job or business is a full-time job! You will need to balance everything to stay afloat. Some suggestions:
- Master your day: Learn to make the most of your day – set intentions, prioritize, manage your time, eliminate distractions, and keep going. Steady work is key.
- Use timeboxing to remain productive: Timeboxing is allocating only a fixed amount of time daily for an activity – such as 30 minutes for chores – and then stopping afterward. This ensures you remain productive and keep moving forward, even if the steps you take are small.
- Prioritize self-care: Self-care is doing things that keep you healthy. You will be working hard and under a lot of pressure – a good self-care plan will give you energy and help keep the stress levels down.
Don’t do it alone
You’re signing up for a lot – you should ask for help if you need it. Talk to your partner about your goals, for instance, and get them to support you financially or with childcare duties. You could also always hire professionals, whether that’s a babysitter for chores or a marketing team that could do the legwork to push your business to new heights.
Prepare your CV so you’re ready to look for jobs
It’s never too early to start thinking about searching for a job, and a strong CV is essential when looking for the job you want. Employers generally look for applicants who have the right skill set and experience, and having a well-presented CV can give you an edge in the hiring process. Your CV should highlight your qualifications, skills, and past experiences to demonstrate why you are the right candidate for the job.
To ensure that your CV looks flawless and professional, use an online tool to create your template for a CV. All you need to do is provide the necessary information and include it in the CV. The tool and template will help ensure that the end result is something you’re proud to share.
As a stay-at-home parent going back to school, you’re signing up for a juggling act – you’ll have to balance parenthood and meeting your career-related goals (with some help from an excellent CV). It will be tough but by no means impossible. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep moving forward. The rewards – future success at work or with your business – will make it worth it.