Work and Studies: The Big Apple Balancing Act

taking an exam

Many people dream, hope, and pray to land a high-paying job with better benefits and opportunities for growth. This holds especially true among those living in cities with high costs of living like New York. Living in Manhattan, in particular, costs over more than the national average.

Getting a lucrative job in New York City (and anywhere else) depends on your experience, education, and credentials. For instance, New York’s paralegal schools are helping people earn certificates as paralegals and enter a fast growing profession with a 15 percent expected growth until 2026.

In Search of Greener Pastures

Continuing your education to learn new skills or explore a different, higher-paying career path could be the key to boost your professional life. Certificate programs are the next best thing to a master’s degree or a second graduate degree.

These short-term training programs can be earned in as little time as a few months and are usually less expensive than full degrees. Earning a well-chosen certificate helps you market yourself into a better job for the lowest possible costs. A certificate from a public institution can cost $1,500 or even less than a thousand. The short duration and reasonable costs of certificate programs also mean you have a higher likelihood of getting an immediate return on investment.

Whether you want to gain specialized knowledge or to keep your skills relevant, earning a certificate makes for a smoother transition into a higher position. It can also expand your professional network.

Online Degrees and Other Alternatives

a woman at the library

Returning to school and completing a certificate program is a productive use of your time while in between jobs. Tenured and experienced workers may find it harder to manage, though. They face high opportunity costs should they choose to leave their jobs to focus on improving their skills and credentials.

Thankfully, online schools offer legitimate and accepted certifications, training, and more. It gives working professionals a chance to improve themselves without risking their employment in New York City, which has a notoriously competitive job market.

Online schools and training offer greater flexibility. Aside from greater ease in fitting classes into your work schedule, it also has lower costs and debt risk, as well as more choices of course topics.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Balancing work and studies is a common and difficult undertaking among professionals. It may be best to inform your supervisor or manager about your plans to continue your education. This will help you manage your schedule and workflow. Should you need to take a leave of absence to focus on a test or finish a paper, your superiors will know you have a valid reason.

Maintaining your work-life balance even with a packed schedule is important. Take some time for yourself if you’re feeling the pressure from both your work and your studies. A day (or a weekend) off to re-energize and refresh your state of mind may help raise your productivity.

Additionally, earning your certificate and getting promoted to a more lucrative position shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. You wouldn’t want to spend all your hard-earned money on hospital bills and medications, after all.