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The workplace of today is evolving at such a rapid pace that the skills and degrees of yesteryears are soon going to be irrelevant. This is not to say whatever we have learnt in school and college haven’t given us a firm foundation. It has. However, keeping that as base we need to build on competencies that are going to keep us relevant for the coming decade. Although we will need domain specialists, the demand for generalists is continually on the rise. Therefore, it makes complete sense for you to prepare for the upcoming change in your sector before you are bound to bow to it. However, maintaining this can be a great challenge for many, hence following certain strategies can hopefully make the journey more fruitful.

Stage 1: You have embarked on this difficult path, kudos! Many would-be learners spend years thinking, should we, shouldn’t we? You have actually done it. It takes a determined mind to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to start.’ If you have decided to enhance your current skill-set and also develop in your current field then pat yourself on the back.

Stage 2: Getting enrolled is one thing, consistently taking time out for study and assignment/test deadlines is another ball game. This is where you need to strategize. Carefully evaluate your current workplace deadlines/goals and your immediate 1-2 year strategy. Professional qualifications are a surefire way to get yourself noticed in the organizational structure. It tells people that you are willing to learn and grow, and unafraid to make commitment of time and intellect.

Stage 3: Start by making your course outcome – the course/skill-set you are willing to learn and the time you are allotting for the same. While flexi-time can be a boon, it also has an large flipside if you aren’t disciplined enough with timeframe. Pushing back one assignment deadline and an examination can start a Domino-effect that can jeopardize your initial plan. After that work on your examinations, assignment submission schedule (which is hopefully given out by the study center), and plan for a study-time keeping into consideration your work and family commitment. To abstain from excessively worrying before tests, and to hopefully ask for strategic ‘study-day-off’ from work, keeping your manager/boss on the loop regarding your study schedule is always a plus.

Stage 4: Build a team from your class – take the lead in creating a group that commits to a weekend catch-up routine for peer assessment. It’s a great way to build bonds and keep learners engaged. This group can ultimately push each other into attending mandated classes, assignment submissions and test appearances.

The balance of being a student while having the commitment of a full-time professional can be immensely challenging. However, you can transform this strain into inspiration and get incredible outcomes if you are armed with the correct strategy and weaponry. Give the above tried-and-tested strategies a try and don’t hesitate to customize them as per requirement.

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