After School Jobs vs Homework

After school jobs can be very important, sometimes a critical part of your life. They can pay for the things you need, the things you want, and in some cases even help support the family in tough times.

The other side of the coin is that they can use up a lot of time and space. They can make your day a lot longer, particularly if you have to do homework when you finish work. That can cost you sleep, and can definitely cost you peace of mind if you don't get the homework done.

Managing the After-School Job and the Homework

The conflict of interests between after school jobs and homework needs to be avoided as far as possible. As your schoolwork and your preparatory work gets more complex, they need time, and so do you, to do your work properly and manage the workflow effectively. A few extra hours on the job can find you trying to catch up, and not having much control over your time.

The quality of your work is the real issue. Not many people can do a great project or essay after a 12 hour day. Loss of sleep over time can make you very tired, and tired people make mistakes. Trying to cram your homework into a few hours here and there doesn't help you to concentrate, either. Homework takes time, sometimes a lot of it. 

There are other problems. Your spare time can vanish completely, particularly in the last couple of years of high school. Nobody likes it when their weekends disappear into the homework you would have done during the week. That can wipe out your social life, and your wind down time, when you can relax.

It doesn't have to be like that. There's a lot of ways to avoid losing your after school job, and keeping your homework under control:

  • Take weekend jobs: This means you can keep the week free for your homework. Weekend jobs can pay quite well, and you still get some free time after work. This is a healthier approach, too, because you don't have to be constantly working.
  • Balance the after school job and the homework times: You can get work which uses up less time, and still do the homework on time without too much fuss. You can balance these jobs so you work alternate jobs, for example. (Employers will understand that you're under pressure with the schoolwork, so don't worry too much about that.)
  • Online work: This is a potential timesaver, and has the advantage that you don't have to travel to do it. Many online jobs don't have fixed times, so you can work on a realistic, not punishing, schedule.
  • Project work: Some types of project work (graphics and media, for example) can be done remotely, or with less need to be on site. That means your time management is a lot easier.

Important: If you're doing online or project work which relates to your schoolwork, you may also be able to find yourself some extra credits. Other types of work also qualify as good extra curricular credits, so you may be able to do both, and benefit from both. 

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