There’s no doubt that learning something new can do wonders for your career…
But although most of us are already aware of the various benefits of studying, unfortunately not everyone has the time – or money – to follow through and make it part of our daily lives. Well, at least, not on the surface.
To help you find a way to fit studying around your finances, here are some of our top ways on how to earn while you learn:
If you’re looking to break into a brand new industry, an apprenticeship could be for you.
Not only is it a great way of building up your experience and getting your foot in the door with a company, it’s also the perfect opportunity to earn a regular salary whilst you learn.
There are many different types of apprenticeship to choose from (depending on your previous experience) and, contrary to some popular misconceptions, they’re available in just about every industry – with opportunities available in everything from health & beauty and hairdressing, through to IT and engineering.
So no matter what industry you’re in, and how old you are, an apprenticeship could be the perfect option for you.
Think interns don’t get paid? You’d be surprised.
Most internships provide at least the National Minimum Wage, especially if you’re performing the role of a worker. And, unlike apprenticeships, they generally don’t involve a long-term commitment to the course.
So even if you’re role isn’t working out, you will have the flexibility to find another internship somewhere new without worrying about losing any credits towards your qualification.
Just make sure you always check this when you apply – even if it’s just to make sure your costs are covered.
Studying doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start from scratch.
In fact, you could even stay working in your current positon, as long you can set aside some time to keep on top of taking a course.
One way you could do this is by asking your employer about the possibility of working more flexible hours (also known as ‘Flexi time’). This could involve working shorter hours (e.g. by halving lunch breaks), starting and finishing earlier, or even working from home during the week to cut down on your commute.
These days many employers are surprisingly accommodating, especially if you can prove the changes will improve your morale, productivity and work-life balance.
And if your qualification will benefit the company? It’s pretty much a no-brainer.
You might already have the time it takes to learn something new. All you need is to start utilising it more effectively.
In this case, tech is your new best friend. For example, there are a number of different apps out there which could help you improve your knowledge in a new area, or even provide you with the confidence you need to take studying more seriously.
Whoever said train journeys had to be boring?
If you do have a little more time to learn, why not try taking an online course?
Aside from being much more affordable and much less time consuming than you might think, many even result in real qualifications which could help you move your career forward.
And because they’re offered as distance learning courses rather than something to be taken in the classroom, they can all be studied at your own pace – allowing you to fit them around your current commitments.
That way you can still earn your regular salary – whilst also gaining a new skill that could actually change your career.
OK, so you’ve built up a decent set of skills. Now it’s time to put them into practice.
Working as a freelancer, contractor or consultant will allow you to share your expertise and experience, without committing you to a regular 9-to-5 role.
And as you’ll effectively be managing your own workload, that will leave even more time to dedicate to a course. With the best part being that your ad-hoc income will effectively allow you to self-fund.
There are plenty of sites out there to offer your services. You could even combine it with a well-paid part-time position, if you still need some sort of regular income. So why not put yourself (and your skills) to the test?
Your new qualification (and your bank balance) can thank us later…
Top tips to earn while you learn
Ready to start studying? Here are some of our top tips to earn while you learn:
- Think about your outgoings – Consider rent, bills and other expenditure. How much can you realistically live on? And can you afford a drop in hours?
- Work out a budget – Once you know your outgoings, think about what’s left over. Can you afford to put money into a course? And how much do you need to earn to cover the basics?
- Search for a course – A qualification doesn’t have to cost the earth – or even take that much time. See what discounted and free courses are out there, and work out whether you can fit them around your role.
- Make the most of technology – Podcasts. eBooks. There’s a wealth of available material to help expand your knowledge in a new area. So there’s no need to cut your earnings completely to get started.
- Try freelancing – If you have a service you can offer, see if there’s a market for it. Even just a few jobs a week could be enough to fund your studies – not to mention bring you an additional wage.
- Supplement your income – Freelancing isn’t the only way to boost your finances. Starting a blog, tutoring, or even renting out your spare room are all excellent ways to supplement your income – and all allow you to earn while you learn.
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