This week on Emma’s Edition I’m answering your questions on Instagram Stories! I thought it would be fun to also highlight the wonderful Instagram friends and fellow bloggers who engage on Instagram.
I wasn’t surprised when I saw that one of the most popular questions that came in through Instagram/Instagram stories was:
How do you balance blogging and working? – @_rosesandcashmere
How do you balance work, blog, school, and whatever else you have? – @emeraldindulgence
How do you keep up with life, school, and blogging? – @jazzexploring
What are some of your best tools/strategies with time management? – @stephanie.s.laurie
Last fall, I took a major step in my life by starting a grad program while continuing to work a full time job and side hustle (blogging). While I originally thought I would cut back on blogging, I didn’t. I continued to pour by energy into my side hustle by writing and publishing two blog posts a week, shooting for the blog, and adding midterms, group projects and finals.
So today, I’m answering these ladies questions!
Are you working a full time job and a side hustle? Are you going back to school while balancing your family?
If so, this blog post is for you! I hope to pass on some advice and hopefully inspire you to challenge yourself in your next step of your life.
Advice #1 for Balancing Grad School, Your Full Time Job and Side Hustle:
Don’t eliminate yourself from situations you aren’t in yet – especially out of fear.
Which means don’t pass up opportunities or make certain decisions just because you aren’t sure of how it might affect your future.
My mentor gave me this advice a year or two ago when I first started looking into graduate programs. I shared with her how I was afraid how I would balance working full time, blogging, school, and the rest of my life. She shared her story with me about jumping into her executive role. She was worried about the demands of a new executive role and how it might affect her family. But her husband encouraged her to take it and let her know that they would figure it out as they went.
She passed this piece of wisdom to me. And now I’m passing it to you. No matter where you’re at in your life, maybe you’re a new grad or your several years into your career or maybe your even contemplating moving to a new city, take this wisdom with you.
As long as your head and your heart are aligned and you know the next step or move are going to help you grow as a person or in your career, don’t be afraid to make those decisions. You will figure it out as you go. You will figure out a new normal schedule. Your family, friends, and dog will also adjust. You’ll also surprise yourself with your capacity level. If you believe you need to take that next step in life, take it.
Advice #2 for Balancing Grad School, Your Full Time Job and Side Hustle:
Clearly define 1-3 goals each year
If you understand your purpose, you’ll understand your path. You’ll understand that steps you need to take – even if they push your capacity level.
For instance, I always get asked: why do you want your Master’s in Digital Media? What are you going to do with it?
I’m working towards my master’s because I need it for career advancement and I want to learn how to tell better stories on digital channels – by learning UX, video storytelling, and more. The Boeing Company has made it very clear to me that in order to climb up the corporate ladder, I need a master’s degree. Blogging has shown me that I have a clear passion for social media/digital media/ and telling stories online. One day I’d also like to teach at a college or even host workshops on content strategy or how to figure out your target audience. I know a Master’s in Digital Media will help accomplish all of these goals.
If you define your goals, you’ll see the steps you need to take to accomplish them. If you don’t know those steps yet, then you reach out to others around you or use Google, Youtube, Podcasts and the online world to help you figure those steps out.
So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in 6 months? Or even one year? What steps do you need to take to accomplish those goals?
Advice #3 for Balancing Grad School, Your Full Time Job and Side Hustle:
Prioritize the MOST important thing of the day.
This past spring quarter I ended up taking 3 major trips… Coachella (Palm Springs), Orange County/LA for my niece’s baptism, and then Miami for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party. What you didn’t see on Instagram and the blog was all the school work that came with it.
I flew into Miami on a red eye so I could spend one day shooting for the blog and finishing my homework. I didn’t sleep very well on the red eye so I was pretty tired coming into Miami. I knew I needed to sleep, eat, finish and turn in my paper, get ready for my photo shoot and then meet my friend and photography all by 1pm.
What did I prioritize? Sleeping, finishing my paper, and of course the photo shoot. I didn’t eat so by the time we got to the museum of ice cream in the late afternoon, I was ravenous… Then later that evening, I skyped into my 4 hour class.
I accomplished my school priorities, got my blogging projects done, and then had the rest of the weekend to spend time with my girlfriends and celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party.
Advice: As you get busier with life, you have to give energy to the most important things. You’ll realize that prioritizing becomes very clear – especially with deadlines, flights, and other competing priorities. You’ll cut out things that don’t align with your priorities and you’ll learn how to be more efficient with your time.
Advice #4 for Balancing Grad School, Your Full Time Job and Side Hustle:
Communicate your goals, objectives, and maybe even your weekly agenda to your support system/loved ones
People always ask how I manage to see my family, friends, and boyfriend and also take care of my dog Boone. Everyone important in my life knows about my goals and objectives. Because they know WHY I’m working towards my master’s degree, they understand my time constraints and hectic schedule.
For instance, I told my parents I wanted to go to grad school when I was 20 years old during in my first internship with the Boeing Company. On my first date with my boyfriend Brandon, I only met with him for one hour because I had to go study for the GMAT after our date. He knew the first date that I wanted to go to grad school.
Whether you’re working a full time job and side hustle, raising a family and going back to school or work, remember to communicate your goals and next steps with them. They may not be going back to school or pursuing your side hustle, but they will be impacted with the changes in your life.
Relationships may be strained if your transitioning to a new role or taking a new step in your career or business if people perceive you aren’t living up to their expectations. If your family is used to seeing you once a week, it may be an adjustment for them to see you once a month. If your significant other is used to spending time with you every day after work, then it may be an adjustment for them and you when you’re in class until 10pm twice a week.
As you create a normal, your loved ones will also create a new normal around your schedule. But remember, your support system will adjust with you, shift their expectations, and also communicate where they’re at in your journey, IF you communicate with them where you’re at.
What other pieces of advice do you have for anyone going to grad school, working a full time job and side hustle?
Thank you to the wonderful ladies who asked this question! You can follow them on Instagram:
Thank you for reading! Stay tune for more Instagram Questions & Answers!
Photos: Karya Schanilec Photography