“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
— Albert Einstein.
Work-life balance seems to be embedded in the desire to create a joyful and meaningful engagement between your personal interests and professional roles. Many organizations have created innovative programs to help employees juggle workplace stress with the daily pressures of family, friends, and self. However, if you are considered going for your MBA degree, I must warn you. Say farewell to any attempt to achieve work-life balance.
In an ideal world, everyone who goes to graduate school would quit their jobs and focus on accomplishing their MBA degree full-time, which means no distractions from life, or more specifically, from work. However, for most people, especially those who need to continue working, going back to school means squeezing in their studies into a very busy working day. While the financial burden may be lifted if your employer covers your tuition fee, you will be bound to stay. Aside from the need to have substantial savings, leaving your career to get your MBA as a full-time student might result in lost opportunity for professional advancement. This is my current situation. I continue to work as I pursue my degree.
When you start the MBA program, you are instantly adding significant work to your plate. So no matter how good you are at managing time, there will be instances that you’ll struggle and may need to make short-term sacrifices. These sacrifices can be as simple as not going out on a Friday night since you have a case study or research paper to be submitted the next day, not binge-watching your favorite series, or checking your Instagram account less. It can also be something more substantial, such as not having time on weekends to spend with your friends or missing an important family event or work deadline because of school requirements.
While I believe that it is near to impossible to achieve work-life-studies balance, it is important to carve out time for self-care, such as sleep and exercise. And during hectic days, remember that all these academic and work demands are just temporary. It takes about three years of part-time studies to earn an MBA, but I believe that the sacrifice is really worth doing it. Investing your time and money in MBA studies will give you a chance to accomplish great things in the future.
So far, the best thing I have experienced in my MBA is the access to the vast Lasallian network. From day one, I never felt any tension and regret in embarking on my graduate studies or if it was right option for me. And that is because since my first day, I have encountered peers who always give me new perspective in life as a student and as a working professional. They are the ones I know I can count on to achieve my goals as they always share new ideas and they always help me to find way to different problems. I believe that the most successful MBA students are the ones who connect the most with different people and get more involved in graduate school life.
Balancing your personal life with working and getting an MBA is not easy. However, in the end, it will totally be worth it. With an MBA in hand, you will encounter greater opportunities, including receiving increased compensation, job promotions, and new career opportunities. You will also get a chance to refocus yourself and provide yourself with the requisite knowledge, skills and ethics to pursue your corporate dreams.
Grab the opportunity to experience new challenges and learnings. Do not be scared to try as many different things as you can and plan your own unique path. It truly is a rewarding undertaking!
This article was part of the requirements of the course, Strategic Human Resource Management.
Hannah Joy Jadolos is an MBA student of the De La Salle University Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business.