Are you on trend for continuing education?

By Sean Woodman, Generation Next Governor at Large
Muncie Power Products Inc

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of Generation Next Edition

Have you considered furthering your education by obtaining a trade school diploma, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, MBA, or a certification? I think it’s time you invest in something that you know will get results: YOU!
  I get it, school is not for everyone. You might think there’s not enough time in the day to get it all done. But don’t be discouraged by long hours reading textbooks, homework, studying for exams and the financial aspect of paying for school, while juggling work, wellness, and family life.

In 2016, 12 years after graduating high school, I decided it was time to invest in myself and embark on a quest to continue my education. Four short years later, I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business. Here are some tips that helped me set and achieve my goals:

Start where you are. Knowing your desired outcome will help you get started. Start researching different schools, programs, trades, or certifications. Know and understand what each one will offer in your journey to fulfillment.

Pick something that will work for your schedule: This is important!

  • Choose a program that will fit your schedule. If you are working a full-time job, then a traditional college with classes held during your workday will not be the answer. Plenty of night classes and online courses are available.
  • Find a program that is flexible with your schedule> Being able to work at your own pace will be beneficial to your success.
  • Perhaps you need structure in order to succeed. If so, consider enrolling in a program that allows you to have a set schedule.

Time management:

  • Plan out your week to maximize your time.
  • Prioritize what needs to happen in the week and get those done first. Then move on to the less important items.
  • Take advantage of work or lunch breaks. Use this time to study.
  • Don’t forget to schedule time for family and friends, or just to turn off your brain for a little and enjoy some quiet time. Do not let yourself get burnt out by working 100% of the time.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize while you are juggling so many things at once. Don’t lose sight of your goal. Life’s rewards don’t always come easy; sacrifices might be necessary. It helps to keep in mind that you are furthering your education for a purpose.

Other things to consider:

  • Furthering your education doesn’t mean you have to get a degree or a certification. Many companies offer training, classes and conversations that help provide new perspectives. These opportunities help enrich your abilities to think outside the box and have conversations you might not regularly have. Reach out to your company and see what they have to offer. If they don’t offer anything, start the conversation.
  • Many companies offer tuition or certification reimbursement. Reach out and see how your company can help you succeed.
  • As a work truck industry professional, you can find a wealth of training opportunities through NTEA. Visit the workforce development page for more information.

Best of luck on furthering your education and meeting your personal goals.

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