The decision to pursue an MBA can have a dramatic impact on your post-MBA career opportunities. A 2010 peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Education for Business found that starting pay for those with an MBA rose 50% over their starting salaries before earning the degree. It generally pays to pursue an MBA sooner in your career to capitalize on the significant increases in earnings for a longer period of your working life.

However, getting an MBA is rarely a trivial decision. Aside from the cost questions concerned with whether one should pursue this course of education, the effect on your personal life has immediate consequences.

Plenty of students maintain full-time jobs, manage family obligations and successfully complete an MBA program to go on to productive and fulfilled careers. Managing your work-life balance while working on a master’s degree is possible if you consider the following points.

Eliminate Unnecessary Distractions

The time commitment involved in completing a full or part-time master’s degree program is intense. During the semester, eliminating all unnecessary distractions will help eliminate any overwhelm involved in juggling competing priorities.

You may need to eliminate time in front of the television or cut back on regularly scheduled social activities in order to maximize available for coursework and team meetings. While you’ll miss out of water cooler talk about the latest events in pop culture, you’ll stay on top of responsibilities that matter most.

Distractions also come in the form of personal relationships. Explain to family and friends that during this temporary period, you may be less available for social functions. They’ll understand and support your educational aspirations. 


Diagram showing how to balance work

Focus on Self-Care

By eliminating unnecessary distractions, you can free up time that can be used to focus on your program and important time for self-care. Do not neglect the need to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Maintain or develop a healthy eating and exercise regimen. Making sure that your body is functioning at optimal levels aids in your ability to absorb, maintain, and digest the massive amount of information disseminated in a master’s level training program.

Use this time of self-care to connect with loved ones. Have dinner with friends regularly. Workout with your family members. Combining these activities allows you to maintain the needed connections which can keep stress levels down.

Balance Your Course Load

Depending on your personal responsibilities, limiting the number of credit hours taken per term is a viable options. Part-time MBA students also experienced a significant post-MBA salary increase – 41% -- over their pre-MBA salaries. There is no harm, from a career advancement perspective, in taking longer to complete the program. Few credit hours can help dedicated the needed time to do well in the program without sacrificing a health life balance.

Outsource If Possible

Managing your household responsibilities: child care, cooking, cleaning, outdoor work – takes time that you just might not have while working toward an MBA. Hiring help to offload regular tasks to upkeep your home and keep your family functioning smoothly is a good investment of resources. This will allow you to focus solely on the major activities without struggling with the nagging thoughts of a growing list of smaller chores left undone. Free up your mental energy to focus on the big picture.


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