General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

How can I focus but not lose my sanity in this situation?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635points) March 27th, 2012

I’m willing to burn out, and focus down on my soon to be life. But I’d love to do it in an organized fashion. My situation is that I’m married, having a kid soon, no job (actively looking), college student, wife is about to give birth April 24th, and she will go on unemployment, I have depleted my unemployment insurance.

So what we know is I need a job asap. I have class M-Th. T and Th I have class that is morning through night, so cannot work on those days.

How should I try and organize my priorities? How should I try and organize job searching/applying? Should I absolutely ditch my buds for hang outs? Thanks. If you have similar experience I’d love to hear your story for inspiration!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I’d imagine earning is important to you? So while you are looking for a job consider things you are good at and use that also to earn. You can work from home and manage the days you do work. Stay focused on your education though. It brings short term discomfort but long term benefits.
Although your focus is your wife and soon to be child, keep a balanced life, one day at a time, that includes a small percentage on your buddies. I am kind of telling you to do all the things I did not which in then end caused me more issues, like chucking in my degree half finished. Good luck!

Bellatrix's avatar

Can you move to part-time study? Given your circumstances bringing money in will be a major priority and I am concerned your studies will suffer anyway. If you could drop from full-time to part-time that might help. You could speak to the student counsellors about your situation, they will know what options such as that are available to you.

Yes, you need to cut back going out with your friends. For now your focus has to be on your wife, child, work and studies. Perhaps organise for your friends to visit you. Then you can still be at home with your wife and child and not neglect your friends. See them during semester breaks.

Work wise, again speak to the career counsellors at your university. Often employers will contact universities looking for staff and they are more likely to be understanding of the demands you have in terms of study and family. There may be positions available AT the university that you could look into. Handy in terms of travelling.

You could also look at jobs like night fill positions, that will mean you can work at night rather than during the day. Retail positions can be hard to find when unemployment is high but getting a job in a big supermarket chain might also give you more flexibility in terms of hours. Telemarketers don’t work 9–5 either. You might be able to find something working for a telco. I know these aren’t great career options but they pay and money puts food on the table!

funkdaddy's avatar

Unfortunately I don’t know you well enough to say what might work for you, but understand you’re looking for new perspectives.

With the baby that close, getting some steady income would be my first priority. If you’re hired tomorrow you may not have a paycheck by the time the baby gets here. It’s that close.

There are so many things that can come up with a new baby and unexpected expenses. While money is always going to be tight the difference between knowing when you’ll be able to pay your bills and having no idea when they’ll get paid is huge. That’s doubly true with all the other possible stresses coming into your life.

Have you thought about waiting tables? The schedule is generally flexible, the money can be good, they’re usually used to working with students, you can generally pick up or drop shifts as needed if things come up, and as long as you’re willing to hustle it’s not a bad gig. There’s high turnover so you can typically find something quickly. Get there before people start looking for their summer jobs. If you have a tourist industry where you are, those places can be great because usually prices are high and people are there to have a good time. You sell more, you make more, people are happier, you can help them out with things around the city, etc.

Also since you have weekends “open” from school, that’s when you can make most of your money.

My priorities after that would be the baby, then momma, then school, then sleep, staying healthy, and then buds/fun. It’s just not the time until everything else is handled and you’re suffering a little now so you can make tomorrow better for yourself and those you love. Try to mix the fun in with everything else and keep your eyes on the little things you enjoy rather than the little things that aren’t perfect.

You definitely can do it. Decide to.

bkcunningham's avatar

What are your priorities and goals, @whitecarnations?

Seaofclouds's avatar

It definitely sounds to me like getting a job should be a priority. I’d say get your resume/applications out there and apply everywhere you can. When you get an interview, be sure to tell them that you are a student and see if they are able to work around your school schedule. Talk to your school, see if they have any opportunities related to your field or the school.

As for your time with your friends, obviously it may get cut back some since you won’t have as much free time. Be open and honest with them about what’s going on. You can still see them, perhaps have them over for dinner or go out for dinner one evening here and there if you have time available. Your situation of being in school and working will be temporary.

I know it’s hard to work full time, go to school, and have family responsibilities, but it can be done. Good luck!

Judi's avatar

I really think you should be discussing this with your wife? Her and your child should take priority over your, “buds.”
You have a lot to prioritize, but if you were married to me I would say, get a retail job where you can get flexible hours and maybe some medical insurance and cut school back to part time. Really, it is more than about just you. You might be willing to “burn out,” like you said, but a family and a relationship takes nurturing. If you spend to much time spinning your wheels you might loose everything that really matters.

srmorgan's avatar

A job in a retail establishment might be your best bet. Most retailers are open 7 days every week and some are open 24 hours like Wal-mart or many supermarkets. These types of outfits can give you some flexibility with days and shift hours which would mesh nicely with your school days. Overnight shifts in supermarkets are not popular and you sometimes see signs for that late shift but this would work well with your school hours.

See if you can get something for 20–30 hours per week with the chance of going to the full 40 hours once summer begins, assuming you won’t be attending summer session.

The earlier you can put in an application the better. Try places like Home Depot and Lowe’s which also work employees at less than full shifts and can be flexible about hours.

Good luck and congratulation on the imminent arrival of the baby?
Boy or Girl?

whitecarnations's avatar

Boy, William :)

prioritymail's avatar

As a college student with no job, I can kind of relate, but I don’t have any kids and am not married so my situation is different in a lot of ways. I don’t know what you should do, but I can tell you what I imagine I would do if I were in your situation.

If I were in your position, getting a job would be my first priority so that someone in the family has an income. Cutting down from F/T to P/T at school, like someone else recommended above, would be an acceptable compromise to me. Take a good look at the classes you want to take and find out if you can take enough of them at night so that your days are freed up for work. If that’s not possible maybe you can consolidate them on just a few days so that you are free most of the week. Any job that pays a reasonable wage would be good enough for me in the short term. When you have a job, you can look for a better one. I would probably be looking for F/T work and P/T school, especially if I was starting school for the first time. My goal would be a job that is related to my future career goals so I can also build my resume. If this means taking a pay cut, I would seriously want to weigh the pros and cons of short-term versus long-term returns. Assuming school will help me get where I want to go, dropping out in order to pay the bills would be my last resort. I would hope that my wife would eventually be able to get a job because that would take some of the earning burden off me.

Before I pay my tuition, I would want to sit down and think about what the plan is. What are my short and long term goals? How will I get there? How will going to school help reach these goals? What EXACTLY is it going to cost me? Should I attend P/T or F/T? My school charges by the credit hour up until 12 credits (full time), and any additional credits you take above 12 do not cost extra. Last semester I took 22 just to get better value. You might want to plan to start P/T, but load up in a later semester. I would want to have a financial plan and a time line, and clear goals in mind. I would also want to have a clear budget of income versus expenses so I know that the ends will meet, and hopefully that I am able to save some money. I would strictly stick to the budget. When I am planning, I remind myself to be realistic. Allow yourself small rewards for achieving small goals that feed into your bigger goals. Build some R&R time into your routine so you can stay healthy.

Working while going to school is not easy. It helps to keep your goals clearly in mind, and remind yourself in the tough times that the sacrifices you’re making now will help you achieve your goals. I find it helps to keep organized. Mastering how you learn and good time management are key. Having a strong support system in your family and friends is helpful, too. You need to find a balance between all the competing priorities that works for you or you won’t be able to sustain.

It is important that if you are in school, you do well in your classes. The better you do, the better for you. A high GPA makes a difference in the doors that open for you and the relationships with your professors.

I think you are in for some difficult times, but that you will make it. I met someone that went through a similar situation and is doing well now.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther