June 1, 2009, 5:00 am

Survival Guide to a MBA Part2: Surviving your job

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA
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Last Friday, I wrote about surviving your MBA and gave a few tricks to get through the program without having to pulling out your hair, and 5 years or life expectancy. I have found the trick for the hair though; I didn’t have any when I started so I didn’t have to care about them! More seriously if you:

#1 Work efficiently

#2 Choose your team mates

#3 Ask what teachers expect

#4 Choose your battle

You will do the MBA program just well. However, while surviving your MBA is important, you have other part of your life that needs to follow the train as well. One of them that is really important is your day job. What is the point of doing a MBA if you can’t make it at your day job? So here’s a few trick how I survived it.

Get support from your employer

From my own experience, this is probably the most important part of your MBA in regards to your day job. People that didn’t have full support from their direct manager either quit or had a really hard time going through this experience.

Your manager should understand the level of work it will require and try to not put too much pressure on your back at work. If you actually finish your MBA and keep working at the same place, it is in his best interest that you evolve within the same company. It is not a matter of having a free ride but letting the employee takes his vacation or studying day whenever he wants will certainly give him a break and help him out.

Another way to get support from your employer is to get access to more “confidential information” and access to superior management level when you have paper to write. This was a great help I received from all my managers as they were are willing to help and provide me with information that is more specific to our department. Unfortunately, several employers or managers are reluctant to provide such information. This will obviously make your MBA harder.

Take vacation on a periodic basis

I must admit I didn’t travel too much for the past two weeks. However, I have taken a week of vacation during each session to make sure I don’t blow a gasket. It is a matter a calculating your vacation days and combining them with holidays to make sure you have enough vacation. Last summer, we also rented a vacation property for a week where I didn’t do any work. This is really important to disconnect from your MBA and work once in a while. Several employers will grant additional vacation days when you are studying. I was granted a day per course so it gave me the opportunity to take several breaks. I didn’t always study, in fact, sometimes playing golf is much better for mental health than getting your nose stuck in a book!

Choose the right timing

If you are currently fighting for a promotion, wait until you get it before applying for your MBA! I actually changed job and had to learn about a whole new world while doing my MBA and it was the best decision I made career wise, but I paid the price with my health and my life quality with my family big time! In my class, we had people who were 25 and were 40… there is no age to do a MBA, but there is certainly good and bad timing in your career path! Burning yourself down is not a good way to climb the ladder!

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[…] a MBA is certainly a challenge in term of time management as you also have the rest of your life going […]