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Parents can go back to school too!

The job market is not a joke these days. If you’re looking for work in the midst of COVID-19 you’re seeing just how hard it is to find a job. With massive temporary and permanent layoffs happening across the country due to COVID-19, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a quality job

Sadly, the industries that have been the worst hit (retail and restaurants) all churn out former employees with similar skill sets: ‘great with people!’, ‘proven multitasker!’. This means that when you’re looking to stand out on the job hunt it can be hard to make your resume jump off the page. 

We know that you understand that education is the key to employment and the key to getting that resume as strong as it can be. We also know though that there are factors that can get in the way of getting that education. Having kids can be a big one. Part of the reason that we launched WIllis College’s Online Campus is to break down the barriers to education and make getting career ready even easier but we know that learning online doesn’t make it all sunshine and roses. So, we present to you,  our tips to manage being a parent and going back to school:

Learn online (if you can)

Okay so this is an easy one but if you have the option of learning online and you’re a parent we highly recommend it. You’ll save time on your commute giving you more time to be parent-of-the-year AND childcare will become less on an issue. Is it ideal to attend online lectures while your child watches an hour of The Wiggles? No, but it may be the best you can do sometimes and having that option is  powerful. 

Give guilt the boot

Will going back to school take time away from your children? It absolutely will. But think of all of the things it will give them (and you!): a stable income, a sense of security, and an incredible role model. Your education will tell you children that they can achieve anything because they’ve literally seen YOU overcome incredible odds to give yourself opportunities. Kids pick up on these things and you’ll set an example for them going forward. 

Instead of feeling guilty about going back to school think of it as giving your family a gift, because that’s what it is, the gift of a better future!

Harness your parent powers to give yourself an advantage

Think of all the skills that you’ve mastered to get to where you are as a parent. There is not a mom or dad alive that can survive without incredible time management, conflict resolution, and negotiation skills. Your kids challenge you  and you’re a better person for it. These skills will help you thrive in your new educational pursuits.

Taking time off to have kids may also mean that you’re a bit older and wiser than some in your class. Your life experience will give you a unique perspective, one that will also serve to support you in your new world. You may have life experience that you can draw on for class assignments, stories that can help your fellow classmates, or even a more mature social life that will help you study.

Don’t try to be like everyone else and ask for help when you need it

To succeed as a parent-turned-student, you need to first accept that you won’t be like other students — unless they’re parents too. And some of them will be (fun fact:increasingly, college classrooms, physical and virtual, are populated by adult learners, many of whom are parents). When classwork and kiddie carpool are competing for your time, when you need to study and your child wants help with her homework you may feel like you’re all alone but you’re not!

Just because your life may look a little different doesn’t mean you don’t have the support of those in your class. Your instructors and your fellow students are there to help you so ask! Explain your situation and tell them what you need. It may be an extra day to get an assignment done, or a study session at an unconventional time. People are generally flexible if you have a good reason and it never hurts to ask. 

Plan, plan, plan and then plan some more

Meal prep, study schedules, childcare schedules, even kids homework schedules will be your new best friend. Make a calendar and then stick to it. It may not be fun but living in an organized and regimented way will help you keep your sanity and help keep everyone in your family on the right track. 

When you make dinner, make enough for two nights. Make lunches for two days in a row so it’s a task you only have to do a couple times a week. Invest in some dry shampoo so you’re saving a half an hour of blow drying every second day (seriously!). Use grocery delivery or preparation services. Do whatever you can to squeeze a few extra minutes out of every day. Five minutes here and there will end up saving you HUGE down the line which can be reinvested in your studies, yourself or your family.

So what are you waiting for?

Willis College has secured a reputation as a top college in the Ottawa area that is dedicated to serving our community and to providing skills-training excellence. Being a Willis graduate is a prestigious thing, and we continue to lead in employability-skills training and provide an education that is suited to the ever-changing and emerging demands of the labour market. 

Don’t wait, change your life today with an education from Willis College. We’re currently enrolling students in a variety of programs and would love to chat with you! visit our website to learn more and to get started today!

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