4 Tips for Balancing School, Work, and Life During the Holidays

The holidays are here and with them comes office parties, family events, and tasty cookies! Spending extra time with loved ones and finding amazing gifts you know your family will love is part of the holiday fun, but it can be hard to balance these extra activities when you have a school, work, and family life.

How can you get everything done without becoming overwhelmed during this special time of year? Keep reading for our top tips to balance school, work, and life during the holiday season!

Tip #1 – Stay Organized

Our first tip for getting everything on your list completed during the holidays is to stay organized, because it will make you much more efficient. To do this, use your calendar to plan and organize everything that needs to get done during this time. With an app like Google Calendar, you can even set alerts to remind you when it’s time to complete a specific activity.

For school, add your class schedule, due dates, exam dates, and any other important tasks to your calendar. For example, if you have an exam coming up, block off time on your calendar to study. Next, add your work schedule, holiday events, and family activities to your calendar.

After adding everything to your calendar, you’ll know exactly when and how you’re going to get everything completed. You may need to reduce or change your commitments if you are overbooked.

Tip #2 – Use Time Management

Our second secret to balancing school, work, and family life during the holidays is to have good time management. When blocking off time on your calendar for specific things, make sure you’re realistic about the amount of time each activity will take to complete, and be sure to give yourself enough time.

As you plan your activities, ensure you have not overbooked yourself and committed to too many things, because this can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted.

Prioritize the most important things that need to get done for school, work, and family. After doing this, if you are short on time and something must be removed from your schedule, you can eliminate something with a lower priority and still complete the important stuff.

Tip #3 – Get Ahead

Try to get ahead as much as possible during this busy time of year, so you will have more time for fun holiday activities. Working ahead at your job and completing schoolwork before the deadline is great ways to get ahead.

For example, if you’re working on a project that’s due around Christmas, try to complete it early so you’re not overwhelmed while trying to finish it by the due date. Procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to complete something is a bad idea because it can lower the quality of your work and you may easily become stressed and irritated.

Tip #4 – Practice Self-Care

You’re organized, using good time management, and getting ahead for the holidays, so now it’s time for some self-care! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this time of year, but remember the holiday season is meant to be a cheerful time with friends and family.

Two of the most important ways to practice self-care during the holiday season is to get enough sleep and eat healthily. With so many scientific studies showing the negative effects of not sleeping enough, don’t give in to the temptation to sleep less just to get things done. We all know it can be challenging to eat healthily during the holidays when surrounded by so many delicious foods and desserts, but try to eat healthily to keep your energy levels high.

The holiday season is a busy time, but don’t forget to take time for yourself to rest and recharge. If you need to, add your self-care time to your calendar to ensure you actually relax. Doing nothing may sound counterproductive but recharging your energy will make you feel much better. Don’t forget that it’s okay to say “no” if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Balance School, Work, and Life with United

We designed our career training programs to align with your busy schedule, so you can balance school, work, and family life. At United Career Institute, we offer fast track career training, hands-on learning, personalized attention, and small class sizes to help you begin a rewarding career in healthcare.

Learn more about our fast track Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs and request information now to start your path to a great career!

How to Create SMART Career Goals

For all of us, there are things we want to accomplish in life and in our careers. Maybe your dream is to be the first one in your family to graduate from college. Or maybe you are unhappy in your current job and want to get into a new, more fulfilling career. Maybe you already have a great job and want to advance within your current company.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve in your career, creating goals can help get you there. For goals to be effective, they need to follow a few guidelines. Your SMART career goals should be these five things: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

When you create SMART career goals that meet these criteria, you have a much higher chance of reaching your goals. So how do you create SMART career goals? Read on as we share exactly how!

Specific

The first thing SMART career goals need to be is specific, because with very specific goals, you know exactly what you must do to reach them. Here is an example of a specific career goal that someone may have: I want to graduate from a Medical Assisting program in Fayette County within 18 months in order to start a more fulfilling career. This goal is specific enough to work toward and accomplish because it answers these questions:

  • Who: I want to…
  • What: …graduate from a Medical Assisting program…
  • Where: …in Fayette County
  • When: …within 18 months…
  • Why: …in order to start a more fulfilling career.

By answering the questions above when creating your career goals, you know exactly what you need to do to achieve them.

Measurable

The second thing you need to ensure when creating your SMART career goals, is that they are measurable. Goals need to be measured so that you can track your progress along the way. By doing this, you will know if you’re on track to meet your goals or if there is something that needs to be adjusted in order to meet them.

The best way to do this is to break down your larger goal into smaller chunks. In our Medical Assisting program goal example, we could measure it along the way by listing each class that must be taken as part of the program. In doing this, every time you pass a class, you are one step closer to your goal.

Attainable

When creating SMART career goals, the third thing you need to consider is whether the goals are attainable and achievable. This is an important step because when goals are not attainable, it’s hard to stay motivated to keep working toward them. For example, going to Mars within the next month sounds like an awesome goal, but it’s not attainable, because we don’t currently have the technology to go to Mars. So, while it can seem like a good idea to set your goals super high, doing so can be demotivating because you know they can’t be accomplished anyway.

Using our Medical Assisting program example, a few things to consider to ensure this goal is attainable are the following:

  • Do I have the time to commit to the program?
  • Do I have the support system to succeed in the program?
  • Do I have the prerequisites for the program?
  • Do I have the resources to pay for the program?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re well on your way to achieving your goal of completing a Medical Assisting program. If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t worry! The United staff can help you through the process!

Relevant

For your SMART career goals, the next thing you need to ensure is that they are actually relevant to you. Is the goal something that you really want? Do you care enough about it to put in the necessary work to reach the goal? Does this specific goal align with your other goals? Does the goal help you get closer to your long-term goals and dreams?

In our Medical Assisting program goal example, it is relevant because completing the program will help accomplish the dream of starting a more fulfilling career. So, by achieving one goal, you are actually working toward a longer term goal of having a career that provides more meaning and fulfillment.

Timely

The last thing to consider when creating SMART career goals is that they must be timely. This means that each goal should have a time frame in which it will be accomplished. Without a deadline and timeframe for your goal, there will be no sense of urgency to continue working toward it.

When creating your goal, in addition to including a deadline to reach the goal itself, add deadlines for specific events along the way. For our Medical Assisting example, you could create deadlines for when you will take and pass each class, complete your externship, and pass your certification tests.

Achieve Your Career Goals

Now you’re on the way to creating your own SMART career goals! If you’ve ever dreamed of completing a fast track training program, starting a new career, or working in an industry that allows you to help people on a daily basis, we have the programs to help get you there.

Learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs and request information today to get started!

Meet the New United Fayette County Campus

We’re so excited to announce that Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology is now United Career Institute – Fayette County!

Meet the New United Fayette County Campus

As the new United Fayette County campus, we pledge to work with our community, local employers, students, and graduates to enable trained professionals to provide skilled service and care to the local community.

Our purpose is to empower change by creating opportunity, and we will continue this rich tradition under the new United Career Institute name.

“Our promise at the new United Fayette County Campus is to encourage and empower students to meet their full potential, enabling them to succeed in their careers and make an impact on our local community,” said Pam Hughes, Nursing Director at United Career Institute – Fayette County.

As experts in educating professionals, we train students in the hands-on skills and valuable knowledge needed to meet the needs of local healthcare employers and patients.

With our WE CARE approach to education, students are given the support and tools necessary to succeed. We believe in building a relationship with each and every student because at United Fayette County, you’re a person, and not just a number in a crowd.

Meet the New United Fayette County Campus

We help prepare students to succeed in their careers by providing valuable resources such as academic advising, career advising, and personal advising.

Designed with a personalized approach to learning in mind, we offer small class sizes and one-on-one attention to enable each student to thrive.

Helping students create a career development plan, offering a career prep course, providing resume and cover letter development help, and offering externships and job placement assistance are some of the valuable career services we provide.

At United Career Institute – Fayette County, our career training programs prepare students for successful careers in the healthcare field at facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, labs, and more. We offer Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs designed to meet the needs of healthcare employers.

Ready to get into your dream career with our fast track career training? Request information or call us at 724-437-4600 to get started today!

What Should High School Seniors Be Doing Now?

With school dances, holiday breaks, and classes with your best friends, being a senior in high school can be an awesome experience. You’ve made it so far and can see the finish line!

For some, it can also be overwhelming and a little frightening. As you finish one journey and prepare for the next, the most important question to ask yourself is, what am I going to do after high school?

Making the decision to continue your education by attending college or a training program is a great investment in your future. People who continue their education beyond high school earn higher salaries and have better job security. With so many options, how do you choose the path that’s right for you? And what can you do to set yourself up for success once you graduate high school? Keep reading as we share exactly what high school seniors should be doing right now!

Research Schools and Programs

The first thing high school seniors need to do is research the various schools and programs you’re interested in. Meet with school representatives that visit your school, read through each school’s website, visit their social media pages, and read online reviews. Doing this will help guide you to a school that is the right fit for you.

Choosing the right school for you is extremely important, but equally important is choosing the right program. When deciding on the program you want to pursue, you need to ask yourself some important career questions, like what field do you want to work in, how quickly do you want to start your career, and what style of learning do you excel at? The answers to these questions will help guide you toward the program best for you.

What Should High School Seniors Be Doing Now

For example, if you want to work in the healthcare field, don’t want to spend 4+ years in school, and prefer a hands-on learning environment, a career training program would be best for you. At United Career Institute, we offer fast track career training programs for in-demand jobs like Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration. With short-term programs, you can start your career in months, not years.

Other things to consider are whether the school offers job placement assistance, will you have the chance to earn valuable certifications, and is the program direct admission, meaning you don’t have to take unnecessary classes.

After completing your research and choosing a program, contact the school you’re interested in to get more information and ask any questions you may have. You can set up a campus visit and complete a tour to really get a feel for the school you’re considering. Be sure to note the deadline for admission, so you can get a head start on the application process.

Choosing a school is a big decision, so talk it over with family, friends, and your guidance counselor, as they may have insight and advice that you have not considered.

Complete the Application Process

Now that you’ve chosen the school you want to attend and the program you will complete, it’s time to complete the application process! Schedule a time to meet with an Admissions Advisor to complete your application and make a list of next steps. Your Admissions Advisor will work with you one-on-one to help guide you through the process. Feel free to bring a parent or family member to your admission interview to support you along the way.

After applying and being accepted into your chosen program, you will meet with a Financial Aid Representative who will help guide you through financing your education. Questions about the FAFSA, scholarships, student loans, payment plans, and more can be answered during this meeting. You should bring a parent or guardian to this meeting to ensure all their questions are answered as well.

Next, you need to complete your FAFSA, apply for scholarships, and pay any necessary fees. Additionally, some schools and programs require an entrance exam and letters of recommendation, so you will need to complete these as well, if necessary.

Prepare for Success

Congratulations! You have chosen a school, decided on a program, and completed the admissions process! As you finish your senior year of high school, continue to focus on your grades, extracurricular activities, work, and any other responsibilities.

Be sure to respond to all communications from your school promptly, as they may need additional information or have questions for you. Before you begin your chosen program, purchase any necessary supplies that are not provided and ensure you have the proper support from family and friends.

Apply to United Career Institute

If you’re looking for a school that offers fast track career training programs, hands-on learning, personalized attention, small class sizes, student support, and a WE CARE approach to education, then you’ve come to the right place! Request information today to start your path to a great career with United Career Institute!