New Year, New Start – but WHERE to Start?

New Year, New Start – but WHERE to Start?

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Looking for a new challenge in terms of a career is not uncommon; many people have made the leap from one career to another.

New Year, New Start – but WHERE to Start?

As one year ends and another starts, we can feel invigorated. Looking for a new challenge in terms of a career is not uncommon; many people have made the leap from one career to another.

On the surface, it looks easy. You make the decision what you want to do, make the change and never look back.

But, finding your new career, choosing the right path and understanding what qualifications you need can seem confusing, daunting and off-putting.

#1 Make a list!
You may have a few ideas and options as to what career you would like to follow. If you have no idea, making a list of what you like and don’t like can be helpful in pointing you in the right direction.

You may, for example, enjoy cooking and have an interest in food and ingredients. You may also enjoy sports etc. You may already know that working with animals, or childcare is not a path you want to go down and this can rule out various career options.

Once you have this list, you can start browsing through some career ideas online. There are all kinds of useful websites that can provide more detailed information on what is needed to get started in a certain career, as well as the route to promotion.

Consider what you are good at – make a list of everything, no matter how ridiculous you think it sounds – what interests you, what you think you are natural at, as well as everything that you like.

Remember, in many professions soft skills are highly prized and valued so by not listing them, you could be doing yourself a disservice.

#2 Assess the qualifications needed
Most careers have some kind of basic qualification for people entering the profession, as well as additional skills and knowledge that may be needed for the next step.

Making sure you understand the basics of what is needed is important. You don’t want to spend all that time and money on a course, only to find that some agencies or organisations may not recognise it.

#3 Look for learning providers
Once you have an idea of the type of course needed, and the correct level of qualification, you now start your search for the right learning provider.

Some people choose to study at college, either on an evening course or by arranging time off if they are working. Some learners feel that they need this set pattern of learning and deadlines to ensure that they complete the course.

Some people are also still under the impression that this is the ‘right’ way to learn, and the only way that has any value.

But, times have changed and attitude to learning has changed. This is why home learning courses are becoming increasingly popular with students – and it is true across all levels of qualifications, from GCSEs to A-levels, to vocational courses too.

#4 Take the leap and enrol on home study courses!
For many people, giving up their current job to study full time is simply not an option. The mortgage or rent still needs paying, as do all the other bills but many people are also aware of student debt.

By studying at home, in your own time and carrying on in your current position, you get the best of all worlds: a qualification with value, a salary each month and no debt as you start your new career.

Sounds a bit too easy?
It can sound almost idyllic, with a bit of study here and there, you can gain a qualification and a new career. In many ways, it can be this simple but it takes effort and commitment.

There are times when life gets in the way but with home study, your chosen course – and the work you need to complete for it – can ebb and flow with your family, work and other commitments. There are times when your study will need to take priority but there are times when other things will need to.

Making changes can be tough but, with planning and commitment, you can do it – and start enjoying a new career!

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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