Results day was a big day for me. Not quite as nerve wracking or anxious as my leaving certificate. But, then at the time I wasn’t that invested in my future.
This time, I was receiving the results on a Level 9 Post Graduate Diploma in Executive Management, a course that I completed through AIT on a part time basis over the past 12 months while running a busy coaching and training business and dealing with the fallout from Covid-19. The course was doable, it included college days on Saturdays, and online lectures on weekdays. It was the next chapter in my quest for life-long learning.
Making sacrifices for gain
I made sacrifices to complete the course. I missed out on occasions and spent evenings studying rather than watching Netflix. It is a fact of life that you have to give up something of a lower value to achieve something of a higher value. I sacrificed my Saturdays and some holiday time to complete the course, and I have no regrets. Little did I realise the amount of work and effort that was involved when I registered. Even so I’m not sure it would have put me off.
A non-traditional route to education
I haven’t taken the traditional education route and consider myself a true life-long learner. I believe that learning is the key to growth. My education started many years ago, I just turned four when I started school. That was following an accident when I was 3 years old and fell into a 14-foot hole got bumped on the head, and sustained a few bruises. I guess my parents figured I’d be safer in school and that was that. As a result of my early start, I had completed my leaving certificate results still aged only 16, (nowadays it’s 18 or 19). Being young was my excuse for not realising the importance and value of education at this point.
Research shows that there is a strong correlation between income and education, and I didn’t realise that either. As a career coach, I am always astonished how many people want a good income but are not prepared to invest the time in their education.
My ‘OK’ leaving cert results left me wanting, not enough honours to get onto a college course. Truthfully though, it didn’t really matter because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and the choices were limited. Perhaps I am showing my age, but like my peers at the time, I was too busy learning to smoke, drink and socialise. With no long-term plan in mind I completed a secretarial course. For years I thought it had been a waste of time, however looking back I learnt some really valuable skills including the ability to touch type.
What I wish I knew then …
Deciding what to study can be difficult when you don’t know all the possible options, it’s like trying to order a meal without seeing a menu. And when deciding on further education you really need to have an end goal. I didn’t have an end goal, or even an interim one.
This is true for many of us and so often in my coaching practice I come across people who are looking to change direction in terms of career during their adult life.
I have many tools at my disposal including psychometric profiling which I use in my practice helping people look at the options. And, there are options many of them which combine work and study.
I received a first-class honour in my recent results, and now I understand the value of learning I am deciding what to study next.
If you would like to chat about career options please feel free to get in touch. My story is not unique, and there are options out there for all of us. firstname.lastname@example.org