Tag Archives: lifelong learner

How Online Learning Can Unlock New Doors For Your Career (Even Through A Pandemic)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed everyone’s life in some way. Whether you or a loved one have battled through the virus or you’re just spending way more time at home, jobs and careers are the main parts of our lives that have been upturned. 

25% of U.S. adults say that they, or someone in their household, have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s a massive statistic. Even if you haven’t lost your job, there’s no doubt that your career will have been affected somehow. Maybe you’re working from home. Maybe you’re working less because of restrictions. Or maybe, the pandemic has put your career into perspective, and you know it’s time to try something new. 

However you’ve been affected, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The world is at your fingertips with an absolute plethora of learning options moving online. Now’s the time to embrace it! You can retrain, add to your arsenal or even explore working from home options that might not have been viable before. 

Today, we’re going to look at a few ways that online learning can change your career for the better. There’s a possibility for everyone, no matter your skill level or the size of your wallet. 

Retrain

Retraining may be the most obvious way to make the most of online learning options. If you’ve lost your job, retraining can be a brilliant way to move your career forward. Especially if the pandemic has hit your field of work particularly hard. The best way to start is to use online guides that help you navigate degree options available to you. It can be a real minefield with a wide range of degrees and qualifications on offer. Utilizing these guides means you can identify the path you need to take to get to your desired end goal. 

It’s also crucial to find out precisely what you want to do. Make a list of what you enjoy doing, what skills you already have, and what career path you’d fancy doing. Remember, don’t just think about the money you’ll make; enjoying your job sounds cliché but can change your life. 

This comes from a place of privilege, though. Not all of us have the level of financial security that allows us to explore our dreams. If that’s the case, think about finding a balance between what you want to do and a good pay packet. Or, instead of retraining, think about bumping up your CV instead to make yourself more hireable. (Check out the “Add to your repertoire” section below.) 

Once you know what you want to do and have figured out the path to take, you’ll want to choose the best course for you. Did you know the top Colleges in the U.S. now offer online versions of their classes and degrees? There’s a vast offering out there that’ll fit your budget and needs. 

Add To Your Repertoire

Taking the time to retrain in a new work field isn’t always the best option available for us. Maybe you don’t have the freedom to take time away from family obligations to concentrate on courses. Or you might still be working and can’t commit that much time to learn. 

If that’s the case, finding some simple, cheap, and quick courses that make your CV shine is a great place to start. If you’ve lost your job, then these courses will help you stand out from the crowd and help you get hired fast. If you want to go in a new direction, they can help you gain expertise in your new field without long term commitment. There’s a massive amount of these simple courses available, so try using a website that brings many of them together in one place. It saves you spending hours sifting through them on Google. 

If you’re really squeezed for cash – thanks to the pandemic, who isn’t – some websites even offer free courses and financial aid. So you don’t have to feel like there isn’t anything you can do. You don’t have to stay trapped in a job you hate. Nor do you have to feel like your skills aren’t up to par. 

Explore Unused Skills

Suppose you’re looking for something totally different or want to bump up your current pay. In that case, you can explore your unused talents! Pretty much everyone has some skill that they don’t use for money. Many of us like to keep them for personal hobbies, but if you decide you’d like to take that further, it couldn’t be easier. 

Maybe you have an Arts degree or can write like Shakespeare; there are apps available to help you find freelance work. Try something like Fiverr for a quick way to sell your skills online.

If you’re unsure where to start, try an online course directed at creating your own business. It’ll help you navigate everything that’s involved; tax and accounting can be a special kind of nightmare that online courses can help relieve. Skillshare is an excellent place for hints and tips about becoming a freelancer. The classes aren’t accredited, so they won’t find a place on your CV, but they’ll give you some much-needed knowledge. If all else fails, make the most of Youtube. It’s true what they say, there’s a video about everything on there. 

The pandemic has hit some of us more than others, and losing your job will only add to its stress. Use this guide to help you concentrate on yourself for a bit and what you want. Then, looking for a new job or career will be a little bit easier than before. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what’s available – if it was, you’d be here for a very long time! Take the time to find out what’s best for you and your situation. We’re all dealing with different things right now, so all our experiences are individual.

Online learning really can change your career for the better. Now’s the perfect time to make the most of it – especially the free options!

Birthday Book Haul!

I’ve picked up a few new books that I’d love to share with you today! My birthday was last week and not only was I gifted with some lovely books, I also went on a little shopping spree myself. One of my favorite things in the world to do is shop for used books — at thrift stores, second hand book shops, garage sales, you name it. I love finding book bargains! However, the pandemic hasn’t really allowed for that particular hobby to take place. So, for my birthday I decided to treat myself to a haul from ThriftBooks.com. Here’s what I picked up…

The Night She Died by Dorothy Simpson –
This is a British mystery featuring Detective Inspector Luke Thanet. I thought this would be a fun one to read around Thanksgiving or Christmas time because nothing says cozy to me like a procedural murder mystery!

Brazil by John Updike –
For some reason I’ve never gotten around to picking up this modern classic even though it’s been on my list forever. I think I’m going to pick this one up as soon as I finish my current read. I just can’t resist the 90s charm of this edition’s cover.

Matilda by Roald Dahl –
Just a childhood classic that I couldn’t resist for the price. I love all the illustrations by Quentin Blake and I’m happy to have this in my “formative books from my youth” collection.

The Martian by Andy Weir –
Another book that’s been on my list forever. I’ve of course seen the movie but I hear the book is even better. 😉 (Hard to imagine!) I’ve been craving more sci-fi set in space since reading The Sparrow and giving it a solid 5/5 stars.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman –
I’ve also seen this movie… I’m not one of those people that feels like they have to read a book first. If anything, seeing film adaptations makes me MORE likely to pick up a book after the fact — usually encouraging me to read something I wouldn’t normally be drawn to. I feel like that’s the case with this one. The movie was so beautiful that I want to be re-transported to that world!

Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl –
I recently got it in my head that I want to have a little trio of books on my shelf — Diana, Kate, and Meghan — so that’s what this is for. When you’re thrifting your books on the super cheap, I feel like you can indulge in dumb whims. This is one of mine! LOL

Now let’s look at the books I was sweetly gifted…

The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case –
My mom sent this one over to me and it was something I had put on my birthday wish list. If you read my recent blog series on mental health practices based on enneagram types, you know I’m currently pretty obsessed. This is a fantastic resource!

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay –
Another gift from my mom! This one is a memoir by a junior doctor on the NHS front line. My mom knows I’m drawn to any media about medicine and I can’t wait to dive into this one. I hear it is equal parts hilarious and heart wrenching.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor –
Finally, Real Life was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. This one looks AMAZING and comes very highly recommended by many of my most trusted reviewers.

Have you read any of these books? Thoughts? Have you acquired any new books lately?

P.S. Let’s be friends on Goodreads! 

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Now that it’s full-blown, hot-as-heck Summer down here in South Florida, I’m planning to take all my work-related phone calls poolside for the rest of the season. Just the prospect makes the rest of the work-week sound so much more bearable. How are YOU making it through to the weekend? Hope the rest of your week is divine, and here are some links…

10 historical superstitions we carry on today.

Misunderstanding a female serial killer.

22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country.

This family is VERY committed to their karaoke rendition of “One Day More” from Les Mis.

Spend a day working with a paparazzi photographer.

8 books you need to read if you’re interested in cults. (and/or just finished binge watching Wild Wild Country like yours truly!)

I have a free class credit with Master Class and I’m thinking of enrolling in this one taught by Malcom Gladwell.

Absolutely in love with everything about this a-frame house. (When can I move in?)

From friendly mermaids to a fiery volcano, the mini-golf courses in Myrtle Beach have it all.

This ice cream shop is so good that Israelis sneak into Palestine to eat there.

The guy who can’t stop winning HQ trivia.

I’ve been itching to read this book. Anyone have a copy?

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Five Great Poetry Books! and Mini Vacay: Delray Beach!!!

Current Podcast Subscription List

Last night, as I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, I did what I always do during chores these days. Popped in my earbuds and played a podcast. Do you do this? Ever since starting this ritual, I find myself looking forward to doing the dishes. *gasp* It’s almost like the doldrums of domesticity masquerading as pleasant self-care. Highly recommend!

Anyways! Here’s my current line-up, in case you’re curious:

And I just started Britney’s Instagram and Embedded (after finishing Dirty John).

What’s on YOUR subscription list? There are so many good podcasts out right now, I might have to start doing more daily chores! 😉 

P.S. I asked 9 friends, “What’s your favorite podcast?” and here’s what they had to say.

Beth’s Reading List – Too Many Books, Never Enough Time

50 books from my reading list

I’ve always been a reader. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book going (and sometimes 2, 3, or 4). If I find myself bored, and there’s a book around; it doesn’t matter what the book is about, I’ll probably pick it up and start reading. Why not?

Which is all to say, I’m not very discriminating when it comes to literary tastes. Novel, non-fiction, memoir. Give me one of each please and keep ’em comin’!

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that I have a rather VAST reading list. Around five years ago, I started keeping track of every book I read or heard about that sounded remotely interesting and recording each title personally recommended to me. As I’m a fan of so many types of books, and find myself interested in a whole slew of subject matter, that list has grown…and grown….and GROWN. I’ve collected hundreds upon hundreds of titles! So many in fact that keeping the list has sort of become a hobby in and of itself. (But, hey! I’m not complaining…I low-key LOVE lists and list-makin’.)

In case you’re curious about the type of books that make it on to my “too long to ever type out in it’s entirety” reading list, I decided to provide you with a sampling. Here goes!

1. You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney

2. Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way by Ruth Reichl 

3. So Many Ways to Sleep Badly by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore 

4. The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle, also by Walls, is one of my all-time faves! I can’t wait to see the movie

5. Appalachian Trials: The Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Zach Davis 

6. The No Recipe Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide to the Art of Cooking by Susan Crowther
Cookbooks are books too! 

7. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

8. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

9. Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

10. Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake
Lots of folks who know my love of Barbara Kingsolver have recommended this one to me.

11. Prairie Tale: A Memoir by Melissa Gilbert
For obvious reasons. 

12. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

13. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

14. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trooper
I’ve seen the movie but I hear the books is better.

15. The Promise: A Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship by Rachelle Friedman

16. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

17. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs 

18. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray
I don’t have kids but this seems like an important read nonetheless.

19. That’s Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us by Erin Moore

20. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
I have a special place in my heart for sports journalism. 

21. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari 

22. Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Thomas Hoving

23. Conquering Chaos by Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra
Because MTV reality tv is my vice and I don’t even care. 

24. Between Wrecks by George Singleton

25. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

26. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

27. Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself by Sarah A. Chrisman

28. The Clasp by Sloane Crosley 

29. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
I have a huge girl crush on this author! 

30. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

31. Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History by James Higdon

32. Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle
One of my favorite bloggers. 

33. Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World by Susan Silverman 

34. Epilogue by Anne Roiphe 

35. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
STILL have never read any of Vowell’s books and have GOT to get on it!

36. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

37. Ann Tenna by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

38. The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes by Frank Bures
I mean COME ON! Tell me that doesn’t sound good?! 

39. Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens 

40. High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed by Michael Kodas
I will read, watch, or listen to anything about Mt. Everest and Himalayan mountaineering.

41. The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West by Lesley Poling-Kempes

42. I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro 

43. A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran by Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd 

44. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein 

45. Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen by Alyssa Shelasky 

46. The End of the Perfect 10: The Making and Breaking of Gymnastics’ Top Score – From Nadia to Now by Dvora Meyers
For those of us who pretend to be gymnastics experts every 4 years. 

47. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer 

48. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
May as well see what all the fuss is about!

49. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
Can you believe this is the same woman who wrote The Lottery?

50. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What are some books on YOUR reading list?

Finally – Do you have any of the books listed above? I’m ALWAYS down for a book-swap!! I’d love to pass along a book from my collection that may be on your reading list. Let me know!

Four Things

happy-halloween-pring

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a spook-tacular Halloween!! Here are four fun things I’ve been thinkin’ about today…

audrey-hepburn-yoga

What’s your go-to exercise routine this Fall? I’ve been really into long walks (the breeze in South Florida lately is a game changer!) followed by this stretching routine. I’ve also been itching for a new 30 day yoga challenge. Yoga with Adriene and Bad Yogi both have a couple, and I’d highly recommend them if you’re craving a daily practice.

june stitch fix box

I’m also anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new box from Stitch Fix! Living for over a year in a climate that doesn’t really change from season to season means…I’m kinda sick of all my clothes. Stitch Fix is an amazing service if you’re looking for a wardrobe refresh. Once you sign up, you fill out an extensive style profile with your preferences and sizes, and your own personal stylist will pick out 5 pieces and ship them to your doorstep. You keep what you love and send back the rest! I requested some dressy tees since short-sleeved shirts that can either be dressed up or dressed down is pretty much all I wear. Let me know if you’d like to see a post detailing what I receive in my box!

lauren-hutton-with-camera

My mom gifted me access to a self-paced photography class for my birthday. (Thanks Mom!!!) It is fascinating, inspirational, and informative, and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the technical side of photography. (I also love the homework assignments at the end of each lesson!)

rosemarys-baby

Finally, I’d love to know, what’s your favorite horror film? Halloween on a Monday night seems the perfect excuse for cozying up on the couch with a classic, creepy movie. (All the party’s are out of the way after the weekend.) Rosemary’s Baby tops my list for Halloween fright-night films. What’s on your list?

2nd Photo: Audrey Hepburn practicing yoga on the set of ‘Green Mansions’, 1958. 4th Photo: Lauren Hutton, 1968. 

Styling Photos – I need practice!

Today’s post is something a little bit different. For me, having a blog is a great incentivizer. If I want to whip up a certain meal, check out a local park, or crack out my craft box for a DIY, I just schedule a post pertaining to that subject matter and get to it. I know to write and design the post I’ll have to complete the activity first. I can’t show you guys how to make broccoli soup before I’ve actually made broccoli soup (and enjoyed it!). I can’t walk you through the Sunken Gardens in St. Pete without first walking through it myself (and snapping lots of pictures!).

So, I gave myself an assignment and decided I would share the results with all of you! You see, I need practice when it comes to photography and styling photos. Ultimately, I’d like to up my game with the sorts of images I create for this blog. The hope is that posting about practicing something I want to become better at will both incentivize the process AND keep me accountable for continuing to learn. Here goes…

The assignment: 

Style 8 photos inspired by the following categories — Pen Pals, Gettin’ Down to Business, Cook With Me, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere, Get Ready With Me, Brand I Love, Glitter + Gold, and Currently Reading.

The results: 

Pen Pals

IMG_2005

Gettin’ Down to Business

IMG_2010

Cook With Me

IMG_2016

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

IMG_2020

Get Ready With Me

IMG_2022

Brand I Love

IMG_2029

Glitter + Gold

IMG_2039

Currently Reading

IMG_2040

And there you have it! I had a blast laying out these images…styling and taking photos is definitely something I enjoy but is also something that, unfortunately, sometimes becomes an afterthought when I’m creating a post. Hopefully with some more assignments like this one, the process will become quicker and a little bit more second-nature. For now, I’m happy for the practice and to slowly build up a repertoire of images I can use alongside future content.

Note: I used a Canon EOS M camera with EF-M 22mm STM lens to shoot these images.

How do you incentivize or hold yourself accountable for skills you want to master? Have any photography or photo styling tips or resources you’d like to share? Thoughts on the images above? Leave a comment!