Tag Archives: back to school

4 Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Going Back To School

Standard
4 Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Going Back To School

Are you thinking of going back to school? Although it’s a very exciting endeavor, it’s also very daunting – especially if you’ve been out of education for several years. You need to make sure that you’re prepared for what’s coming your way. No matter the reason behind the decision – whether it’s to follow your interests or boost your career, you’ll want to research thoroughly into it beforehand.

Throughout the research process, it’s likely that you’ll have several main considerations about furthering your education, which might include the following:

What You’ll Specialize in:

What are you interested in studying? If you’re doing it as a way of enhancing your career, chances are this will be a subject that’s related to the job you’re doing now. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you might want to specialize in a particular type of law – like brain injury law, commercial law, or family law.

However, if you’re looking for something new that you’ve never done before, the selection process might be a bit trickier. This is why it’s a good idea to look at various colleges/universities/training programs, comparing and contrasting them based on what they include and what career you could get into in the future from completing it.

The Cost:

Unfortunately, studying doesn’t come cheaply. And with some universities across the country costing up to $70,000, it might feel out of reach. Before applying to further education, it’s important to look at how much it costs and whether there are any finance options available to you. This way, you’ll know that you can afford to take it on – without unbearable student debts in the future.

Online VS In Person:

Do you want to study online or in-person? This is a top consideration that will help to shape your final decision. This choice will depend on how you want your studying to fit around your lifestyle. For example, if you work part-time or full-time, online studying is likely to be the best choice for you as you can work on assignments in the evenings or on the weekend.

If you’re looking to focus full-time on studying and only take on some part-time work to help cover your monthly costs, in-person studying at the university or college may be more suitable.

Should You Gain Work Experience Instead?

Is there a way that you can gain work experience? Even though further education will give you another degree, diploma, or other accreditation, for some roles, work experience is preferred. Also, if you want to get an insight into that career but don’t want the cost or ties to a course, then perhaps trying to get work experience is the better option.

Through taking on an internship or placement, you’ll be able to see whether that type of career is right for you while showcasing to future employers your dedication to the profession.

These are four of the top things to consider if you’re thinking of going back to school. At the end of the day, of course, the decision is up to you. But by looking at the above and researching into the course and prospects it will offer you, you’ll be able to determine the best route to follow.

Featured Image By: Moose Photos from Pexels

Making The Most Of Your Graduate Studies

Standard
Making The Most Of Your Graduate Studies

Deciding to take on postgraduate education can be one of the best decisions that you make. It opens up new opportunities for you, and could increase your employability and perhaps your salary too. As you’re dedicating time and money to your graduate studies, you will want to make the most of them by doing the following:

Manage Your Time Well:

It’s ultimately up to you to make the most of your studies. You will get back what you put in, so you need to be prepared to put in the hard work. Managing your time is one of the most important things, especially if you’re working as you study.

Start Opening Doors:

If you haven’t already begun to make the right connections during your undergraduate years, your grad studies are the perfect time to start opening doors for yourself. Spend some time networking and getting to know people who can help you find the right opportunities.

Get Work-related Experience:

Getting out into the world of work with solid qualifications but no real-world experience will be tough. Try to use some of your time to gain valuable work experience or focus on projects which will be useful to highlight when you’re looking for work.

Choose the Right Place to Study:

Before you even start your studies, choosing the right place to study will ensure you get the most out of it. There are many things to consider, including the method of study, location, qualification, and other important factors that will help you to choose correctly.

Check out more tips on the infographic below and happy studying!


Infographic Design By Northeastern University

Fall Haul: Cynthia Rowley Sweater

Standard
Fall Haul: Cynthia Rowley Sweater

Greetings! One of my favorite things about fall clothing is getting to break out knitwear again. From cozy cardigans to slouchy sweaters or a hand-knitted scarf, there is nothing better than being wrapped in something warm against the brisk autumn air. I am a huge lover of knitwear because, despite it being so damn comfortable, it always manages looking chic and appropriate for the season. And, the last thing that Lil Red does is dress for comfort, so being enveloped in something so soft and plush is an added bonus.

During my seasonal shopping haul at TJMaxx, I came across the tennis ball green Cynthia Rowley sweater seen below and thought that it was the ugliest thing that I’ve seen in my life. So, obviously, I had to try it on. And, surprising at it was, I fell in love with it as soon as I popped my head out of the turtleneck. Check it out:

cyr1

From the color green that looks like it belongs on the walls of a home back in the 60s to the crisp white squares adorning the sweater, this little number screams mod. Give me a Twiggy vibe and I am all in and this sweater definitely does that for me. What draws me to the clothes and accessories that I purchase is if I’ve never seen anything like it before and that is why I was so attracted to this sweater, even if it did look heinous on the rolling rack.

Before even trying my new Cynthia Rowley sweater on, I had a good feeling about it. Fifty shades of green is very flattering on me and I wasn’t expecting anything different from the chartreuse fabric. And, just one look in the fitting room mirror of the color against my red hair had me sold and infinite visions of styling possibilities washed over me.

I am so looking forward to creating a collegiate cool OOTD to shoot in the campus library of one of the nearby universities in my neck of the woods. School is back in session and I plan on schooling everyone in fall style by pairing this sweater with a smart pair of trousers or an A-line skirt with thick tights and a heeled oxford shoe. Mix in some tweed and a silk scarf around your neck and you’re bound to get an A in OOTD 101!

What is an “ugly” piece of clothing or color that you love? How do you style a back to school look? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What’s The Point Of Going Back To School?

Standard
What’s The Point Of Going Back To School?

Anyone who has a child can confirm that their education is a gigantic investment in terms of money, time and, more often than not, sanity too. But, ultimately, kids are the biggest part of your life, so this kind of result is to be expected. However, it doesn’t mean that they should take over your life aspirations. Some parents can hear their inner voice calling for more qualifications. The dilemma is real; is there a right time to go back to school as an adult? The desire to pursue your studies is a sure enough indication that the right time is now. Nevertheless, the voice of reason can be louder at times. What is the point of going back to school, anyway?

It’s about respecting your personal goals:

When you become a parent, your life takes a completely different turn. You have to learn to put your family needs first. When you’re a mom, you can find yourself trapped in your parental role, convinced you can’t do anything for yourself until the kids are much older. In reality, it’s important to understand that being a parent is not your sole purpose in life. Your dreams and hopes didn’t disappear when you had your first child. There are still plenty of things you might want to achieve and, if higher education is a personal goal, you should make sure you can find time in your busy schedule for it. Time management skills are vital for parents who are trying to juggle family and personal objectives. But, as you learn to free time for yourself, you can make sure you stay true to the person you are.

It’s about giving your career a new boost:

Going back to work after a baby is a wake-up call for many mothers, who suddenly realize that their current job isn’t sufficient to support the family. As a result, one of the most often quoted reasons for heading back to college is the prospect of a more profitable career. Targeting skills that are highly demanded such as public administration – Norwich University has a mind-blowing article about how influential administrators are in supporting economic growth – or programming language. A better job gives you the chance to secure your lifestyle.

It’s about making better adults:

Parents are a child’s first role model, and, as such, your every decision can help to shape the adults of tomorrow. A mother who works – whether she goes back to finish her studies or she enjoys a successful career is a positive role model for children. Your child can learn the importance of working hard, inside and outside the house. Additionally, you can also help to eliminate gender clichés by creating new gender rules; namely that working parents both share chores at home and pursue their careers in equal levels.

If you’re worried about finishing your studies after the birth of your baby, you need to think of the bigger picture. As an individual, you haven’t surrendered your personal goals when you became a mother. On the contrary, achieving these can not only help you to improve your household income but also to be a positive influence on your child. The question is not whether going back to school is a good idea, but what you could lose if you decided against it.

Featured Image By: MaxPixel

Social Media Tips & Tricks

Standard
Social Media Tips & Tricks

Hii everyone! Last week, I enjoyed spending some time at my old high school talking about lifewithlilred and social media with the students in the Theater Arts Career Academy (TACA). The TACA program was something that I attended back in the day and I still keep in touch with the wonderful teacher who was in charge of the program.

A few weeks ago, he posted a link to my blog on the TACA Facebook page, and I was so flattered! So, I offered to come in for a visit and teach the students about some social media dos and dont’s, especially since all of them are applying for colleges and part time jobs. We had a great discussion and some of the students even took notes, which I thought was so cute!

You can read some of the key points that we talked about below but, bear in mind, that I came up with these according to their age group. However, a lot of these tips apply to many, especially if they work in the world of freelance, like writing or theater! Let’s get to it:

No Partying, Please:

Ohhhhh my goodness. This one should go without saying, but I’ll repeat it again. If you are underage (And, frankly, even of age!), no one wants to see pictures of you getting wasted. No one wants to see pictures of the ten bag of weed you just bought. And, no one wants to hear your drunk Facebook babbles… Although, those can be pretty funny.

Employers and colleges, alike, are not keen on any of the above behaviors, because it all has the potential to reflect poorly on your work. And, if you think that employers and colleges aren’t checking your social media pages, then you are living under a rock. Maintaining a squeaky clean image is important for future successes and it all starts with your social media pages.

Stay Clear Of Controversy:

We are living in a politically charged world right now and so many people have the mindset that if your opinion is different, then you are an automatic enemy. Who’s to say that your future bosses and deans are going to be any different? This is not saying to not have an opinion but, if you are posting really radical points of view, you might be shooting yourself in the foot, so to speak.

I’ve heard from many friends who work with talent agencies that political and religiously driven posts are a no no if you are working for them. And, all posting that type of info does is create arguments on your page, laden with profanity and off color remarks. Do you really want that featured on your profile if people who could benefit your future are looking at it? Not so much.

If you absolutely must share your opinion, talk about it over coffee with your friends. Put it in an argumentative essay. Or, maybe join a debate club. But, social media is not the best place for it.

Spread Positive Gossip:

Spreading good news about yourself is far different from bragging, as long as you approach it properly. If you are proud of your volunteer project, invite your friends to join. If you nailed an audition for a play, let the people know! Sharing the good stuff that is happening to you is far better than being a Debbie Downer on your page.

And, I get it, the world is not sunshine, rainbows, and puppies. But, searching for the positive in a not so great situation shows that you have a great attitude, which is an asset to any business or college campus. An example that I gave for turning a negative post around, was when I was driving to school and I spilled my coffee on literally everything but my white shirt. I was pissed about my coffee but, how lucky was I that a crisp white shirt didn’t suffer an unfortunate stain?! It’s all about perspective, baby!

Pick The Right Profile Pic:

I think that it is so important to have a profile picture that is easily recognizable as you. And, by this, I mean that the picture should be the version of you that people are most likely to see if they run into you on the street. So, if you got glammed up for prom, that’s probably not your best choice. And, if you took a selfie while you were sick in bed, that isn’t a good option, either. Choose a picture that you would like future employers or professors seeing. And, always make sure that the picture is just of you. Nobody wants to guess who you are in a group photo!

I was happy with how receptive the students who I talked with were about these ideas. And, all of them agreed on these tips making sense, being helpful, and something that they could implement on their social media pages. I felt really proud of that and I am happy that I had the opportunity to spread some knowledge at my old school. 😀

What are some of your social media tips and tricks? What is your preferred social media platform? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is Further Education Worth It?

Standard
Is Further Education Worth It?

Going into further education after leaving school seems like the best option for many. At eighteen years old, you don’t know what you want to do. So instead of going full time at a job you despise and would love to bring down from the inside, you choose to pursue the highs and lows of university life.

But is it all worth it? Tuition fees have skyrocketed, and continue to raise, leaving graduates mired in debt. Furthermore, the jobs you wanted aren’t available, too many applicants, not enough positions. Was your three, four, or five years sitting hungover in lecture halls a waste of time?

Finances:

Paying for college is expensive and a student loan will ease a lot of money troubles when at university and websites like SoFi (read here) can help to find the best loan for you. While some choose to work while they study, there are others who don’t want to or can’t and will need to consider what financial shape they will be in upon graduating.

While there are national student debt relief programs available to help graduates through this, you should also consider other ways of paying off your loans. It is smart to begin paying back as soon as you graduate. Otherwise, you will find it hard to start prioritizing your debt when you need to pay for rent, food, and everything in between.

Health:

You are allowed to let loose at college. If you aren’t there for the social side, then you will miss out big time on some priceless experiences. But doing this can cause your health to suffer in the long run. People get so into the party lifestyle that they can develop conditions such as alcoholism or nicotine addiction due to their actions while studying.

It’s hard to keep on top of your health; you eat what and when you can and many often suffer from the Freshman Fifteen when first starting. You have so much free time at university that it pays to get into good habits then and not try to repair the damage later. Furthermore, the stress that comes from student debt and deadlines can hurt your mental health, as well. However, universities will offer free counseling if you find yourself struggling to cope with the demands.

Career:

Studying something at university is supposed to set you up for entering a related career in the future. But how many people have you met who studied something, say marketing, and are still droning away behind a till?

It takes time to find the job that you want, and getting it straight out of university is unlikely, but now we are seeing people some five or more years in the future still working away at the same job they had in school. Some people have taken steps towards fixing this by retraining later in life to give them much-needed experience, without having to quit their job.

So, if you want to go to university, then go for it. This isn’t supposed to warn you off pursuing further education. But you know yourself, and you need to be aware of what the future may hold upon graduation. Most people who graduated will tell you that university is worth it, but not necessarily in the way that you might think.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Switching Careers Out Of Left Field – A Handy Guide

Standard
Switching Careers Out Of Left Field – A Handy Guide

Switching careers out of left field can be a difficult thing to do. Not only does it immediately set you off outside of your comfort zone, but it can take years of sacrifice and lower income to get to a level that you’re finally happy with. However, sometimes going for a career with less room for growth or taking on a position with less rewards, money, and benefits can be perfect if you’re happy with what you’re doing. Not every job requires you to earn millions of dollars to make the entire affair bearable. Some things you can genuinely enjoy from the bottom of your heart, a concept which can become relatively blurred when we have yet to experience it.

Many people are hesitant to switch to a career that they truly enjoy because they feel like time has passed them by. As you age and become comfortable in a set routine, this can be harder and harder to change. But, age is always nothing but a number. You can change careers at almost any time you want, provided you have a reasonable amount of time left before retirement! But what should you keep in mind when you do this? We’re here to find out:

Education:

You should consider yourself at square one when choosing a completely new career. How do you proceed in a field you know little about? You learn about it’s nuances and quirks. Job training will always help out, particularly if you start from a lowly position. If you have the funding or the loan eligibility, then applying for a university course both online or offline in an institution can help you gain a fast track to mental competence (Provided you take your studies seriously!).

It might seem worrying going back to college, especially when you believe you’ll be older than almost everyone in your class. However, you’d be surprised at how many mature people return to university for the same purpose as you. This is especially true in fine arts courses, such as music, film, fashion, and graphic design. It’s common for people with successful STEM careers to find out they had an inner artist all along just yearning to break free.

Resume:

When you hope to change jobs, you once again become a candidate. It’s likely you have built up a respectable amount of job experience by this point, meaning that you have all the possibility in the world of making a great impression. List all of the achievements you have made at your previous work. It counts, even if it has little or nothing to do with the new role. People often look for transferable skills, not the specifics of your job.

For example, someone who is competent at running a film set need not be someone skilled in producing, but someone who managed events for a period of time. There is likely more overlap with your career now than you might have originally estimated. If you need help crafting a modern resume, CV advice services are on hand to offer you a deft and careful touch in its writing. A good employer will see this value immediately, but only if you succeed in selling yourself with appealing language.

These two disciplines – building the new while highlighting the value of the old can combine, and help you create a career that you truly desire and deserve.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Positive Mindsets To Kick Start Your New Career

Standard
Positive Mindsets To Kick Start Your New Career

You wake up each morning with a sinking, fearful feeling at the prospect of heading to work. When your alarm goes off, you aren’t filled with ambition and motivation; it seems you’re stuck in a rut and you can’t find your way out of it. With the New Year well and truly upon us, now is the time to shake it up and make a change for the better. Alter your mindset and become a happier, unwavering, career-driven person. Make some decisions and get yourself on track today:

Own Your Goals:

When was the last time that you sat down and thought about where you want to be in life? You have probably found yourself in a dead-end job, which you are constantly trying to escape. Your job may well pay the bills, but you can’t put a price on your own happiness so let’s start reassessing. Write down your career goals on a piece of paper and be proud to have big ambitions. Planning out a meaningful career path will boost your motivation and set you up to succeed.

Start small with your goals and plan out each stage that you can take in order to reach your ultimate dream. You might want to try out an internship on the weekends to get yourself networking with people you need to know. You may dream of starting a business from home, which will take time and energy outside of your current job. Plan out your time meticulously and use each moment to get where you need to be. It could take one year of really hard work to make a huge step in the right direction so get to grips with your goals today.

Love To Learn:

Once you have your goals and aims in order, you need to establish how you’re going to attain them. You may need to take on some additional courses or go back to college. There are tons of tools online which can help you to get the qualifications you need. You can even earn an mba online and kick-start a career in whatever your heart desires.

You should thrive in a learning environment and be motivated to grow your knowledge. Be prepared for some hard work, as getting a further education isn’t a walk in the park. You may need to keep earning money in your current job as you learn other skills part-time. It will all be a balancing act at first, but if you’re determined enough you will stick at it and feel proud when you achieve each step.

Take a Risk:

Now is the time to take the leap and conquer the unknown. If you’ve always dreamed of starting your business or creating a brand new company of your own, you can do it with the correct support and planning. Before taking a financial risk, make sure that you’ve got adequate savings to fall back on. Build your own brand from scratch and finally be happy in your career. If being your own boss appeals to you, then this might be the way forward.

Make a plan, carry out the method, and take the leap. A happy, healthy and open mind will allow you to reach your career dreams in no time!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Getting Educated And Qualified Without Quitting Your Day Job

Standard
Getting Educated And Qualified Without Quitting Your Day Job

No matter if you’ve already passed your initial schooling phase in your teens or late adulthood, it is never too late to get educated. Studies show that a considerable chunk of people would like a career change of some sort, and branch off into something that they are more interested in. Sadly, that is not always possible without the correct qualifications or the know-how.

Fortunately, we live in a time where education does not always have to be a completely full-time ordeal. Now, more flexible schedules which allow you to still work at least part-time are more than realistic. Not only that, but you could go ahead and get yourself qualified with some short courses, which take a few weeks or months rather than several years of school. No matter which scenario might suit you more, both are just as feasible for the average person and can be arranged if you just take the correct steps forward:

Getting educated:

Due to the nature of the modern working world, it is not always possible for everyone to take a few years out from work to fully dedicate themselves to studying, while the rent goes unpaid. Working at least part-time is a necessity for a large majority of adults in most countries and, unless you are able to balance working and studying simultaneously, then chances are you won’t be able to indulge in the sweet enriching world of education.

Before you give up completely, you should at least check out the different schedules available, and get familiarized with the different timetables available to see if you could make it work somehow. Always wanted to become a doctor? Go ahead and check the medical school tuition fees, and see if it is something that you could feasibly get invested in. Feel like programming is something which you would like to do as a career? Go and see if you can find local computer science courses. The sky’s the limit, so get out there and start planning your future in a field that you are truly passionate about.

educate1

Knowledge is power!

Short courses for busy people:

If getting involved in any sort of long-term education is a big red flag for you, then there are always shorter courses which still provide you with industry standard qualifications in various fields but take considerably less time to complete. Whether you want to learn how to play the guitar or find out how to publish books, there will be a course out there which will catch your eye.

A somewhat popular series of courses are provided by companies certified by Adobe themselves, which run training courses in the Adobe Creative Suite which can result in you getting the title of a “Adobe Certified Associate”. Not only does it sound prestigious, but it is just as useful as it sounds. Depending on what you are interested in, you can pick up some certificates for any program in the suite that is relevant to your interests. Whether you want to create websites with Adobe Dreamweaver or logos and illustrations with Adobe Illustrator, courses as short as one week could get you on the right path to becoming a full-fledged professional somewhere down the line.

It is never too late to start some type of further education. Gather information on your program, study hard, and reach for the stars!

Featured Image By: Pexels

A Perfect Match: How Education Can Fit Around Your Life

Standard
A Perfect Match: How Education Can Fit Around Your Life

When you think back on your life, achievements that can really change your circumstances are some of the most important changes you can make. If you feel that you have more to give and would like to go back to college or start studying again, you can make it happen. With work and family commitments, many people write it off as a pipe dream. But with today’s flexible educations styles and virtual platforms, it doesn’t have to be a choice – you can fit your continuing education goals into your life. Studying for a degree while also having a career, especially if you work irregular hours, can certainly be a challenge, but putting a little thought into your approach can make it work.

Many institutions recognize that people are wanting to study later in life and have designed programs specifically for working adults. These are structured flexibly from purely online modules taken in your own time for some courses that involve a mix of virtual learning and physical seminars. Many are designed to complement an existing career, such as a bachelor of policing program designed for actively serving officers. Here’s how to get started:

Research Your Options Carefully:

Choosing the right program for you is much more of a considered decision when it needs to fit around your life, so make sure that you do plenty of research to find the right provider for your individual needs. If you have existing college credits, some programs will take that into account, allowing you to graduate faster. If you don’t have the capacity to travel, a degree delivered via online learning is a good choice. Hundreds of universities now offer bachelor and graduate degrees in subjects like public administration, criminal justice, and management skills. Or if you feel you want some in-person contact, try a hybrid degree that combines online with sessions of traditional classroom learning across evenings and weekends.

Work Out A Sustainable Schedule:

Studying can be a big time commitment, so the key to making it work alongside a job and a busy life is being strict on scheduling. Plan all your classes and study hours alongside household commitments, working hours, and time to spend with family and friends – all of these areas are important. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family members to collect kids from school, prepare meals, or help around the house. You have to be organized to make all these elements work together so plan in advance and batch-make meals to fill up the freezer.

If work commitments get intense, don’t be afraid to speak to your degree supervisor about adjusting your study plan to avoid conflicts if necessary. Take full advantage of any study resources offered, as well. Most places have academic centers to help make your study skills better. Also be sure to use study groups to connect with fellow students and share tips and coping strategies. Make sure that you have a quiet space to study when it comes time, and don’t allow outside distractions to pull you off course. The trick is to give 100% to whatever you’re doing at that time, and try to shut the rest out.

It’s never too late to begin a new career, and with constant advances in classroom technology, there is no time like the present to start!

Featured Image By: Pexels