As an adult I’ve come to appreciate something I took for granted back in my school days: learning. I now love to learn new things, whereas back at school I couldn’t wait to leave, get a job and become a ‘grown up’. The end goal eclipsed the means, and meant I surpassed the appreciation of the great education I had. I went to a fantastic school and I did well in my exams, but I never fully applied myself and often now think of how I could have improved my grades even further had I have focused a little more during lessons. I had three part-time jobs while I was a sixth form, I was always mature for my age and I just wanted to leave school and start working my way into a career, even though I had no idea what that may have been at the time. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and balancing jobs, sixth form and A-levels all at the same time, set the same standard I’ve continued to follow – sometimes taking on too many things, but juggling those balls as best I can for the end goal. It’s the inner Girl Boss in me.
The only thing that’s really changed in that area is my thirst for knowledge and the fact I now welcome and seek the opportunity to learn new things. The impatience to work and earn a wage as a teenager meant I never took real joy or interest in the pursuit of knowledge. But I do now, probably because good old fashioned hindsight has shown me how valuable you are as an employee or contractor when you know things. Many things. Knowledge sets you apart from those you’re up against when interviewing for a new job, knowledge gives you the edge over competitors and knowledge means you’ll go further in your chosen career.
In my line of work – half blogging and half Social Media Management for brands, I’ve seen the value in research and learning about key trends in my field. When it comes to social media it’s evolving all the time and the most fluid marketplace I’ve ever worked in. Despite landing on my feet back at 17 and working myself into a marketing and PR career path that lasted over a decade, I still embrace the opportunity to learn more about my sector, marketplace and its key trends. Why? Because I want to be the best I can be. I want to over deliver on what I promise my clients and not only meet expectations but exceed them too.
As I’m now a mother and running a busy business, Girl Boss style, seeking learning opportunities that fit my lifestyle as hard. Many times I looked at online courses that I desperately wanted to take but I found the attendance requirements impossible for my lifestyle. With a partner working shifts, two children to manage and a business to run I’ve always known I couldn’t commit to evenings and days at college, which is quite often the minimum requirement. As a mum how do you fit that in among meetings, travel for work, the school run, football practice and everything else? For some it may be possible but not for me. But that changed when I found out about TCHC.
TCHC are essentially a learning and education company who can offer you the opportunity to learn new skills, re-train and take qualifications in your chosen topic. What makes them different is that they’re passionate about serving people and genuinely providing opportunities to help you and I learn – whether you’re a young person in need of a relevant apprenticeship or someone who’s faced redundancy and now wants to start their own business. Or even whether you’re a full-time freelancing Girl Boss mum who just wants to further establish herself in her field – like me.
Learning with TCHC has been the perfect way for a small business owner like me, to improve my CV with a new qualification and help me establish my credibility as a Social Media Manager even more. I took the Social Media Level 1 Course which, although designed for beginners in the industry was extremely helpful in going back to basics and recognising the importance of key metrics in social media. Going back to basics, getting a refresher and also learning about how to better deliver online content was so useful and interesting. I found the opportunity to invest time in something I love to be incredibly worthwhile and it’s given me this massive confidence boost in knowing I can now say I’ve got ten years experience in the field – and a shiny new qualification to match. I feel like it’s given me the further credibility I wanted to really set myself apart from competitors. And as a freelancer and small business owner that’s invaluable really.
The reason I rate TCHC is because unlike all those other places and course I looked at, I could do all the learning from home. I could fit everything into my lifestyle. Whether that was 20 minutes while my toddler napped, half an hour while on the train to a meeting, or a few solid hours during the evenings when the kids were in bed. The whole thing is completely accessible to people like you and me and fits into your life when and where you need it to. For my course there was no attendance required and a tutor is available should you need it. You’re sent workbooks to help and each module is comprised of bitesize sections where you watch videos and listen to the teaching and then follow this up by putting it in to action, answering questions and sometimes then screenshotting your results. All of this means it’s great if you’re a busy and active person, who doesn’t have solid blocks or full days to dedicate to your learning but still want or need to progress yourself and help build your qualifications.
The course was easy to follow, easy to pick up each time I went back to it and provided teaching that has made me feel like I’ve learned enough to qualify – and I did! And I’m so proud that in amidst all the everyday business of life I’ve managed to achieve a qualification that’s going to set my business apart.
Funded by the Flexible Learning Fund which is part of the Department Of Education there are courses available in everything from Maths, English and IT – which is great if you want to revisit qualifications you either don’t have or want to improve. And what’s more is that you can receive up to full or partial funding towards your learning and qualification if you are over the age of 19 without an above level 2 qualification. So if you’re looking to start a business yourself, or you want to learn new things to build on the business and experience you already have as a business owner, then I can’t recommend TCHC enough. For full details of eligibility then head to the TCHC website.
**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with TCHC but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.