Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Personal Development – How online learning can help you achieve your career goals

If you’ve been looking for a way to reach your ultimate career goals, why not consider starting an online learning programme? Designed to help you achieve your employment objectives, these courses could open up new doors for you when it comes to your progression at work. If you’re unsure how online learning could aid you, here are a few benefits to consider.achieving-career-goals-online-learningIt’s a great way to get ahead

Whether you’re looking to go further in your current field of work or you want to completely change the direction of your career, online learning can help you learn something new as a way of getting ahead. From acquiring new skills to becoming more knowledgeable in a certain area, e-learning gives you the chance to set yourself up for bigger and better things when it comes to your career. However, you’ll only succeed if you enrol on a course that’s specifically going to help you reach your end goal in your industry. personal-development-studying-learning-industry-accreditation-degree

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Personal Development – Here’s my card… the importance of networking

Welcome to the weekend everyone! It’s time for me to remind you about work on Monday morning and let you know what you can do right now to help you achieve your career goals. After all (I’ve seen this quote literally everywhere last month) ‘dreams don’t work unless you do’. Okay, I know you just want one day off but I promise it’ll be worth it if you do a little hustling on the weekends too. Here’s why it’s good to network and what you can do today to get started:how-to-network-like-a-proIt’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Honestly, most of the best opportunities I’ve worked on have come from knowing the right people. Okay, maybe I didn’t know that they were the ‘right’ people when I met them, but when the time came for them to commission a new project, I was the girl they called! Am I just lucky, being in the right place at the right time? No! I actually had to get up, go to events, meet people, chat in real life and maintain those relationships. Thankfully for me, it’s not a chore; I love finding like-minded souls and catching up with them on a regular basis, because the life of a self-employed gal can be quite a lonely one. Having that human connection makes me happy and, honestly, most of the people who started out as business acquaintances are now good friends.tips-and-hacks-how-to-network-like-a-pro-things-you-need-for-networking

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Personal Development – 3 reasons for learning at home

Over the years I’ve done a lot of studying online. I’ve studied branding, community journalism, IT and marketing, to name just a few. And, no surprise, I’ve completed a course in Personal Development via distance learning too. I studied the course, completed assessments and gained a qualification without ever meeting a tutor or any other students. For some of you, it may feel a little lonely to miss out on that human connection and social interaction with your peers but don’t worry; you can communicate with other course members through forums and email.personal-development-learning-at-home-studying-study-online-courseFor me it was a really convenient way to learn; it meant that I could study as little or as much as I liked, and could complete the course in less time as I wasn’t attending a certain number of lessons or spending time on class discussions. Plus, once I’d competed each course, I could proudly add it to my CV. I really like this way of learning and here a three reasons why you should consider it too:

Paper-free studying – The course materials are all the same as with a regular course, just that you’re able to experience them ‘paper-free’. No more textbooks or journals cluttering up your home, or files full of notes on your desk. With online learning it’s all contained within your laptop and assessments are usually online or submitted via email. Continue reading “Personal Development – 3 reasons for learning at home” »


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Personal development – Which career is right for you?

It’s all about careers on the blog this week – did you spot my article last weekend all about learning as you earn?? I think it’s the whole ‘back-to-school’ feeling I get in September that makes me want to think about jobs, studying, careers and personal development. So today we’re finding out how you can tell if a job is right for you and whether or not you should pursue it as a future career. personal-development-career-quiz-dream-job-girlboss-inspirationFinding the right career is always a challenge, unless you make a clear plan to help you achieve your goals. It is important to find out what job will make you happy as well as successful. It is also helpful to know what types of jobs will match your skills and what is best suited for you. You can take tests to find this out or use a job search engine such as Jobrapido to help you in your job search and give you some ideas of jobs you might never have known existed!

One important thing to remember is that although your career is a set of plans and ideas, it’s not realistic to think of it as a linear path. Often we feel like we need to find our dream career straight away but most of the time different jobs will take us to our dream career. display-272270

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Personal development – Learn as you earn

Are you currently working in a job you enjoy? Perhaps you’re an intern, or are working on a gap year, or just starting out in a new full-time role. Maybe you’ve already bagged your dream job and the only way is up? No matter what stage in your career, if you want to continue to work in your sector and develop new skills in order to progress up there is something you can do right now to become more talented at your current role. It’ll help you become a valued employee in the organisation you’re working for, earn you a pay rise and make you more employable in the future. What is it? Learning as you work.learn as you earn personal development career skillsThey say that there’s no longer a ‘job for life’, and that is partially true. Compared to our grandparents’ generation, who may have had the same role in the same factory for 50 years, it’s unlikely that this is how our working lives will pan out. But there IS such a thing as a career for life. And yes, there is difference! It’s about finding the job that makes you feel like you’re not really working because you enjoy it so much (for me, that’s writing) and sticking with that career for your whole life. You can change companies, work freelance, do work on different projects and collaborate with various people but, essentially, everything you do is linked to your ‘career’. When you start to see it like that, you can identify ways to learn from every experience you have.

Think of it this way, your CV is a work in progress. Okay, usually we only write a CV at the start of our working lives, once the education part is out of the way. We might update it with work experience when we look for a new job, but it rarely gets much attention other than that. I personally like to update my CV every year. Even though I work freelance and never really apply for jobs, it’s still a great way to keep track of the skills I’ve learnt from the projects I’ve worked on throughout the year. And the getting the most out of every project is the key point – learn as you work and you’ll add more and more value to your ‘offer’ as an employee.skills to learn career development personal knowledge

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Building your own personal brand ~ brand purpose & the next step

I might be a little bit slow to catch on but I’ve just found out that most of the world has been calling Wednesdays ‘Hump Day’. I’ve heard it a few times and some of the US-based books I’ve been reading have been referring to hump day, but I’ve only just googled it and found out the meaning of this nickname. It’s always been a mystery to me as to why I have less oomph on a Wednesday and sometimes get into a big sulk because I don’t want to do any work – but now I know that everyone else is feeling the same and that that there’s even a ‘technical’ term for it, so it’s not just me, phew! In honour of hump day, I’ve procrastinated this morning and had a reading session rather than getting on with writing this blog post, but I’m here now and ready to roll. So welcome to another Hump Day and I hope you’re feeling as optimistic about getting over the ‘hump’ of Wednesday into the downhill slide towards the weekend as I am. It’s a particularly fun weekend coming up for me because it’s Valentine’s Day on Friday which will mean I get at least a few hours of my husband’s undivided attention. I also have a fun first-weekend-in-half-term planned which includes a car boot sale rummage, afternoon tea with my husband’s family and a naughty night out with my BFF and her boyfriend. After this little glimpse into the impending weekend I think I can cope with this hump day well.

Anyway, onto the topic in hand. A couple of weeks ago I told you all that I’d just finished my leisure-learning course on Secret Power of Brands – a degree-level course from the University of East Anglia. Although I enjoyed the course, it was very business-focussed throughout and I learnt a lot about the history and methods of branding. It wasn’t until the very last lesson that my imagination was sparked by the content – creating your own personal brand. Now this was relevant to me! And, I figured, was quite relevant to a few of you too. So I posted a little article about the course and was overwhelmed by the response from fellow bloggers, writers and pals who were making over their CVs and online profiles. I couldn’t leave it there and went on to share all of the questions needed to determine the three elements of building a personal brand:

Each of the segments above have a number of questions to answer in order to determine your answer to each section – click on the links above to complete the questions for yourself and you’ll find it easier to find out what your passions, skills and positions are. I am particularly lazy with doing self-help tasks like this and probably wouldn’t have actually completed these questions if I hadn’t been blogging about it, so if you really feel like you can’t be bothered, maybe write down your answers in a blog post and send me the link to share – at least you’ll feel like you’re doing something worthwhile with your time rather than just faffing around with branding jargon. The questions really did help me focus on myself and my abilities and has even led me in a slightly new direction in my work and I’m hoping to incorporate it into my blog as I go on – so I’d really recommend that you have a go at doing it! Once you have the answers to the questions you’ll have determined your brand purpose and can work on showing it off to the world. Here’s an example of what Richard Branson’s three segments would look like so that you can get an idea of how each section contributes to the overall brand purpose:

richard bransons personal brand purpose UEA

Sorry about the blurry image – it’s a slideshow from FutureLearn

My segments are: I am passionate about sustainable living and saving money through thrift and recycling/upcycling. I am good at communicating, research and sharing knowledge through writing. The world needs to know about the impact of making ethical decisions and the importance of creativity. My brand purpose is therefore: Create and communicate written content which encourages an economically and ecologically friendly lifestyle. So you can expect to see more of this on the blog soon! I know I already share bits here and there about recycling, thrift and charity in all areas of life but now that I have a brand purpose, it will influence most of my work and I will be more likely to create cohesive content – plus I’ll feel that my work is more worthwhile. Or at least I hope it will be!

At this stage the course sums up by suggesting looking at how you can implement your brand purpose in the future. For me, it’s as simple as making positive changes to the blog. But for people in other roles, who may be writing a CV or thinking about a change in career direction based on their brand purpose, it’s about making the positive changes happen. So here’s what to do next::

  • Appoint your own personal advisory board – choose six people who can help you achieve your ambition, ask each one if they will be on your informal ‘board’, usually they’re delighted to!
  • Ask for help with things you’re unsure of and see if one of your ‘board’ would become a mentor for you.
  • Publish yourself – get your ideas out into the world and your content will earn you respect
  • Coordinate your personal profiles online so that they all point towards a shared direction for your personal ‘brand’

I really hope that the sharing of my progress through the personal branding section of the course has helped you and if you’re interested in taking the course for yourself, the UEA are running it again as a completely free online course via Future Learn – it starts on 24th Feb and you can complete it at home and in your own time. I just want to point out that I’m not sharing a sponsored link or promoting the course or anything like that, I’m just sharing the info so that you guys don’t miss out if you fancy doing it for yourself! Let me know how you get on with implementing your own personal brand and drop me a line if you need a helping hand with anything – I’m always here to help! 🙂

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