When Tracy first heard about the Learning and Work Institute’s campaign, ‘Festival of Learning’, she knew it was a cause she could get behind.
I recently started exploring my passion for numbers by studying with AAT (the Association of Accounting Technicians). I try to ‘crack’ the book (or laptop) a few hours per week and my husband has been helping by cooking while I’m studying. I guess I’ve forced this learning initiative on him as well! There are so many affordable opportunities in the UK today to study in your free time, especially with the recent developments in online learning tools. There are programmes to facilitate a career change in HR, teaching, IT or the health and care industry, to name but a few. Check out this post from Reed for some possible places to start.
You don’t have to change careers to nudge your education back into hyperdrive – why not choose to explore a new (or old) interest? On the next rainy Saturday, take a stroll to your favourite charity shop and browse the non-fiction section. There are loads of cookbooks, gardening books, theology volumes and pages and pages of ‘how-to’ for you to peruse through. Have a look at the fiction books as well – you might just find something you hadn’t considered and end up absorbed in a new world. £2 can buy you hours of entertainment and learning. If you’ve always had your eye on that old guitar or keyboard in the display window…buy it! As an added bonus, it feels good to know you’re supporting charities that are vital to the well-being of so many people and animals.
When was the last time you spoke with a neighbour or family member who revealed a hidden talent? Why not visit them and ask about it. What sparked that first initial interest? How long have they honed this talent? These stories may help inspire you to find your next passion. It could be something you never thought of before, like spotting birds on your next countryside ramble or renting a surfboard next time you visit the seaside.
It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, learning new skills improves your mental health. For more ideas and inspiration, check out the Festival of Learning website.