Planning your life with a Chronic Illness

There comes a time in a lot of people’s lives (these days anyway) that they are looking for a career change. Most healthy people wouldn’t see this as a massive obstacle and would just look into retraining and so on. (I say this but am aware that there may be lots of anxiety around the idea of leaving the job and security that they have) I was the same when working in the social care sector. I was a care assistant supporting elderly people with dementia and other complex needs and when working in this line of work you form bonds with the people that you are looking after. It was very hard for me to leave that behind. But, my health and mental health became more important than my job in the end. My choices at that time were – Money or Mental Health? That’s the only way I saw it. My mental health won. Despite us needing and wanting the money.

After some time off healing my mind and getting used to living with ME and Fibromyalgia, I realised that the sector I was in before didn’t suit my situation. It’s a very tough job. Tough on the emotional well-being and the long shifts are tough on the body. I think all that are in that sector are amazing and resilient people! I needed to find a new career path.

So… I had come to the conclusion that I needed a new career path. But, it needed to be one that suited my situation. One that wasn’t so hard on my body.

I began looking at different sectors and figuring things out. I needed something that would also keep me interested. I didn’t want to commit precious money to a course until I knew it was the path that I wanted to follow.

I found many resources for free courses and I will link them below. I ended up going with studying Accounting and Bookkeeping with the ACCA (I love budgeting and working with numbers so this seemed like the perfect fit). I’m also doing my Maths and English GCSEs again. For free! with the local college and it’s all online. (I wanted to brush up my basic skills and this will be a good thing to add to my CV when the time comes).

There are so many resources out there you can easily become overwhelmed with the choices but I guess it’s down to personal choice in the end and each persons goals and interests. I wanted something accredited with an actual qualification at the end.

The first few resources that I found are:

Future Learn – They have some great courses if you are interested in particular topics or looking for tasters they are an excellent resource and in my opinion the information is easily digestible and learning is at your own pace.

Open Learn – Again, a fantastic resource provided by the Open University. These courses can earn you ‘statements of participation’ and are great to boost your CV and LinkedIn profile. I have earned a few of these myself in various subjects.

ACCA-X – If you are looking for courses in accounting and finance like I was then this is the best resource that I found. They are a globally recognised organisation and the courses are very interesting and easily digestible. ACCA- X is their online learning platform and I highly recommend this one!

What resources do you find helpful for self development?

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