Friday, 22 August 2014

5 Top Tips On Changing Careers

There are some people who realize late in life that they do not have the job that they want. This calls for a career change, but not all push through with it. Nerves, the numerous challenges that come with shifting gears, or the fear of being impulsive—all these come with changing careers. With careful planning and a bit of research, however, these obstacles can be conquered, unless of course you want to be a superhero, then you might have your work cut out...

Here are five tips on changing careers:

1. Do Your Research – Changing careers, especially when you’re older, can be daunting. The key is to do thorough research on the steps that you have to take in order to move from one job to the other. Do you need to enroll in project management training courses? Are there skills that you need to learn before you change careers? These are all important questions that you need to answer. Talk to professionals who are already in the field of your choice, and let them guide you through your career change.

2. Make A Plan – After researching, make a plan on how you will shift from your old job to your new one. Visualize where you see yourself when you shift to a new career. What are the things that you would like to achieve? What matters to you the most? If you can answer these things, you can create a solid plan that will land you a job to help you achieve your dreams.

3. Be Prepared – Not everyone is lucky enough to shift from one career to another in an instant, which is why you should be prepared. This does not only mean that you have to be financially fit, it also means that you should have the mentality for it. Starting a new career takes a lot of energy, and sometimes, money too. Be sure that you are fully decided on this new change. Save a bit of money before leaving your job to keep you afloat while looking for the next job.

4. Network – Networking is a big part of looking for jobs. It is always good to build a network of professionals. Who knows? Your dream job just might be under your nose. Perhaps you know someone who can push you to the right direction, or introduce you to a person who can help you secure the job that you want.

5. Sell YourselfKnow your strengths and let employers know how you can be valuable to them. What are your qualifications? How can your skills contribute to the company? These are the things that employers want to know when seeking for new employees. If you know your skills and if you are confident that you are a good fit in your new chosen career, you will most likely succeed and get the job that you have always wanted.

The journey to changing your career path may not always be smooth. However, if you do one thing everyday that will help you achieve your goal, you are one step closer to having your dream job. Changing careers can be stressful and scary, but with these tips in mind, you are sure to have an easier transition.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Colin The Crab Review

My eldest loves sea creatures so this book was an instant hit!  He enjoys visiting beaches and exploring rock pools to see if he can discover any crabs or starfish.  We tend to be very careful with anything we do find, so I appreciated the message behind the book as it encouraged children to take care of any creatures they find and make sure they return them safely to where they were found.

The message sinks in so well as Colin the Crab is a likeable character and you really sympathise with him when his best friends disappear.  I do not want to give too much of the book away, but it is a good way to show children the importance of being gentle and considerate with wildlife.  It also gives some tips how you can do that, like making sure buckets of creatures are not overcrowded and fresh seawater is added regularly.

We tend to look at the creatures we find and then put them straight back but you often see heaps of children running along with a big bucketful of their findings from the beach.  Perhaps more children will think about poor Colin and his initial worries for his friends and change their behaviour.    

The illustrations are lovely; the book is a pleasure to read together.  

Each page has some form of movement with a pop up bucket or a tab to shift Colin along the page.  It is a book that will be appreciated by many children, as most have a fondness for visits to the seaside.

Colin the Crab Pop Up Book can be bought from the Gone Crabbing website for £7.99.

Gone Crabbing also have a video about Crabbing with Compassion, which is funny to watch but educational too!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

One day I will renew my vows

My friends are getting married next year; they are planning quite a lavish affair with a sweetie table (they seem all the rage now!), children’s entertainment and a generous banquet of food.  I haven’t been to a wedding in ages, so I am really looking forward to it!  Going to a wedding leaves you on such a high, seeing the smitten eyes of the newlyweds and being caught up in the bubbly excitement of the day.  I would love to renew my vows, just so I could go through that again!
Back when we got married over seven years ago we had quite a restrictive budget, so we did not have all the trimmings.  We kept the guests invited to a minimum (very close friends and family) and cut right back on the extras!  We did not even have an official photographer, a friend of the family volunteered to help take some snapshots.  I would like to do it again, possibly a few years down the line, when we could have a more elaborate affair.  I think I have been spending too much time looking on wedding sites trying to find ideas for my friend and it’s made me want to relive mine again!
There is a helpful budget tracker on the WeddingSite that keeps things on track, as you can soon get carried away in terms of wedding planning!  Before you know it you want an expensive wedding car to drive you to the wedding venue (we compromised and had a lift in my friends lovely car!), luxurious wedding favours for all the guests (I am sure some people must spend more on the guests than they get back in terms of a gift for themselves!) and a designer dress (I bought mine in a sale at a high street bridal shop).  So you see if you’re willing to make the odd sacrifice you can have a wonderful wedding without breaking the bank, but I cannot promise you won’t hanker for a more over-the-top affair one day!
Our cake consisted of two iced M&S Fruit cakes with some flowers on top!  Much cheaper.

With hindsight I wish I had invested in a photographer, as they seem to capture the memories of the day so beautifully, but back then I did not have a spare £1k plus for that purpose.  You can have quite a lot of fun with
 wedding photography; a think a photo booth would have been entertaining.  Although marrying on a budget has not affected our marriage, it has meant we started married life without a burden of debt hanging over us so it’s been a positive thing overall.  Yet I cannot help yearning for a taste of the extravagant weddings some of my friends have had. 
There are some useful tips in this article about weddings on a budget that make achieving a shoe string wedding more of a reality!  Supposedly a November wedding is cheaper as the venues are more affordable at that time of the year.  Also help from your friends can drop the cost; we are lending our sweet jars to a friend so that will cut the costs at least of her sweetie table.  So find out what your friends are good at and utilise them!!!
Unfortunately a wedding takes so much planning and preparation but then over so quickly.  I think it’s important to get as much support as you can to make the organisation simpler so you can focus on the main thing of being head over heels with your partner and cherishing every moment of that magical day.