Making the decision to study for the first time or to go back to study is not always straightforward. You may be going back and forth about the decision, or you may believe a career change is not within your reach. Having the confidence to see the potential of a change and your ability to forge a path is key to helping you to take the plunge.
The thought process when it comes to making these types of life-changing decisions often involves going around in circles, and sometimes, what you need most of all is to simply check in and ask yourself a few key questions. Chances are, you’re ready to take the next step — you just need to believe it.
Use our checklist to see if you’re ready to to take the plunge!
1. Listen to your nearest and dearest
The people who you spend the most time with and who know you best are aware of your skills and qualities and they can often provide you a unique perspective which can be useful.
For example, if those around you are saying that you are great with children, then they could be onto something. It’s useful to consider why others recognise particular qualities in you to help you to discover your own potential and career passion.
2. Make a list of your qualities
What are a few experiences you’ve had in your life that made you think about this career path? Can you picture yourself working with children? Maybe you already have children and know you are great with them or maybe you’re simply the fave aunt whose kids seem to light up when they see? Whatever the reason is for you, it’s important to recognise the qualities in yourself that would make you great at this job.
Often writing things down helps to clarify them. Make a list of your personal attributes such as qualities and skills and note how they can contribute in an early childhood education setting. Maybe you’re patient, creative, a good listener or nurturing. Jot them down and if you begin to doubt yourself, refer back to the list to see that you DO have what it takes.
3. Do your research
Build up your self-belief and confidence through researching what’s involved and talk to others who have already gone through the process. Talking to course advisors is a great way to get a clearer picture of what the program entails.
Courses vary in length, quality and flexibility, so looking at what’s out there and comparing your options is a great way to find something that will suit you. Many of us worry that we won’t have the time to fit studies into our busy lives, so it’s important to find a provider that has flexible study options that suit your lifestyle and provides you with the support you need.
Child care courses have a practical placement component where you will spend a certain amount of hours in a real childcare centre. It’s best to choose a provider who will support you in finding your placement and check in on you regularly.
4. Review your schedule
Whether you work best in an online environment or with a good old fashioned paper and pen, choose the way you study best and most importantly, make sure you have a trainer who will support you and help keep you motivated.
If you think you can squeeze 10-15 hours a week into your schedule (maybe skip a few Netflix episodes or scrolling through social media), then it could be time to get started.
5. Check your finances
Finances are a big factor when choosing to study. The good news is, the Australian Government recognises the importance of early childhood education and care and subsidises the training. So, if you’re eligible, the government may actually pay for your course! If you’re not eligible, there are other ways to pay for your course including interest-free student loans and VET student loans.
Do your research and see if the provider you are considering offers government funding and payment plans. But most importantly, make sure the course is high quality and worth your time.
6. Identify repeating thoughts
Is this something you have been thinking about for a while? Do you often think about changing careers? Is your current situation just not quite what you want it to be?
If these questions sound familiar, it’s a good chance you are ready to take the plunge into a new career. And if it’s something you’re truly meant to do, it won’t stop niggling in the back of your mind until you take that first step.
Ready to chat about your next move?
At Selmar, we will be committed to your success and ensure you have the right support to complete the course via our passionate, dedicated trainers and support teams. We are also here to help you make the connections within the child care industry if you need them so you can start on the trail to a successful career in early childhood education.
We can help you through the initial stages of the process and talk you through step by step, so you have all the tools and information that you need to get started and thrive!
With experienced and caring trainers as well as extra Language, Literacy & Numeracy (LLN) support as needed, Selmar is here to help you feel confident and capable as you study and create a meaningful career that you will love.