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Studying at home

It takes about a month for a new habit to become ingrained and that certainly seems to be the case as we stare down the barrel of week four in level 4 lockdown. Now our routines are firmly established, time seems to be flying by. I wouldn’t say I was enjoying it exactly but, as I’ve said before, I am trying to look on the bright side. I’ve used this time in limbo-land to upskill a little so I’m ready for when I can finally resume job hunting. It also helps stop me feeling completely useless whilst hubby goes off to work every day.

‘Jack of all trades’

The interesting thing to note about the New Zealand workforce is that everyone is expected to chip in and help out. What this means is that you need to be flexible and have a good cross selection of skills. The term all-rounder frequently pops up in job adverts. This makes it tricky when coming from a country where people are more or less expected to work within their job remit, heaven forbid you to step on someone else’s toes.

In New Zealand, a ‘Jack of all trades’ could be useful due to the low population, whereas in the UK, a diverse resume might be frowned upon as it indicates someone who can’t settle.

So, with the hope of the level 4 lockdown ending next week, I took the opportunity to refresh some of my professional skills.

Just before Covid-19 became a household name, I had an interview at a recruitment agency. The recruitment agent looked at my CV and noted that I held an accounting certificate but dismissed it as it was from a long time ago (I’d rather not say just how long ago). Bookkeeping is a sought after skill here so I’ve used this time to refresh my skills and complete some free online accountancy courses.

If you feel inspired to upskill but you’re already an accounting Wizz or numbers just aren’t your thing, take a look at three of my favourite free course providers for inspiration:

  • Alison offers a variety of courses, from business and marketing to health and lifestyle
  • Harvard University offers a variety of academic subjects including humanities, art and design and computer sciences
  • Lynda/LinkedIn Learning offer a free month trial where you can explore their broad range of business subjects.

Or simple Google best online courses with printable certificates to find something that suits!

Lockdown level 3 is on the horizon…

However, my dreams of possibly getting an interview next week have been dashed as it has been announced that IF we move to level 3 lockdown, we still need to stay at home as much as possible.

What this means is that we will be homeschooling for a little longer. It’s been a bit tricky motivating Child A who has had a nice two-week break over the Easter holidays. The new Home Learning Papa Kāinga TV channel that has taken over NZTV 2 + 1 has helped a bit by making home education official and not something Mum is just making up.

The morning slot is aimed at younger primary school children and Child A enjoys kicking off the day with the segment at Karen’s House, featuring teacher turned actor Karen O’Leary. The short workout bursts are also great at burning off some pent up energy for both of us. They have done an admirable job considering the short amount of time they have had to set it up.

After the stories and break time during Maia the Brave, we sit down and do some activities before lunch. I’m loathed to make it too strict as the whole situation is stressful enough. Thankfully, we have amassed an interesting collection of activity books since Child A was born, most of which have never been touched so he hasn’t gotten too bored just yet.

In the afternoons, Child A has been playing loads of video games and is currently immersed in creating buildings in Minecraft’s creator mode. I’m letting it slide for the time being, who knows maybe he will become a builder or architect one day. He has also coerced me into filming him playing video games, emulating his online role models. Who knows, maybe my new found video-editing skills may prove useful somewhere down the line. At the very least, we had fun making it!

I’d love to hear what you have been doing during the lockdown. Do you have kids you need to homeschool or have you found any interesting online courses? Let me know in the comments!

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Kia ora!

In 2019, we sold our house, packed our bags and flew 18,782.17 km from the UK to New Zealand. This is our story of beginning again on the other side of the world, proving it’s never too late to chase your dreams!  Learn more here.