Some ideas from Tanya De Matos of Boston Bedfordview to help you with home studies.

My tips for creating a comfortable study environment are :

  • If you do not have a designated study at home, then find a table or desk that is comfortable for you to work at. The table or desk must be the correct height.
  • Ensure that the chair you choose has adequate support for your back as you will be sitting for lengthy periods of time while studying or working on an assignment.
  •  If possible find an area that is well lit and that has adequate ventilation to prevent fatigue from setting in.
  • Choose an area that maybe has a window as this will enable you to feel peaceful while working.  You can also choose an area with a picture above your computer, such as mine that provides a sense of tranquility.
  • Ensure that your workspace is clear so that you can set out your textbooks and notebooks with enough arm room to write and to move about.
  • It is important that while you are working to take a break and to move around your home so that you keep adequate circulation moving and to prevent boredom and fatigue from setting in.
  • Try to position your work area away from the kitchen and nowhere near to a television as these are very distracting and can lead to the temptation to eat and to watch your favorite TV progamme as opposed to studying.
  • Lay out your necessary stationery so that once you do begin to study there is no need to waste time trying to find hi-lighters etc.

Staying motivated:

  • It’s important to stick to the same daily routine that you would normally follow on a day when you are able to go into your college to study.
  • Have a plan of action for the day so that you have a balance between study time, eating, resting and finding time for family.
  • Take advantage of the fact that you have time to start your day either in prayer or with a motivating talk with a parent or sibling who is also at home experiencing the same emotions that you are.
  • Utilize your Whatsapp groups and discussions that are available on ColCampus so that you feel connected with students studying the same course or module as you.
  • Utilize the messaging system available on Colcampus to ask your educator/s relevant questions and especially ones when you are experiencing challenges with your studies. This will ensure that you continue to feel positive about the subject and so that you can then “master” a section you might possibly have been battling with and this will enable you to move forward and to see progress.
  • Remember that this is a temporary situation and that if you continue to find something positive to be grateful and thankful for every day this will also enable you to find pleasure in the little things.

 

Everyone should undergo a career assessment test before choosing a career path

Everyone should undergo a career assessment test before choosing a career path

According to research done by Accenture, it was found that only 41% of South Africans are actually satisfied with their jobs.  Yet, the same survey also shows that very few of those who are unsatisfied with their jobs take any steps toward a career change.

There are numerous reasons for this, some include job security, the years spent on a specific career path, the time spent studying for that career and the comfort of knowing one has already gained the experience and that there’s risk involved in opting for a new job which requires a new skill set.

According to Natalie Rabson, Skills Development Facilitator at Boston City Campus & Business College “One of the main reasons why so many South Africans are unsatisfied with their careers and now find themselves stuck may be simply because they made the wrong career decision initially. We often were guided by our parents who wanted us to have lucrative careers that were in demand at the time. In addition – careers and skills demands have changed and not everyone has kept up to date!”

“Career decisions are often based on unrealistic fantasies and idealistic views or influenced by friends, family, the media and misinformed perceptions of careers,” says Rabson.

Another problem arises when students pick a qualification without understanding what jobs it will (and, importantly, won’t) qualify them for once they graduate.  “We need to be realistic – while we may qualify in management –you can’t go out and manage a team in a business you don’t understand. You need to learn the business and understand the people you are managing first” says Rabson. In other words, Rabson advises to open yourself up to starting in an entry-level position.

For Rabson, the key to making the right career choice comes down to the kind of mentorship prospective students and job seekers are exposed to.

“Young adults need to be steered in the right direction and preferably by means of a structured process that helps determine what they really want from life, what their dreams are and what makes them unique.  There also needs to be a proper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, their thinking patterns, personality traits, work style preferences, values, and interests.  These are the essential determining factors when it comes to making successful career decisions,” says Rabson.

Ideally one should already start thinking about which career path to take in those final school years.  Thinking about it is one thing; more importantly, there needs to be some form of guided introspection.  A structured, scientific approach is what’s needed.

Boston offers a career compass assessment where a prospective student meets up with a counsellor who will take him/her through a computerised process that aims to match the participant’s interests, skills, and personality through placing answers in suitable categories. This allows the counsellor to analyse the results and provide the prospective student with advice on possible course options and career opportunities in his/her recommended field.

“Making use of such a method whereby one’s interests, skills, and personality are aligned with a possible career path is a fundamentally important first step in the process of choosing the right career path.  That is why we encourage all prospective students, whether they will eventually register at Boston or another tertiary institution, to come in for this career assessment.  Too many students make a decision based on what friends are doing or what friends say or make impulsive career decisions and ultimately end up on the wrong career path,” adds Rabson.

“What we do know for sure is that your success in your qualification, as well as in your job, will be markedly increased if you choose something you love!” says Rabson. Seek professional guidance in making an informed career decision.  Your future depends on it.  Also, remember that more than a third of your life will be spent working – don’t waste it by being unhappy in your career because you made an uninformed or impulsive decision in your younger years,” concludes Rabson.

For more information on Boston’s Career Compass Assessment, please visit www.boston.co.za.