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I was made redundant during lockdown – now I’m pursuing my passion through online learning

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Pete Williams decided to turn things around for himself during lockdown and started studying his CIPD Level 5 Diploma online to earn the qualifications he needed to start a new career in HR.

With the spread of the coronavirus making it easier for many businesses to close rather than re-open, the economy has taken a heavy hit this year.

Despite government intervention, studies suggest that nearly one in six businesses will face the loss of 10% of their employees, with 9% of those businesses risking the loss of up to 49% of their employees over the coming months.

Searching for a job in a global pandemic

For Pete Williams, a sales manager from Flintshire, redundancy was a “double whammy” – he was made redundant just six days before lockdown began, leaving him in search of a new job in the midst of a global pandemic. ‘Looking around for work was…soul-destroying. Due to COVID-19, it felt like recruitment was a slow-go.’ said Pete, ‘The only things that my CV matched were other sales management roles and I was adamant this was not what I wanted to do with my life.’

While he had earned excellent money in sales, he felt that being told that he was a ‘surplus to requirements’ was a rude awakening, and decided he wanted to change his career path to a role in HR – as a people manager.‘Watching new starters develop and take control of their own career was the most rewarding part of my previous role and I had a ‘eureka’ moment. This is what I wanted to do…I just needed to find where to start!’

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Online learning for career development

After looking at formal university courses, Pete quickly realised that he didn’t want to wait until a new school year to get started, and as a young dad, he needed a better solution to learning that gave him the flexibility to take on work and study around childcare. When a friend recommended an online course with ICS Learn, Pete did some research and found that it was exactly what he was looking for.

They took time to explain how the modules worked, the support options available, and how I could spread the cost of the course…That day I signed up for a CIPD Level 5 Diploma in HR.’

After spending a few weeks studying the course, Pete added the fact that he’s working towards his CIPD qualification to his CV and was soon shortlisted by three potential employers.

This has reaffirmed that what I want to do is work in HR and ICS Learn has given me the confidence that going back to studying at thirty-seven is not too late… It has given me purpose… and most importantly it will lead me to a career that I know I will be successful in.’

While Pete is not alone among those who have been made redundant during the coronavirus, he is also among the many who have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to develop themselves and their career. With online education and an abundance of other resources at your disposal, there’s no time like the present to pursue your passion and achieve something meaningful.

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