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Your Complete Guide to Deciding Between Private or Group Learning

Your Complete Guide to Deciding Between Private or Group Learning
There is no set or standard rule regarding which is better when it comes to group or private learning. Whether you’re learning a language, new instrument, or any new skill, you have to know how you learn best. For some students, a private lesson may be better, and for other students a group setting may work. It also depends on what is being taught, what the students are expected to do, and if the student actually wants to learn.

This is what we’ll explore today, we hope it helps you make a sounder decision.

Advantages of group learning

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    • Group interaction is common in classrooms and such interaction may help improve a student’s motivation.
    • People in groups are able to support each other if a suitable atmosphere and environment are created.

    Disadvantages of group learning

    • More commitment is needed because it is very easy to slack off in a group setting.
    • The lessons go too slow for those that excel and too fast for those that struggle.
    • The student has to work his or her schedule around getting to class at the right time.
    • Just one disruptive element may slow the progress of everyone in the class.

    Advantages of private lessons

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      • People usually learn faster with private lessons. This may also lower the cost of the learning process overall.
      • Adaptive teaching is far easier when a student is one-on-one with a teacher.
      • Private lessons allow a student and teacher to concentrate on the student’s goals.

      Disadvantages of private lessons

      • Staying focused all the way through a lesson can feel difficult.
      • Private lessons can be a bigger investment.
      • Teachers and students with conflicting personalities may struggle, if you don’t find the right teacher.

      Group classes have worked for years in public schools where many of the students are forced into classrooms. It consists of having one instructor teaching a group of 10 to 30 students, which means you’ll need to share the attention of teachers with other students. As the saying goes, “you only learn as fast as the slowest student in the classroom”, so if you’re a motivated learner with the desire to learn fast, classes may be a frustrating experience.

      On the other hand, students can benefit by interacting and learning from each other in a group setting. It helps build confidence as they see other people both excel and struggle. The people they see struggling make the others feel better because they see how being “wrong” or getting it incorrect is nothing to be embarrassed about.

      There are hundreds of benefits to private lessons, and the main one is that you’re getting the full attention of a teacher, who can understand your needs, proficiency, and goals. Whether you’re a motivated student or not, having a private teacher will help you learn significantly faster, which is no different than getting better results with a personal trainer than a group fitness class.

      The good news is that gaining access to a private teacher can be less expensive than going through classes, especially if you’re learning a language online where you can work with teachers around the world. This is because schools have to deal with the overhead and staffing costs, which often means premium prices to make up for the premium costs they’re incurring.

      Which should you choose?

      There’s no right or wrong answer here. It comes down to what’s important for you and self-awareness on how you best learn. In terms of cost, classes and private lessons may not differ so much if you’re learning online.

      If you’re a self-motivated learner who thrives in group settings and love communicating with others, then group learning could be the best option for you.

      If you have a busy schedule and want the full accountability of having a personal teacher, then private lessons is the route to go.

      More by this author

      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

      How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

      How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

      Turning 50 is a milestone in anyone’s life, after all you are half way to 100! But seriously, turning 50 is often a time in life when people can sit back and take a look at where they’ve been and contemplate what the future holds.

      Can you change careers at 50? It’s not uncommon for people in their 50’s to consider a career change, after all if you’ve spent 20 to 30 years in a career, chances are that some of the bloom is off the rose.

      Often, when we are starting out in our 20’s, we choose a career path based on factors that are no longer relevant to us in our 50’s. Things like our parents’ expectations, a fast paced exciting lifestyle or the lure of making a lot of money can all be motivating factors in our 20’s.

      But in our 50’s, those have given way to other priorities. Things like the desire to spend more time with family and friends, a slower paced less stressful lifestyle, the need to care for a sick spouse or elderly parents can all contribute to wanting a career change in your 50’s.

      Just like any big life changing event, changing careers is scary. The good news is that just like most things we are scared of, the fear is mostly in our own head.

      Understanding how to go about a career change at 50 and what you can expect should help reduce the anxiety and fear of the unknown.

      What are Your Goals for a Career Change?

      As in any endeavor, having properly defined goals will help you to determine the best path to take.

      What are you looking for in a new career? Choosing a slower less stressful position that gives you more time with family and friends may sound ideal, but you’ll often find that you’re giving up some income and job satisfaction in the process.

      Conversely, if your goal is to quit a job that is sucking the life from your soul to pursue a lifelong passion. You might be trading quality time with family and friends for job satisfaction.

      Neither decision is wrong or bad, you just need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of any decision you make.

      Types of Career Changes at 50+

      There are four main types of career changes that people make in their 50’s. Each type has it’s unique set of challenges and will very in the degree of preparation required to make the change.

      Industry Career Change

      In this career change, a person remains in the same field but switches industries.

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      With an industry change, a person takes their set of skills and applies them to an industry that they have no previous experience in.

      An example would be a salesperson in the oil and gas industry becoming a salesperson for a media (advertising) company. They are taking their skill set (selling) and applying it to a different industry (media).

      This type of career change is best accomplished by doing a lot of homework on the industry you want to get into as well as networking within the industry.

      Functional Career Change

      A functional career change would be a change of careers within the same industry.

      For example, an accountant at a pharmaceutical company who changes careers to become a human resources manager. It may or may not be with the same company, but they remain within the pharmaceutical industry. In this case, they are leaving one set of skills behind (accounting) to develop a new set (human resource) within the same industry.

      In a functional career change, new or additional training as well as certifications may be required in order to make the switch. If you are considering a functional career change, you can start by getting any training or certifications needed either online, through trade associations or at your local community college.

      Double Career Change

      This is the most challenging career change of all. A person doing a double career change is switching both a career and an industry.

      An example of a double change would be an airline pilot quitting to pursue their dream of producing rock music. In that case, they are leaving both the aviation industry and a specific skill set (piloting) for a completely unrelated industry and career.

      When considering a double career change, start preparing by getting any needed training or certifications first. Then you can get your foot in the door by taking an apprenticeship or part time job.

      With a double change, it’s not uncommon to have to start out at the bottom as you are asking an employer to take a chance on someone without any experience or work history in the industry.

      Entrepreneurial Career Change

      Probably one of the most common career changes made by people in their 50’s is the entrepreneurial career change.

      After 20 to 30 years of working for “Corporate America”, a lot of people become disillusioned with the monotony, politics and inefficiency of the corporate world. Many of us dream of having our own business and being our own boss.

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      By this time in our life, we have saved some money and the financial pressures we had with young children have passed; so it’s a perfect time to spread our entrepreneurial wings.

      Entrepreneurial career changes can be within the same industry and using your existing knowledge and contacts to start a similar business competing within the same industry. Or it can be completely unrelated to your former industry and based on personal interests, passions or hobbies.

      A good example would be someone who played golf as a hobby starting an affiliate marketing website selling golf clubs. If you are considering an entrepreneurial career change, there are a lot of very good free resources available on the internet. Just be sure to do your homework.

      Practical Tips on Making a Career Change at 50+

      So you’ve decided to take the plunge and make a career switch in your 50’s. No matter what your reasons or what type of a career change you are embarking on, here are some helpful hints to make the transition easier:

      1. Deal with the Fear

      As stated earlier, any big life change comes with both fear and anxiety. Things never seem to go as smoothly as planned, you will always have bumps and roadblocks along the way. By recognizing this and even planning for it, you are less likely to let these issues derail your progress.

      If you find yourself becoming discouraged by all of the stumbling blocks, there are always resources to help. Contacting a career coach is a good place to start, they can help you with an overall strategy for your career change as well as the interview and hiring process, resume writing / updating and more. Just Google “Career Coach” for your options.

      I also recommend using the services of a professional counselor or therapist to help deal with the stress and anxiety of this major life event.

      It’s always good to have an unbiased third party to help you work through the problems that inevitably arise.

      2. Know Your “Why”

      It’s important that you have a clear understanding of the “why” you are making this career change. Is it to have more free time, reduce stress, follow a passion or be your own boss?

      Having a clear understanding of you personal “why” will influence every decision in this process. Knowing your “why” and keeping it in mind also serves as a motivator to help you reach your goals.

      3. Be Realistic

      Take an inventory of both your strengths and weaknesses. Are your organizational skills less than stellar? Then, becoming a wedding planner is probably not a good idea.

      This is an area where having honest outside input can be really helpful. Most of us are not very good at accurately assessing our abilities. It’s a universal human trait to exaggerate our abilities while diminishing our weaknesses.

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      Requesting honest feedback from friends and co-workers is a good place to start, but this is another area where a career coach can come in handy.

      4. Consider an Ad-Vocation

      Sometimes, making a career change all at once is just too big of a change. Issues like a severely reduced income, geography and lack of benefits can all be impediments to your career change. In those cases, you may want to start your new career as an ad-vocation.

      An ad-vocation is a second or ad-on vocation in addition to your primary vocation. Things like a part-time job, consulting or even a side business can all be ad-vocations.

      The benefit of having an ad-vocation is being able to build experience a reputation and contacts in the new field while maintaining all the benefits of your current job.

      5. Update Your Skills

      Whether it means acquiring new certifications or going back to school to get your cosmetology licence, having the right training is the foundation for a successful career change.

      The great thing about changing careers now is that almost any training or certifications needed can be free or at very little cost online. Check with trade associations, industry websites and discussion groups for any requirements you may need.

      Learn How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive.

      6. Start Re-Branding Yourself Now

      Use the internet and social media to change the way you present yourself online.

      Changing your LinkedIn profile is a good way to show prospective employers that you are serious about a career change.

      Joining Facebook groups, trade associations and discussion boards as well as attending conventions is a great way to start building a network while you learn.

      Here’re some Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success.

      7. Overhaul Your Resume

      Most of us have heard the advice to update our resume every six months, and most of us promptly ignore that advice and only update our resume when we need it.

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      When making a career change, updating is not enough; this calls for a complete overhaul of your resume. Chances are that your current resume was designed around your old career which may or may not apply to your new goals.

      Crafting a new resume emphasizing your strengths for the new position your looking for is key. There are many places that will help you craft a resume online and it is a service included with most career coaching services.

      8. Know Your Timeline

      There are a lot of factors when it comes to how long it will take to make the career change.

      Industry and Functional career changes tend to be the easiest to do and therefore can be accomplished in the shortest period of time. While the Double Career Change and the Entrepreneurial Career Change both require more effort and thus time.

      There are also personal factors involved in the time it will take to switch careers.

      Generally speaking the more you are willing to be flexible with both compensation and geography, the shorter time it will take to make the switch.

      Final Thoughts

      Changing careers at anytime can be stressful, but for those of us who are 50 or above, it can seem to be an overwhelming task fraught with pitfalls and self doubt.

      Prospective employers know the benefits that come with more mature employees. Things like a wealth of experience, a proven work history and deeper understanding of corporate culture are all things that older workers bring to the table.

      And while the younger generation may possess better computer or technical skills than us, if you’re willing to learn, there are a ton of free or nearly free resources available to you.

      Deciding on a career change at 50 is a great way to experience life on your own terms.

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      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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