May Newsletter 3 2022: Climb that ladder with ADL

Thinking of Changing Career or Getting that Promotion?

There are many reasons you may need to change careers over your working life. Perhaps you would like a change of scenery or have been made redundant. I recently spoke to one of our students, Annabella, who was in the latter position at the beginning of 2020—having worked for an airline company for 17 years before being made redundant. At first, it was devastating to lose a dream job. However, today, she has made a career altitude change and is working with dairy cows! I’ve taken some tips from our conversation and turned them into a handy guide.

  1. Be proactive

It’s a good idea not to delay the hunt for a new vocation for too long. If you spend too long without acting, you may lose drive and motivation in your search. That being said, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching and trying out new things before setting yourself on a new path. Consider finding some people who do the sort of work that you’re interested in and ask about their jobs. You might even be able to find some places which will let you try out the job to see if it’s for you. This incidentally is how Annabella came to find her new career, a simple trial as a farmhand, which has taken her a lot further!

  1. Follow your interests

We’ve all heard the saying, “follow your dreams!” Well, we can’t all be famous rockstars or artists, but we can follow what interests us. Think about the things that you’d like to do more of or would like to find out more about; there’s probably a career that shares a lot of those same characteristics out there. Incidentally, if you are a budding rockstar or artist, you can always pursue these things as a hobby and have a career on the side.

  1. It’s never too late to learn something new!

Many of us think that education ends after we leave school or that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” But this isn’t true; people (and dogs) can always learn new skills at any stage of life! For example, Annabella had zero knowledge of cows before she started, and despite her long career beforehand, has become an absolute expert on the subject! She says that she wishes “people knew the beauty of study; if you’re old, it’s good to learn something new.”

We here at ADL are committed to courses that will take you to new careers. From farming to counselling and everything in-between, you can even make your own course for a tailored learning experience. We provide free and unlimited tutor support with every course to help you get the most out of the experience. In addition, all of our courses can be completed online at a pace that suits you!

So you want to be a nutritionist?


Learn to grow a very wide range of legumes primarily as food crops, for humans or for animals.

Legumes are some of the most important agronomic crops grown widely, in most countries and climates across the world. This course helps you to better know what to grow, where, how and how to harvest and store the crops that are farmed.

Legumes also known as pulses. They are used for:

  • Human food
  • Animal food
  • Soil improvement
  • Amenity planting (including ornamental uses)

Legumes are all members of the Fabaceae plant family which range from tall trees to vegetables and fodder plants. They include both human and animal foods, ornamental plants and cut flowers, soil improvers, weedy plants and more.

Why enrol on this course?
Keen to learn more about agronomic growing practices for legume broadacre crops?  Want to progress in your agronomy career or start your own farming business  or even for professional development?  Then this course is ideal for you.

Developing Empathy

The word ‘empathy’ is used a lot these days in the context of supporting others.

It is an essential skill to develop for those whose professional roles involve helping those in some sort of distress, and also very useful in our personal relationships.

The terms empathy and sympathy are often confused. Both of the words are associated with the relationship a person has with the feelings and situations of another person.

Empathy involves the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within that person’s own frame of reference; in other words, you are not considering their viewpoints from your own perspective, but seeing a situation from another’s position. The term is most often used to refer to the capacity or ability to imagine yourself in the situation of another, experiencing the emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person.

The establishment and maintenance of empathy is an important ingredient in having a good rapport with another person, helping others – and understanding how people think the ways that they do. It also helps to bring trust into the relationship.

In contrast, sympathy is used to convey commiseration, pity, or feelings of sorrow for someone else who is experiencing some sort of misfortune. Feeling sorry for a person generates feelings of pity, which is not helpful in situations where people are in pain. Sympathy is appropriate in extreme situations, such as bereavement or other traumas. However, for more chronic feelings of distress, being pitied is not what is best.

Empathy provides a bridge that connects two people together and creates a space for more genuine healing, understanding and compassion. By working on our empathy, it allows us to hear another’s point of view and spring us forward into automatically becoming more helpful.

Here are some tips for using empathy helpfully:

  1. Place aside your own point of view; see situations from the other person’s perspective

In doing this, it soon becomes clear that people are usually not being hateful, unreasonable, mean-spirited – or plain wrong.  They are probably just reacting to the situation with the experiences they have, just as you do.

  1. Respond to the other person’s point of view

Once you can see why the other person believes what he or she does, then you can acknowledge this. You do not need to agree with what has been said. Just accept that people have different opinions from your own, and that they may have understandable reasons for their views.

  1. Actively listen

Pay attention to the entire message that the other person is trying to communicate.

    • Consider carefully what is being said, and the tone of expression.
    • Be aware of non-verbal communication – what is the person is indicating, non-verbally, while speaking.
    • Feelings expressed
    • Show that you are concentrating well by attending to your own body language, showing that you are fully present in this exchange. Facing the person, with occasional minimal responses, and the maintenance of soft eye contact, where culturally appropriate, sends important messages.
  1. Explore your own views.

Ask yourself if you are more motivated to win, get your own way, or be right. In contrast, you may want to find a solution, build relationships, and accept others’ attitudes. Empathy requires an open mind.

  1. Enable the examination of options

When you have shown that you have truly listened to the person, you may ask him or her to consider what options lie ahead.  It is important that the person takes ownership of the decisions made. This is empowering and promotes self-reliance. Passively taking your advice would be disempowering and reinforce inadequacy and reliance on other people.

Practising these skills on a daily basis brings huge benefits. Surprisingly, we often do not actively listen to our family and friends – often, because we are busy doing lots of things at once rather than communicating in a focused way. It is a great skill to be open to seeing the world from perspectives other than your own – and this skill can be used habitually for its best effects. When you validate and show appreciation of others’ viewpoints, they will probably want to understand you – and this is how you can start to build cooperation and mutual friendship and understanding. The development of empathy is one of the skills useful for people in helping or supporting roles. The Academy for Distances Learning provides a number of courses associated with Counselling Skills and Psychology.

By Iona Lister




ADL Success Stories – Dairy Cattle Farming with Annabella Baker

Education opens doors to success windows of opportunity and in at least one case, gates to new possibilities. Such is the case with ADL success story Annabella Baker.  Originally from Italy, but now living in the UK, Annabella faced a tragedy all too familiar to many when she lost her airline job during the Covid

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Horticulture – Learn the Basics: Three Problems for New Gardeners

Gardens are hard work.  Behind every immaculate lawn and carefully tended flowerbed is a never-ending struggle between nature and gardener. Of course simply leaving the garden to its own devices isn’t really an option; Untended, plants will grow freely for the whole of spring and summer and even into autumn. Worse yet, an uncared for

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Henry Hoover’s Broken Plug

Some stories of educational achievement soar into the heavens.  Of individuals who through hard work and toil overcame the challenges in their life to achieve. Certainly, at ADL we’ve seen and helped many individuals achieve their dreams through completing a course which helped them get a place at university or begin a new career. This,

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King Charles and the Grey Goo

If you’ve been in the UK over the past weekend you might have noticed you had a day off on Monday (or looked on enviously as other people had a day off).  The coronation of a new monarch in Charles the Third means a new era. One that the Monarch is especially keen does not

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Could You Be a Personal Trainer?

If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives.  By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their

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