Sometimes, we don't land on the right career path straightaway. Or we end up in our dream job, and then something happens which causes that career to finish all too abruptly...
That's how Simon Hemsworth's story begins. After his childhood dream of being a Royal Marine Commando was curtailed when he sustained a leg injury, Simon worked as an assistant caretaker, a job he didn't believe was his "destiny."
Simon's first lucky break came when the headmaster of the school he was working in suggested P.E. teaching. Only one problem: Simon didn't have a degree. He also wasn't in a financial position where he could give up work and pursue a degree full-time.
After doing some research and looking into distance learning courses, Simon discovered that through The Open University, you can keep your job and start learning at the same time. And when he was enrolled in his first module a few weeks later, the career change he'd been thinking about became something more: the first step towards a new life.
With the support of his study group and personal tutor - who even gave Simon her mobile number to get in touch when he needed - Simon graduated and began his second career as a P.E. teacher.
"It was a second chance, it was an opportunity for me to have a new career... Now I am P.E. teaching. This is my dream job. It's ace," says Simon.
Whether you're looking to explore an interest, change career paths or gain new skills for your current job, the OU offers the flexibility to fit learning into your (already hectic) life.
Part-time learning can do more than allow you to take on new challenges and discover exciting new opportunities. As Simon's story shows, sometimes, it can change your life.