Tom Phillips: Juggling work and learning - my journey with CIH Level 4 in Housing

Tom Phillips: Juggling work and learning - my journey with CIH Level 4 in Housing

Tom Phillips

Langstane Housing Association housing officer Tom Phillips shares his experience and some of the challenges he faced while working full time and studying for CIH Level 4 in Housing in the hope that he can encourage others to pursue further learning.

Have you ever considered advancing your career by obtaining a higher qualification but worried about how to balance it with your full-time job?

Well, I was in the same boat, but I took the plunge, and I’m here to share my experience and encourage others to take up further learning.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through my journey of studying for my Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Level 4 in Housing while working full time as a housing officer.

The decision to pursue further learning:

As a housing officer, I always knew that acquiring a higher qualification would open new doors and enhance my professional development. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but my passion for housing and my desire to make a difference in the lives of others propelled me to take on the challenge of studying for the CIH Level 4 in Housing.

Preparing for the balancing act:

Before I embarked on this journey, I had to devise a plan to manage my time effectively. I knew that juggling a full-time job and studying would require discipline, determination, and excellent time management skills. I started by creating a study schedule that would allow me to attend classes, revise, and complete assignments without sacrificing my job performance.

The support system:

One of the key factors that contributed to my success was having a strong support system. My family, friends, and colleagues played a crucial role in keeping me motivated throughout the process. I also reached out to my employer to inform them about my decision to pursue further education, and they were incredibly supportive, providing me with the flexibility and resources needed to achieve my goals.

The learning experience:

The CIH Level 4 in Housing course provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the housing sector, covering topics such as housing policy, housing management, and asset management. I found the coursework engaging and relevant, which made it easier to stay motivated and dedicated to my studies. The practical knowledge and skills I gained through the course have enabled me to become a more effective Housing Officer, capable of making a tangible impact on my community.

Overcoming challenges:

Juggling work and learning was not without its challenges. There were times when I felt overwhelmed and questioned my decision to pursue further education. However, I reminded myself of the end goal and the benefits that would come with it. By staying focused and committed to my plan, I was able to overcome these hurdles and achieve success.

The payoff:

After months of hard work and determination, I am proud to say that I have successfully completed my CIH Level 4 in Housing. The knowledge and skills I’ve gained have already proven invaluable in my day-to-day work, and I am confident that this qualification will open new doors for my career.


In conclusion, pursuing further learning while working full time is undoubtedly challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. If you’re considering taking up further learning to advance your career, I encourage you to take the leap of faith. With determination, discipline, and the right support system, you can achieve your goals and enrich your professional life. Remember, the journey might be tough, but the payoff is worth it!

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