When I met my career advisor, we did an exercise with cards of job characteristics. I thought this would be helpful in defining the general specification of what I want from work. The exercise is to place cards in columns from Very Important to Not Important. However, you can then move them into just 2 columns to make it more black and white.
- Short travel distance to work (< 1hr). Or WFH AT LEAST 2 days a week.
- 2 days at home would allow 4 work outs a week and a dog run every other day
- Being able to balance work and home life
- Being independent and making my own decisions but also having someone for support
- Being given the opportunity to develop my skills
- Demonstrating expertise and skills
- Doing a variety of things. Being creative and generating ideas.
- Being independent
- Being respected for honesty and integrity
- Doing exact and detailed work
- Not being away from home alot
- Being able to work at own pace
- Stretch and challenge in my role
- Flexibility both ways
- Not being put under a lot of personal pressure
- Not micro managed
- Clear rules for development/role
Continue reading “The Job Spec”
Sticking with Software Developer from the Adult Directions_ My Careers list, the next interesting link was to the Open University which offers a WIDE range of Undergraduate computing courses and Postgraduate computing courses. In IT, I feel I definitely want to improve and probably formalise my programming skills. I’m certain I don’t want to do this by going back to University and I’m almost certain I don’t want to study full time. In this context, the OU has an appeal as their courses offer Study that works around you and your life. I also like the idea of doing shorter rather than longer courses. However, the various courses, paths, and entry requirements are a bit of a maze so I would need to get some advice.
If I study I want it to tick these boxes:
- Study from home
- Study part-time
- Study short courses, i.e. not degrees in one go
Another good development today is that I am now supporting Plan again! Remember I mentioned that I cancelled ALL my direct debits on R-day. Including all my charities 😦 Well, it didn’t take me long to regret that knee jerk reaction. The good news is Plan has now reinstated my direct debit and I asked them quick enough so I’m still sponsoring my little’pen-pal’ John Mike in Uganda, who I’ve been sponsoring for the last 5 years.
Quote of the day comes from this New Scientist article:
” The best way to impress an interviewer is with technical ability”
The 2nd interesting suggestion on my Adult Directions_ My Careers list was the hilariously original:
There’s just no fighting it I guess so I started exploring the resources suggested with it, the first of which was BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT.
For the classically trained this is probably no surprise but for those of us that stumbled into IT it offers a HUGE AMOUNT of career based info. It’s prompted me to kick off a whole page on Personal Development and Career Planning, as well as these notes:
Continue reading “The best way to impress an interviewer is with technical ability”
The plan today was to work on Plan B so I headed over to Adult Directions to see what careers it threw up. Based on my answers to 45 Skills and 117 Likes and Dislikes, it decided I should be a …. Software Developer! SHOCK. Ok so there were some other suggestions:
Out of these, some did throw up some useful links to Job Sites. This is the first:
Hmm, so I’ve discovered that you start a blog and then one week later, stop. Is that normal? I guess it is. I’ve been a bit busy with life which I suppose is a good thing. Life including my daughter’s birthday, a family party for that, my niece’s birthday, a family party for that, my Wife and other daughter going away to Barcelona for the weekend, a Bank Holiday, a trip to London for a Doctor’s appointment. Stuff like that. And also to be honest a bit of a rebound from the initial enthusiasm about losing my job. Yes, a bit of grumpiness, anger and ‘I cannot be arsed now’ with this finding a job/career/next step thing.
So where did I get? Well, the main thing is that almost immediately after the last post, a career advisor, John, from Penna got in touch with me and we met up at the end of last week. That was a good 2-hour wide-ranging get-to-know-you talk-about-finding-a-job session. It generated lots of notes, that I’ve been too scared to go back to, which I will blog about in due course.
Plus the nice HR lady sent me a bunch of feedback ( and praise ) on my CV so I spent some time producing some more versions.
- Kick off meeting with Career Consultant
- 1:1 Consultancy End Date will be July 29th so USE IT OR LOSE IT
- Produced 2 more CV versions with HR feedback and Personal Statement
The article of the day is the rise of the middle-aged intern which mentions that Goldman Sachs, MetLife, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Barclays now have internship programmes for older workers. Not sure I want to be an intern but some of the qualities of more experienced workers resonate with me like ‘resilient and adaptable’ and ‘sounding board and a mentor’.
I’ve been discovering in recent months, Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. This quote I’ve stumbled upon is especially thought-provoking at the moment:
“The common experience is that man fits himself as well as he can to the customary details of that work or trade he falls into, and tends it as a dog turns a spit. Then is he part of the machine he moves; the man is lost. Until he can manage to communicate himself to others in his full stature and proportion, he does not yet find his vocation.”
Have I found my true vocation? That’s what I’ve got to find out. And so one week in, Happy Anniversary to me!, I have an appointment to find out about the service that Penna offers. And yes I am lucky to get access to a service like this as part of my redundancy package. A lot of people don’t.
It turns out to be a good meeting. The expectations I had turned out to pretty accurate. The nice lady I spoke to says she we pair me up with a career advisor for some 1:1 help. She’s a good listener and has some good advice straight off. It also feels good to be out having meetings with new people.
I have two themes in my head at the moment. One is a blue sky, step back, consider all options approach. The other is more practical and centres around planning what I need to find a job in a similar role and probably field.
She advises focusing on the planning and allowing myself some time to think about options so I don’t rush into work and leave myself with a nagging feeling that I should have taken the chance to work through it whilst I had the opportunity. I agree with her. I also asked whether I should dive into networking for a) practice and b) information gathering. She advises to work on the list of possible contacts and to hold off until I have planned what I want to get out of those conversations ( besides catching up with some old friends as well of course ). I think she is right here also.