It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Post career at old Firm, my plan has been to spend May, June and July figuring out what to do next and let my imagination run free. When it comes to Networking, I’ve been thinking I would avoid it until I have a clear objective. The clear objective or objectives to have magically popped out by the end of July ;-). However the Penna networking course I did the other day convinced me that this is not necessarily the best approach and that my muddledness could actually translate into some clear networking objectives. The instructor painted a compelling picture which looked like this:

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Money Saving: Mint Tea

Money Saving: Mint Tea

With my new found spare time I have been doing more of the shopping. We have a liking for posh mint tea

Hmm, it’s good but there are only 12 tea bags in this packet, it costs £3.50, and we have mint in the garden. Got me thinking about giving it a go. (Note to self: herbs are also on the list of things to add to the dogs raw diet).

Growing mint:

  • Anywhere, prefers light shade
  • Remove flowers or cut to ground when flowering to get new growth.
  • Stagger cutting to maintain mint supply.
  • Pot up for winter growing.
  • Good for butterflies

Here are my steps to make-your-own-mint-tea.

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UK National Insurance

UK National Insurance

Buried in a handout for a self-employment course I was doing the other day was the statement, “it is important to register as unemployed as soon as you can even if you intend to start a business. This ensures that your National Insurance contributions are credited from the appropriate date.” Really? This was the first I’d heard about it. It sounded like an important thing to do. I was wondering why I hadn’t come across this before on the list of things to do when made redundant. As a high rate tax payer,  I assumed there was no point rushing down the JobCentre Plus as I would not be entitled to any help in the current tax year. Should I?

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How about back to your roots?

How about back to your roots?

The joy of being unemployed is that you can go off on a tangent. I was pondering a plan I’ve had for a while to fence off a bit of garden for a veggie patch. I started wondering what would be the best money-saving plants to grow. A quick search of the internet before I started some more traditional job-related work became a few hours.

I found a few sites on this. This one is the most thorough, listing crop value per square foot of ground required to grow. It’s US based but I’ve highlighted crops wich are recommended elsewhere.

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Study that works around you and your life

Study that works around you and your life

Open University

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

Plan UK

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.

The best way to impress an interviewer is with technical ability

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:

Software Developer

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:

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