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Posts Tagged ‘career’

  1. Slow walking and slow wheeling

    October 28, 2011 by superlative

    OK, so after my ranting my weekend was actually not too bad. We managed to do some nice things, and even though it was quite different with Chris’ Mum and Nan there (and annoying at times), we did still have fun.

    We had the first 24 hours just with my brother- and sister-in-law (does she count as a sister-in-law to me? His wife anyway), so that was nice and relaxed and we did some fun things. We played crazy golf on the seafront, which I always enjoy rather too much and a lot more than I’m expecting to, and I had an amazing meal in a restaurant round the corner from here. If you’re local and you haven’t tried it before, you really should go to Twenty Four St Georges Restaurant in Kemp Town. I’ve been there a few times now and it’s just lovely; this time I gorged myself on squash risotto and the most delicious plaice with mushroom ravioli. Just gorgeous.

    Then we had a very hurried trek about on top of windy Devil’s Dyke the next morning, before hurrying back into town to meet our older visitors. And then everything started to move veeeeeerrrry sloooooooowwwwwwly. I love them to bits, but my GOD how long can it take to walk from Churchill Square to the pier? 40 minutes?? Really?! It’s just bonkers. You can fly to Paris in 40 minutes.

    The absolute best part of the weekend though was when all six of us went on the newly opened Brighton Wheel. It’s kind of like the London Eye but a lot smaller, and they’ve just thrown it up next to the pier. They weren’t entirely sure when it was going to open – I think they were waiting for some final permission or something – but then suddenly it was open and going round and round with people on it on Saturday so we thought we’d give it a go. And it was great!

    You don’t have to book, it’s not busy enough for that yet, so you just stroll straight up and pay your money and get on. It has about 20 or 30 pods big enough for six adults, so we had one all to ourselves, and I think we happened to go at one of the best times because the sun was just starting to set. You get nice views of the two piers and down the coast in either direction, and a bit of a view of the town, but that’s not so interesting to look at. We went round four times over about 15 minutes and got some lovely photos, and I really, really enjoyed it. I know some people don’t approve of the Wheel much and think it is a bit of an eyesore, but I really liked it.

    Since the weekend I’ve unfortunately had a cold, after having a glorious few months free of illness. So I’m stuffed up and fed up at home right now, watching rubbish television with a blanket on my legs (I actually am – it’s green and gloriously soft). I’m also brooding a bit about my career, or lack of, and wondering what to do about it. I need a new job I think, because I’m so horribly unfulfilled right now, but I just can’t think what or how to make a leap and do something else. I watched The Social Network last night and realised that Mark Zuckerberg has all the money in the world AND is three years younger than me, and it made me quite sad about not having achieved very much. I could have been anything, could have done anything! But I ended up with so many options that I basically did nothing and suddenly I’m 30.

    So hmmm to that. I’ll have to give it some more thought, and then probably do nothing a bit more, and whinge about it periodically. So look forward to that, won’t you? It’ll be marvellous.

  2. Update on the mid-life crisis

    June 1, 2010 by superlative

    I have been doing some further thinking about my previously mentioned mid-life crisis over my career, and I think that I’ve sort of decided what it is that I need to do. Whether or not I’ll actually do it remains to be seen.

    Basically, I had a good read of a book called ‘Changing your career’ at the weekend,  having decided that as with most problems in my life I could solve it by getting a book on it. It was quite good, and it talked about the reasons people have for changing career, and what you need to consider before doing it. I also spent some time thinking about what things I enjoy in my work, and what things I don’t, and how that might affect what I want to do in the future. The back section of the book was devoted to profiles of about 20 different careers, so you could have a look through them and see if the type of work would suit you.

    The upshot of my research, my personal audit (that’s the wanky technical phrase the book used), and the comparison to the career profiles was that the job that seems most suited to me is Web Developer. Which is what I’m doing at the moment.

    So… um… There you go. I was a bit surprised, but actually it makes a lot of sense. I moved to this job from my previous administrative roles because this was more what I wanted to be doing. None of that has gone away, I’ve just lost sight of it after two years in post and the creeping boredom being in the same job entails. And in particular I have issues with this job, not my actual choice of career.

    When I looked at the things I have most enjoyed in all my previous jobs, they were (apologies for the inarticulate phrasing):

    • Being given a goal and being asked to work out how to achieve it
    • Taking something, unpicking it, working out how it works, and then understanding it
    • Learning new skills
    • Checking things – proof reading, making sure things add up, being meticulous

    All of these things fit fairly well in web development, or at least they seem to to me. The projects I have most enjoyed here have been the ones where a designer sends me a set of images and a list of requirements, and says “Can you make that?” Sometimes I know how to do it straight away, and sometimes I have to go away and learn something new in order to achieve it, but I get there in the end.

    The problem I have with my job at the moment is that, despite being called a Web Developer, I actually do very little development. Most of the time I’m limited to web editing, which is just updating text and fiddling about with a pre-existing website. And even then, my workload is quite light, and I have to ration what I do so I don’t get too bored. Both of those things leave me feeling unfulfilled, unstretched and quite de-skilled, as anything new that I do learn while working on a project then doesn’t get used again for nine months, by which time I’ve forgotten it.

    So anyway, it seems to me that web development is an OK career for me still to be in. What I need to do though is either fix this job by taking on more work from somewhere, and hopefully making it more interesting work, or find a new job where I’m actually a web developer and not just called one.

    The latter may well mean working in the private sector, and this concerns me. My only experience of working in the private sector was not a good one, as it was a smallish company and any mistakes you made had immediate financial consequences attached to them. I’m also not keen on any role that involves a sales aspect, and I don’t enjoy being public-facing.

    So I’m not actually sure where I go from here. My plan is to start keeping a closer eye on local web jobs, and if I see something that looks promising I’ll apply for it. If it means taking a pay cut for a while, that’s OK, because I know my current skill level doesn’t really match my salary here. Luckily, Brighton has one of the highest concentration of ‘new media’ jobs in the country, so at least I know there are lots of web-type employers around.

    I’m also considering starting some study in my spare time, so that I feel more mentally challenged (not in the spakka sense) and might gain a new qualification. I’m having a look at the Open University undergraduate courses in Maths at the moment, and I might think about doing it as a second degree. I enjoyed it at A Level and it would be nice to use those skills again; and you have the advantage with the Open University of stopping part-way through if your circumstances change or you just go off the idea. So I’m going to give that some thought anyway.

    I feel a bit more positive than I did last week, and at least now I feel I’ve narrowed down my options and given myself some areas to focus on.