Finished University? Get accredited!

Finished university? Congratulations! You are now almost employable (if your grades can speak for themselves). You can expect months of job searching while you keep your part-time retail job. On the bright side, you’ve been at that retail job for so long you may even qualify to become an underpaid supervisor.

All cynicism aside… Ok you’ve finished uni and have gained employment in an office job in your career path or at least something interesting. What do you do next?

Whether you are in your desired role or not, the process of developing yourself has not finished, in fact you are probably less than half-way there despite your recent three years at university. Continue reading

Whether to study a post grad

After completing a Bachelor’s degree, some students go straight into post-graduate studies, other students declare “school is out” and others enter the workforce to before making the decision.

In my last year of studies, I was so desperate to have a post-student life that I didn’t contemplate going back, not until I had spent a few years in the workforce.

After working in the public service for 15 months, I’m still unsure of when to pursue further formal education. I have been told that it’s best to work for a few years as a career path will become clearer once I have some industry experience. This makes sense as then I’ll be able to decide whether I’d like to specialise in one area or study a new stream altogether. It also allows me to explore what options are available to study while I work.

At this point in time, I’m not sure what area of studies I’d like to pursue. One interest is to learn more about accounting and ensure I have financial knowledge to complement what I’ve already learned. It’s known that once you get to the managerial level of ICT, budgets and cost come in to play much more. Being financially literate is an advantage when justifying expenditure and conveying ideas. The only issue with studying accounting is that I may be planning too far ahead.

So the other study streams I think are plausible would be to pursue project management or business analysis courses. While both are expensive, they would be a step in the right direction. Prine2 or PMP courses would be great to have under my belt. Similarly, specific courses relating to business requirements and business analysis would put me in good stead also.

I’ve seen people complete their Bachelor’s and post grad diplomas all at once before entering the workforce as a graduate. While this would be desirable, I didn’t have any fuel left in me to continue studying at the end of my degree.

I hope to check back in a year’s time to see how I feel about it then. Maybe I’ll have some courses under my belt by then. Here’s hoping.

New theme new direction

So I’ve updated my theme to change things up. I’ve also decided that I will use this space to track the progress of my goal to become a business analyst. For some of you, it may seem like a modest aspiration but for me it’s one goal I haven’t achieved. I know that when I do become a business analyst, I will have a different goal in front of me.

Back to the new theme.

I’m using a default theme that came with the new version of wordpress, it’s called “twenty eleven”. I think default themes have come a long way since I first glanced at kubrick. The new theme is quite minimalist and I think it’s a great match for the new direction I’m taking. I don’t think a blog or a theme should get in the way of someone who wants to write and share opinions. I think this theme will serve me well over the next two years.

I’m done with experimenting with plugins and widgets. When I use wordpress, I want to only write. I’m glad I’ve got the spring clean done and can now get on with the job of documenting my journey to becoming a professional business analyst.

Vocation is not your occupation

I had a discussion with a friend of mine yesterday that started off with: “what is your personal vocation in life?”

The first thought that came to mind was “I don’t have a vocation, I’m not a teacher and not a nurse” so I asked if he meant what’s the motto I live by.

It was then established that neither of us had a clear grasp on the word “vocation”. One of us thought that vocation meant your occupation or career aspirations while the other thought it meant some sort of principled attitude to life.

So the reasoning behind the question was that besides our occupation, there isn’t much else that we contribute to during our lives. I made the comment that when we die, nobody stands up and remarks at how good you could code in SQL, implying that our jobs are of minor importance in the grand scheme of things.

Our current job is just one aspect of our lives but it doesn’t define us as a human being. That’s not where we have our biggest impact on humanity (for most of us at least).

This is what my friend wrote on the matter:

I think an occupation can fall into 3 categories: a Job ( lil satisfaction) a Carear ( career improvement and life fulfillment until retirement) and then your vocation (the activity that is your birthright and something you were born to do, complete life fulfillment)

I’ll finish with a quote on vocation that I found on the web:

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.

-Viktor E. Frankl

New social media strategy

Most people who are constant producers of information in social media will now understand that the space is getting crowded with popular services. Where once we had the one blog to update, we now have to dedicate time to facebook, twitter, tumblr and google plus.

This has made me think about my social media strategy. The truth is, I don’t really have one. When this blog started in 2009, the strategy was to produce via this medium and draw interest and attention back to this page. Since then, I’ve joined twitter, created a tumble log, joined linked in and various other services.

I’m now forced to think about how I spend my time on these networks and which ones I chose to contribute to the most. The problem is that they all seem worthwhile and enjoyable. So I will have to prioritise. This is how I think I will do it.

My blog – this blog

This blog will be the space most serious to me. As I pay money to keep this domain every year and have the url printed on my business card, I may as well keep this in good order. I haven’t written here consistently. There are two reasons for this. One is that I’ve been distracted with less meaningful social media services. The other reason is that I’d rather have well thought out posts on this blog, which means that I don’t often have interesting material to share here or it takes some time to write and edit¬†everything¬†in a decent manner. This blog will however become my most important internet presence. Continue reading