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Career Advice

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 8
Registered: 01-08-2007

Career Advice

Hi
Well I went to see pitman training advisors today about getting some IT techy qualifications. Total waste of time. Despite their website listing almost everything under the sun for IT tech stuff they say they are offering no such courses, can't help, I should look elsewhere blah, blah, blah.
Tried CTCollege years ago and picked out numerous errors in their coursework within 4 pages. I cancelled as I wasn't paying them for the honour of proof reading their material and teaching them what they were supposed to be teaching me.
Local college only offers word processing, how to use the internet etc basic courses...
I'm at my wits end. I work a not-so-bad job but with an evil boss and I can't take it anymore.
O.U will effectively keep me there for years... and I'll end up hanging myself before I finish the course (and before you laugh I'm suffering with depression).
What on earth can I do? - It seems like no matter what I try there is this mysterious force out to keep me from getting anywhere or achieving anything with my life.
If anyone has any ideas I'd certainly be grateful... apart from working for PN.. although if I lived up their way I'm so desperate I'd actually consider it..
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
34 REPLIES
idlewis
Grafter
Posts: 245
Registered: 20-01-2010

Re: Career Advice

Can you be self employed or run your own business?
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,869
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Career Advice

Quote

I work a not-so-bad job but with an evil boss

so, it seems you like your work/job.... but you don`t like your boss......
Many years ago, I was in motor spares retail management..... my area manager had one (of many) rule that stuck in my mind..... " If you have a problem...... get rid of it..... give it to somebody else to sort"...
well not so easy in your case,  but your problem is your boss...... get rid..... look for alternative/similar type work, or completely change direction... take a quick 3 or 6 month course on (say) Fork lift driving, and get a job doing that, while you re-assess your capablities in your present field and if necessary improve your qualifications whilst doing the jcb job....
another alternative..... can you use your present skills/job experience to become "self employed".... and start teaching other people from home/home visits...
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,286
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Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: Career Advice

Does your boss have a boss? If he does, then s/he probably knows what the boss is like. I (and a few colleagues) many years ago managed to get a similar-sounding individual dropped in the clarts by taking him literally and doing precisely as he said. We realised that we were carrying him, so enough was enough. He got promoted out of the way!!
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Career Advice

Quote
O.U will effectively keep me there for years

I think you should do something that you enjoy doing.
being busy at work 24/7 year on year can be a happy experience
if your doing what you enjoy.
recently 3 golf pro's each received a honourary degree for their work to golf.
I actually like golf as a game, so i'm ok on them receiving the honour
IT is real interesting, but you'll need to take in lots of electronics , boolean rules ,digital gates and all that  kind of stuff.
Try self employment if the present  job is getting you down..
For example you could  buy then resell  on ebay... (actually i'm working  towards  that end)
perhaps buy antiques from  boot fairs and sell  them onto China or stuff like that  plus you wont pay tax if you only earn little
start saving now and buy a few odds and ends , I 've heard of loads of people earning around £800 every week
But if education is your thing, you could sturdy for a  B Ed or BA ,  at home or at  local college or local uni
and with a grant for 3 years  you could go on to work as a school teacher
straight after
TicnTac
Grafter
Posts: 426
Registered: 03-08-2010

Re: Career Advice

Try and avoid IT  Roll eyes he says  Roll eyes, I loved techie stuff, but my forte was farming, it was great, tough, and I loved every second of it, however it nearly killed me, and years on keeps trying  Roll eyes It was only because I couldn't work at my chosen career, and for what I studied for 4 years at and qualified at, but thanks to a friend I was thrown in the deep end of computers and worked my way through with all hands on experience. Unless you have a passion for it, leave it alone. I did live and breathe IT, kept up with everything new, worked commercially and well apart from smoking a lot and driving really naff company cars, I grew to hate it  Grin
One example I can give you, was chatting to a Plusnet CSA the other night, he knew what he was scripted to say, but had no passion for his job, didn't "live" his job, never picked a PC Pro mag up, wasn't interested in the inner workings of a router - and that is what is wrong with the most people in the business. They don't care, they are no interested in anything that is out of their own little IT bubble. There is no passion there any more, people hate their jobs, which is why in the UK we have terrible customer service!
Find your passion, what do you love doing? Find it, look at it, study it, immerse yourself in it, and then see what careers are associated with it. If you have no passion, then find and experience new things, and see if something clicks. It will take time, but you never know what is out there until you try something new.
If you find something, see if you can trial something, seek someone out in that career, ask them about it, volunteer for a day or two so you gain some inside information on what it would be like. Don't forget there is always the OU to help you gain new qualifications.
Just don’t go into IT for the sake of it, you might end up like the vast majority of monkeys out there, most in call centres who don’t care what they do, and tend to hate what they do.
I know it’ll be difficult with depression, but by seeking something out that you enjoy, or exploring something new, you may also find it will help you claw your way out it.
I remember completing one of those career questionnaires a year ago or so, slightly updated than the last one I did about 18 years ago, but it came up with the same suggestions I had back then, most of which I’ve already ticked off and done already! Most of which I would be unable to do now, without some retro fitting of a new body parts  Grin
Either that, or see if your boss can be replaced! Wink
Best of luck!
N/A

Re: Career Advice

I've posted on your other thread but would just like to say that I do think that the 'evil boss' needs to be tackled.
I agree with what has been said before i.e. if the man has someone above him, would it not be possible to discuss the matter with them?
Otherwise, could you not ask him to meet with you and a third person to discuss your grievances?  There should be a procedure in place for this (well, there was when I was at work).
Work should not make you ill and with your health history it is likely to do if you cannot have this dealt with.
Workplace bullying should not be allowed and to my mind it needs sorting. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 8
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Career Advice

Unfortunately the boss's boss is rather 'close' with the boss... and so are his bosses. They're all convinced he's the best thing since sliced bread.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
N/A

Re: Career Advice

Well, whatever the outcome is you can congratulate yourself that you have handled the situation so far. 
That is something to be proud about IMO, particularly as he is so unpleasant.
I do hope that something will happen to improve things as I know how awful it is to be unhappy at work.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Career Advice

I'm just starting an OU course myself, well technically two.  One is IT the other is Maths.  The IT one looks so easy that I can do it with my eyes closed, as long as someone reads the book for me, so my problem there could be I lose interest as it's no challenge.  The Maths on the other hand, good grief it's enough to make me want to cry it's so hard!
OU though does short courses, the long term ones are degrees and such, the one I'm on will give me 2 qualifications within a year which is good padding for my CV, assuming the maths doesn't drive me insane.  It's worth taking a look on the OU website to find anything that takes your fancy, but instead of looking at it long term look at it short term.  I'm doing my two courses which give their own qualification, next year I can do two more for more qualifications, but also link them to the two I've done and eventually from doing just single courses I'll have a degree, or I can quit after a year and still have some qualifications.
But like I say, the IT one (M150 I think) isn't a challenge, it's stuff I know already, so try to find one you're comfortable with doing.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,591
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Career Advice

Which Maths course?
I've got a mostly Maths degree (OU) and I'm now part way through my MSc (Maths) with the OU. Embarrassed
I tried an OU IT course once (long time ago), it was so unreal, that I didn't bother completing it.
Some of the Comms. courses were good though.

magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Career Advice

strange , i've just been reading the maths and IT courses on the OU website
but  what will you do once you have these degrees?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,591
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Career Advice

It's not necessary to 'do' anything.
Study is its own reward. Smiley

Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Career Advice

Hmm - IT career advice...
RUN!!
Seriously though, its a rewarding sector to work in, so long as you get a role that fits your persona quite well. (Barry seems to quite enjoy playing with his 'Big IT' stuff - render farms at Pinewood IIRC, the Digital Care Team at PN genuinely work there because they love it, I have a colleague passionately working in Java programming in an obscure pharmaceutical field, and yet another who works from home coding training programs and electronic manuals, and I really enjoy delivering the tech needed to keep process manufacturing working.)
The variety is absolutely endless, and the pace of work, just to keep up-to-date with things that are relevant, and might be relevant can be truly daunting at times.
The most valuable thing you can do is to find a *good* recruiter (or three!). Not one who simply looks to fill roles. Not one who looks to keyword match your CV. You need somebody who can take time to understand you, and the skills and experience you have, who can start to help you match that against the sorts of roles they see. They should be able to advise you on which things are seen as 'key' for given roles, and which are expected to be weaker (For example, a Network Administrator had better know his TCP/IP inside out, but I'm comfortable if he has only used managed switches from a different vendor before.) This sort of fuzzy logic cannot come out of a keyword search, hence the need to avoid those recruiters.
Any hiring manager who is also avoiding those recruiters, and is instead expecting a human to match up the big bits and to understand the mismatches is more likely to be the sort of manager who will truly help you to develop your skills.
Certification is really only proof that you knew the answers to specifically worded questions on a specific day - it doesn't mean you are right for a job.
School used to be a place where people were taught how to learn things - these days children are just taught things.
Prove you know how to learn things, and that you have a solid grounding in core areas, and you will be sat in an interview before you know it!
Make sure your CV includes a decent Précis of your knowledge and experience, include some context of how you apply things, make sure your job history each includes a short paragraph detailing logical thought and systems based approaches to things. - Then go to town with your covering letter - make it relevant for the role you want, and make sure it shows that you understand their business.
If you don't have time to research the company before you apply, the reality is that the job is probably not right for you - if you really really wanted the job, you would have time (and at least one other candidate will have found the time, so they will be seen before you anyway).
Apologies that this seems a bit 'dashed off', I think the bones of it are right. Good luck, and if you are looking for something specific, shout up - you'll be surprised how well connected people can be...
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Career Advice

Quote from: A
Which Maths course?

MU123 Discovering Mathematics.  When I was a kid I never bothered with school, preferring to not actually go so I never learnt much in the way of maths.  A couple of years ago I was doing a college course (with maths) and had to come up to A level maths standard in a week for equations, which I managed, now I need to learn what the heck that acorn symbol is so it's going to be a challenge, a major challenge.