When I grow up

In which I dream of creating dinosaurs and winning The Ashes.

When I was little(r) I played the “when I grow up” game. I knew what I wanted to be, it was going to be fun and exciting and ever so adventurous. I would change the world! I did not sit and think “You know what, I want to be a data analyst”. It just happened that what I have is an aptitude for crunching numbers and making spreadsheets. I was never going to be a NBA basketballer so I choose the world of Excel and datasets.

I was going to be doing any number of different occupations, I had the whole world in front of me and nothing to stop me. So what happened? Continue reading “When I grow up”

More than a spreadsheet

In which there are countless ways I’m not just a ‘numbers’ guy.

One of the most frustrating descriptions of my job is that I’m “The Numbers Guy”. We’ve just done a personality profile exercise when I wasn’t in the “You like spreadsheets” group there was a few incredulous looks. He uses Excel so he must love writing formulas and doing tables?

What if I told you the answer to that was “kinda”, of course I take some pleasure from a well presented set of stats but I do it because I’m good at it (and helps pay the bills) but very few people ever dream of being an analyst when they are little. Even now at the age of 34 (just) I don’t wake up excited about the prospect of firing up a new .xls file.

Instead of being a numbers person what keeps me sane is the fact that I can use this skill to be a more creative person.

Continue reading “More than a spreadsheet”

Taking a leap of faith

In which taking a leap is the best way to live life (unless you are a funambulist).

I’m on my way to work, the thirteenth different job I’ve had in fifteen years. I got to the station from my third different house in my fifth different car. For some this would show how flighty I am and constantly changing, but more me it shows the importance of sensing opportunities and taking a leap of faith.

All of these changes were made very quickly, a possibility for an improvement to my life arose and I went out and grabbed it. There have been some stumbles along the way (as two three-month jobs would suggest) but the important factor has always been when I had a chance to ‘go for it’ I did.

I’ve been accused of being able to fall in a pile of excrement and coming out smelling of roses. It implies that I am lucky in whatever I do and i take offense at that. Getting a new job is not lucky, I have had to prove myself numerous times and, because I lack a degree qualification, convince someone to hire me.

All the key points in my work career were because I saw a gap and went for it. I could have been happy to not record my performance on a spreadsheet and never started on the analytics path. I could have worried I would never make a manager and not applied to be a team leader. Before I did marketing I had never marketed so why would I think I could go in that direction?
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Parenting is not a career option

In which I complain about the working hours but the boss don’t care.

One of my greatest frustrations with parenthood is how I’m told what a great job it is. You know what is a great job? International Cricketer or President of the Bacon Tasting Society. Parenting as a job kind of sucks.

Firstly, and most importantly, the pay is terrible. It is below minimum wage, in fact an internship is a better deal, and the holiday and sick leave is non-existant. Even rewarding vocations like teaching and nursing pay more and have less stress.

Being a parent means that you are on call all the time and the customers are real hard asses. It is nigh on impossible to make them happy. Any service you provide is too late and wrong, but you will not be told what is wrong you just have to decipher the blow up in front of your face.

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No I in team

In which I have to learn to play nice with the other kids.

Teamwork, collaboration, playing nicely with others. In my new job these are all traits I’m starting to realise I don’t have. I like being thrown in at the deep end and left to fend for myself, I want to achieve through discovery and tenacity not through training and picking up an existing process.

This has come to light from my new job, mostly I have always been the analyst on a team of marketeers so had lots of control of how I presented the data and a lot of freedom to go and explore. Now I have joined a team of like-minded souls I have gone from big fish to little fish.

Like most things you don’t realise what you had until someone comes along and puts up a parking lot. It’s as simple as being allowed to have control over the colour of the bars on the charts I use. Now I have to negotiate and compromise to create a unified team style, but the style we are choosing sucks.

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What I want to be when I grow up

In which all I wanted to do was make dinosaurs.

Now I have progeny I get to look and think “what on Earth are you going to be when you are older?” I don’t quite remember what my dream job was when I was ten years old, the only point I decided I wanted to pursue a particular career path was around my teenage years.

At that point I wanted to be a geneticist, and this was all down to one man.

PHOTO-Henry Wu Jurassic Park

Continue reading “What I want to be when I grow up”