“Learn to Recognize When Stuff is Changing”

Wrap your arms around this: successful self-coached career changes are about staying anchored to those metaphorical grounds of reality lest your head gets lost in clouds of what might be.

Manannan_Mac-Lir_Sea_LordTranslated into plainer English, I think this means you need to “follow a proven plan”. If you can’t follow one or be sure that it is indeed ‘proven’, then at least modify it on the fly to fit your circumstances.

Back in the mid-1980s (here I go with one of those “when I was a lad” stories, but bear with me…), I made a career change from the world of a physics/maths school teacher to that of an instructor for a US IT company.

Aside from personal and professional reasons for doing so (read the book when it’s published for more background), I was also intrigued by the subtle and almost insignificant encroachment of computers into school (we had, I think, a big, clunky Commodore? PC in the science classrooms), and also into society. My younger brother and I spent many happy hours playing space adventure games on the BBC Micro.

So, along with articles in various science and technology periodicals, back then it wasn’t hard to figure out that computers were likely to become important in the years ahead.

No internet did mean that finding and researching career opportunities took longer than it does today. (Of course, recruiters were only a fax or phone call away but I’m referring to private research done before contacting anyone.) I do recall going to the QUB education/career library and looking up various periodicals for tech companies who were hiring. Then one fateful week along comes an ad in the ‘Times Educational Supplement’ aimed at hiring teachers as IT instructors, and I was off and running to the post office with my CV and cover letter.)

Thirty years later, tech’s everywhere and continues to advance in leaps and bounds. But is it still possible to change careers, either from or to IT, in this post-2008 globalized, outsourced 21st Century world?

Have a read at these comments to a related question posted on Slashdot, “How do I change tech careers at 30?”
The poster’s age takes me back to that 26 year old teacher in days of yore. Yes, it may not be easy but can be done.

(The photo above is of a statue – Manannan Mac Lir, Sea Lord, son of Lir, God of the Sea – made by N. Irish sculptor, John Darren Sutton. We visited this beautiful spot – Magilligan point-  last summer but alas, my photo doesn’t do it justice. See the sculptor’s Flickr page for much better images.)

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