Work and Academic

I've had quite few different jobs so far - and expect I will have a few more before I retire.

When I left school, at 17, I started work as a computer operator for the Midland Bank, and did the same work for a number of other companies for the next 4 years. It was a time when there was a shortage of skilled computer people and it was common practice to move from job to job to gain experience.

Anyway, after a while I got fed up with the shift work and decided to change to something that didn't involve working nights, so I got a job as a private detective. I found it advertised in the local state labour exchange, was interviewed and started within a few days. Nine months later I wrote off my company car on Marble Arch roundabout, and we all felt it was better if I left and found another job . For those of you who don't know, Marble Arch is a major monument right in the middle of central London.

So I went to help my family with their newsagents business. For a while we kept building the business but then my father fell ill and was in hospital for six months. Much of that time my mother spent by his bedside so the business declined and when he finally came out of hospital, they still had a business left. But there wasn't really enough work left for the three of us, and we clearly weren't going to have the energy to put lots of effort back into rebuilding it - so it was time to move on again.

I spent a while as a Grounds-Man and a Service Station Manager, before settling on bar work as a permanent job, and I managed that for a year before I decided to go to University and get a degree. After a lot of applications (I really didn't have any of the right qualifications) Wolverhampton Polytechnic offered me a place and I jumped at it. Three years later I came out with a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Science.

While I was at college, and for a couple of years afterwards, I had a number of short-term jobs. I was a Barman (of course) a Casual Driver, a Play Leader, a Trainer/Tutor and a Holiday Courier. The Courier's job was great fun, and I spent a whole summer in Italy, just looking after holidaymakers and a few tents. Oh, and drinking wine and eating pizza as well :)

Then I met my ex-wife and decided to settle down and I decided to become a Teacher, as I had enjoyed the tutoring work I had done earlier. Well we all have to grow up eventually! I started off working on a government retraining scheme for the RLSS, teaching kids how not to drown, and used that experience to get some part time work at Croydon College. In the first year I did well enough to get taken on full time, and was involved in setting up the computing section at the Heath Clarke site, where I worked.

Then we decided it was time to move out of London, so I went looking for new jobs and eventually got an appointment at Oxford College. Over the next 5 years I took charge of the Vocational IT courses and built up a very good offer for the college, but then the government decided to change the way the colleges worked. I really didn't like the changes, as I thought they weren't good for either the students or the staff - and I haven't changed my mind much since then. I still think the colleges are really taking advantage of a group of people who are prepared to follow their vocation and help educate the young of this country. Some where in there I found time to become a qualified teacher with a Certificate of Education and went on to develop my skill set further with a Master's Degree in Education, and a set of qualifications that allowed me to assess work and verify course in computing and IT.

Well I loved teaching and education, so I left the college to start a small business that would support me as an educational and training consultant. However, after the first year, while we had survived, I wasn't really making enough money - so I reluctantly decided to try working in the commercial world for a while.

After a couple of short contracts, I finished up working for Olivetti as a Help Desk Operative, and a few years later finished up as a Team Leader come Manager for them, but was made redundant when they were taken over by Wang. While I was working for Olivetti I managed to get myself a couple of MCP qualifications in MS Word and Excel.

I spent the next year or so on contracts again, the main one working for Digital (who were taken over by Compaq in the middle of the contract) running the Desktop and Network Support at a Motorola site in Basingstoke.

Fed up with contract work, I took a full time job as Head of IT, working for the UK section of Amnesty International, an organisation I have long admired.  O spent two years at Amnesty and helped move their network and computing systems to much more modern and stable  systems than they had when I arrived.

After Amnesty, I  took a year off, before starting work again.  Now I  work for Bucks County Council, helping organise IT courses in the Aylesbury area, and  have a couple of other part-time educational jobs as well.