A musing over career choices

A musing over career choices

“What are you going to do when you grow up, daddy?”

I’m not quite sure exactly what my three-year-old son thinks I do all day but, clearly, sitting in front of a computer screen and attending the odd meeting or conference doesn’t do it for him. If I were to drive a truck or operate a digger or fly a plane or ride on a fire engine or … well, actually do anything that involves an engine, making noise and getting my hands dirty, that would be different.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Who wouldn’t want to operate heavy machinery (even big kids get the urge, once in a while). In time, I hope he comes to appreciate the lot of the IT journo – but, for now, I’ll happily play along.

In fact, I quite enjoy playing along. We’ve agreed to fight fires together, build a supermarket, run a train service, dig a quarry, and even go to the moon. You see, that’s the other thing about a three-year-old’s take on what a job should be … you do a different thing each day of the week. On Mondays it’s digging; Tuesday it’s fighting fires; Wednesday it’s catching bad guys – and so on.

Wouldn’t that be fun! Fun … hmmm.

While it’s hard to compete with diggers and fire trucks, are we, as an industry, doing enough to make it an attractive career? Enough to interest younger ones, if not dazzle them. I thought a quick rummage through the ‘sits vac’ was in order.

Ah, ha … Sales and marketing manager for the Warriors – nice but not really what I had in mind.

Human resources … nope.

Financial controller … nope.

Composer in residence … er … nope.

Contact centre manager – “you can expect to be working in a vibrant environment supporting a technical team …” Better but … well, it’s a contact centre.

NZ Channel Manager (for a well-known cellphone maker) – “you will work with the channel generating new business in the assigned end-user account base. You will provide effective account management, develop and present mobility solutions to IT and executive level management, develop and maintain an effective territory plan and maintain a strong sales pipeline …” Nah (although the pipeline bit sounded promising for a spot of construction).

Chief information officer … here we go. “You will be involved in and contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation. Proven record of strategic development and implementation, as well as the ability to align technology with business needs.”

I see. Strategy. Development. Implementation.

Applications analyst and GIS programmers … “This is an opportunity to work with the latest development tools as part of our new Technology and Science Group … blah, blah, blah, in the sunny Bay of Plenty.”

Some consolation, I guess.

Webmaster ... last chance … “Key accountabilities for this pivotal role will include the development and maintenance of tools and functionality, user support, access and security, management of policies and procedures …”

Accountabilities. Access. Policies. For some reason, the thought of becoming a digger driver is growing on me.

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