Future – a post where I discuss my way forward

Future - a post where I discuss my way forward

Yep – another self-indulgent post!

Anyway, sorry folks for not posting for a week. Since signing my redundancy I have had much to dwell upon. Also, my daughter has taken over my computer – installing SimCity and The Sims upon it.


Not happy. :(

And I have seen the latest Star Wars film.

Very happy. :) Don’t worry, this is all I am saying on that.

Anyway, I’ve been working on analysing way forward and I am interested to hear what some of you think about it.

First I’ve done a SWOT analysis. For those of you unfamiliar with the jargon, I’ve looked at my Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.



  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Good communicator
  • Team player

Education and workplace experience

  • Four university degrees covering History/English, Computer Science, Management and Education
  • 32 years workplace experience, mostly in computing (with a huge database component), but also including public relations, teaching, management and information security policies and procedures.

Specific skill strengths

  • Databases (design, creation, administration & maintenance)
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Business computer graphics
  • Technical writing (policies, procedures, manuals)
  • Good knowledge of ISO 27001:2013 about information security



  • Cautious and risk averse
  • Flippant to hide excessive anxiety
  • Slow thinker (I like to figure out all the angles on things and refuse to be rushed into conclusions)


  • sore eyes associated with my Keratoconus tends to make me prefer having my eyes closed or partially closed unless I specifically need to use them. People usually interpret this as being “disengaged”.

Specific skill weaknesses

  • While I did program for several years (Delphi and VB) and even made it to being the Senior Software Engineer of a company, that was all a long time ago and I have not programmed in anything but TransacSQL since 2003.


  • I have enough money to live on and pay all bills for over a year as long as I am not stupid with it.
  • Data analytics looks like a really interesting field and I already have strong database and data analysis skills
  • IT security is a rapidly growing field and I have implemented an Information Security Management System at a policy and procedural level
  • Business Continuity Planning is also a growing field and I have done this for an organisation
  • My experience designing business graphics – can I build on this using my knowledge as a 3D graphics hobbyist?
  • I was once a High School Teacher. Can I use these skills to become some sort of professional skills trainer?
  • I have written a couple of text books and computer magazine articles as well as a huge pile of workplace policies and procedures. Can I sell this writing skill, whether in a business environment or (more fun) for a magazine, e-zine or something else?


  • I am obese and people tend to think fat people are lazy
  • My Keratoconus and how it makes me look squinty and “disengaged”
  • My age – 51 – a few employment agencies have told me that employers don’t like to hire computer people “that old”
  • My programming skills are rusty and I don’t know or have experience with any of the current languages that seem to be associated with data analytics (e.g. Python)
  • My 3D graphics skills are only at a hobbyist level


The Plan!

So my plan after undertaking the SWOT is:

  • First 3 months of “liberation” from current workplace to be spent eating healthily and exercising with the objective of dropping about 20kg (preferably 30kg).
  • Teach myself Python (not only good for data analytics programming but also good for Blender) and great some online data visualisations
  • Maintain my blog, adding some more technical videos that demonstrate my skills
  • Try to finish and publish my novel “Tempting in Shade” by September 2016
  • In June 2016 put my name down at agencies for temporary work in the fields in which I am interested

So what do you guys think?



PS: the image at the header of the post just seemed appropriate :)






  1. Well… I don’t want to alarm you, but SimCity and The Sims are greatly addicting, yet overly creative games that encourage 3D building, design, and problem solving. I’m afraid that you may not get full use of your computer any time soon! lol.
    For my more serious comment… I think you have a good plan, you’re wickedly talented in many areas including some skills that are needed in STEM field careers. I’ll never understand what weight and age has to do with anything, as it doesn’t affect abilities. Bah, nit-picky humans and their petty obsessions over arbitrary traits… sigh.
    I wish good luck for your future, stay determined! And Merry Christmas to you and yours! :o)


    1. Yes, I am already gathering how addictive they are as I pry my daughter off the PC to go to bed. LOL

      Alas in Australia weight and age really have everything to do with workplace success. This culture worships young people, especially fit young people. All about appearance and not substance. Oh well, I will not give up and STEM is an area that I find interesting.

      Thanks :)



  2. If I were you, I would continue to publish more text books and/or write for magazines. But everyone’s goal and interests differs. All the best in your plans. Merry Christmas to you and your family! :)


    1. I would love to write more if I can get people interested in paying for me to do so :) Actually, I would like a job that mixes art with photography with writing with programming. Not too much to ask for :) Thanks :)


  3. Plenty to offer there Greg and the time spent studying Python will prove worthwhile I’d have thought. Shadowgrl30’s comments about STEM field careers is a good one – you’re well qualified for that avenue. Get out there, get networking (the blog should be a vehicle for some of it) and good luck.


    1. Thanks :) I think (hope) that I have a good chance with this plan. The STEM field is also interesting :) I just hope that the blog doesn’t reveal too much of my eccentricity – I mean “unique insights into the world” :)


  4. I would think data analytics would be a good way to go. It’s something most businesses think they need and as an added bonus, an awful lot of the people who would be out hiring a data analyst don’t know shit about it themselves. Good luck.


    1. Thanks Ken. I am hoping that what you say is true. The journals all seem to think so. Fingers crossed, eh :)


  5. Sounds like a solid plan. If anything, good planning is a rare skill nowadays, so you may want to emphasise this as well.
    Python is also a great choice, it’s “the” language these days. There’s a starting course out there – could be useful if you really feel you’re rusty: http://learnpythonthehardway.org/
    Either way, I wish you good luck and I believe you will succeed.

    PS I loved the original “The Sims”, with the isometric pre-rendered environments. Hopefully it will be available on Steam or better GOG one day. Couldn’t care less for any later instalments. They just don’t seem to have the charm anymore =(
    As for SimCity, again, which version? SimCity2000 is “the” game IMO. I also have a less oldschool version but haven’t played it yet… there are also a couple of later titles in the series that got bad reviews, unfortunately.


    1. Thanks for that course. :) I will give it a go :)

      Rhiannon is into Sims 3 and so now I have a whole heap sitting her on my PC. I’m not sure what version of SimCity that it is but we did by it from the cheap section of the shop. So probably a few years old. Just hope I don’t lose the PC.


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