Quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done!

This wasn’t an impulse, but after a week if feels like about the craziest thing I’ve ever done.

Enrolling at Uni whilst still working fulltime seemed straight forward. I’ll use a days annual leave this semester and then revise my working arrangements for next semester. I can fit the other seminars in around lunch and that should work just fine. So I thought!

Week One and I’ve had a full day at Uni, finding my way around only after my daughter, a third year student, came to show me around. The Workshop was daunting, I couldn’t turn my computer on or save a file without help; that was before I even considered the Workshop content! Then the three hour Seminar – I was exhausted only to be go confronted with a large reading list. That was just Monday!

Then it’s been late home from work every night, followed by a work event every night bar Friday where I thought it would be good to spend time with my wife and daughter. After we’d had dinner it was just relax in front of the TV and a movie, Cast Away which I hadn’t seen for years.

At least now I’ve got a long weekend to do my Uni reading, write my monthly article for The Adelaide Review and catch up on some work.

It all seemed easy last year when I experimented putting Herminia Ibarra’s fabulous book, Working Identity into practice with a couple of undergrad subjects at Uni. The reality of commencing Honours with an eye to a PHD is quite different – this is serious in fact crazy.

Is this one bite too much?

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I am notorious for taking on challenges. I’m never happy unless I’m busy.

Following a weekend in late 2012, organised by firm on life after professional services I read a book called Working Identity by Herminia Ibarra at the recommendation of one of the facilitators. Thanks for recommending it Tim!

The central plank of the book is to experiment before committing. As I put that thought into practice last year I took a couple of undergraduate subjects in Media. It involved sitting in lectures, attending tutorials and writing essays. I did really well – hopefully not a false positive!

As I continued to experiment I also struck up a dialogue with the Commerce School of a local university about how I might go about undertaking some research.

I also started to write articles for The Adelaide Review, all the time continuing with my full time work.

I took plenty on and certainly wasn’t bored!

As the year went on, I found I was really enjoying my study and was looking to further it. Why not do some Postgraduate study in my field I thought. So I started a conversation with the Commerce School and they were enthusiastic. I was too – hopefully not another false positive

Next step, how to go about it. A Masters by Research and then PHD maybe? Seemed pretty good until we talked more and I realised I had no research skills of an academic nature. I had considerable research and writing experience but business is different to academia. This was likely to be a limiting factor. Then came the suggestion of undertaking Honours which could lead into a PHD.

I applied had an interview and was accepted into Honours – another positive step. I thought that was job done and it would have been if my potential Supervisor hadn’t taken early retirement! This was a potential issue as having a supervisor is essential.

The challenge now was to find a Supervisor.

Over Christmas I wrote a submission. This is when I learned something which I now understand is a key issue, that being, how important having a Supervisor interested in the topic is.

Over the next couple of weeks I had a series of meetings with potential Supervisors, eventually finding one who was interested in a topic which I had initially discussed with the Commerce School in October.

So I now have a supervisor and idea for a research question . With that the journey begins!

The question is have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Photo: An Australian university campus’ Image: An Australian university campus (AimanB; Flickr.com/ Creative Commons)

Warning Warning Warning

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A couple of nights ago I received an email from Sitelock telling me of a critical vulnerability at my website.

I only had a vague idea of what that meant although I was sure it wasn’t good!

After a chat with Sitelock who are webcow, my webpage host’s security provider it was clear that it wasn’t good, infact it was very bad. Apparently I had inadvertently linked to something nasty and if I didn’t fix it my blog would be blacklisted by search engines.

After more than a year of posting and a month spent on seriously building www.browney237.com web presence this sounded disastrous. What did I need to do? Who could help? I was in a mild (actually not so mild) panic.

As someone not the slightest bit tech savvy, I knew it wasn’t going to be the one who was going to be able to fix this problem. The good news is that, in the words of every boat owner a “cheque will fix it”, although in my case it’s a Visa Card! The security provider was able to remove the malicious links and then for a further modest fee I was able to buy annual protection so that this never happens again. What a relief!

It’s a valuable, albeit scary lesson.

I’m protected, are you?

The Year Truly Begins

As usual my day starts with breakfast taking in some music videos, but this week is different. It’s after Australia Day, schools back (not that this matters to us, our children are well past that) and everyone is back from the beach. The morning traffic indicates the business year has reached its true starting point.

It’s hard for my overseas colleagues to understand, but from mid December until after Australia Day it’s holidays.

The country really does stop. Business shuts with at best skeleton staff on, Restaurants take a few weeks off . Even emails drys up! It’s a time for the beach, watching the cricket, catching up with friends, that’s what this time is all about.

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Across these few weeks it’s easier to find business colleagues at Victor Harbour ( that’s why we prefer Second Valley) our major beach holiday town than it is in Adelaide.

Whilst people tend to return to work after New Year they will take a day off here or there, leave early ( why not its hot and the beach or pool is calling!)) so achieving much beyond that which was on board before Christmas is often difficult.

That’s all different from today. No more excuses, time to get down to it and I’m looking forward to it.