Episode 29 – It’s Important To Have A Purpose with Stewart Noakes

 In Podcasts

Stewart Noakes has been an I.T. consultant since the mid 90s. In 2000 Stewart set up TCL, an independent software testing consultancy, growing the company to around 150 employees. TCL was subsequently acquired by Qualitest in 2012. Stewart has since used his entrepreneurial experience to help both new and established organisations to innovate and change.

In this episode Stewart Noakes tells us that we need to be able to identify the gap between where we are in our career now and where we want to get to. Stewart also explains why you need to be flexible and open minded as your career progresses as well as why staying relevant is so important.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:51) – Phil introduces Stewart

(01:24) – Stewart tells us that he started TCL when he was twenty six years old

(01:44) – Stewart says that he learnt a lot about business organisations and developing people during the thirteen years of TCL

(01:55) – Since the acquisition of TCL Stewart has been using the skills he learnt helping startup companies in a number of countries

 

(02:13) – Unique Career Tip: Stewart says that it’s important to have a purpose

(02:34) – Stewart suggests thinking about where you want to get to and how to get there from where you are right now

(02:38) – Identify the gap and how to manage backwards from your desired end point to today

(02:43) – Stewart also believes in being agile and flexible, and sometimes what you end up with isn’t what you set out to achieve

(03:02) – Having an open mind along the way together with focus and purpose as well as the ability to recognise opportunity will lead to a successful career

 

(03:31) – Worst Career Moment: Stewart says that he’s had a number of embarrassing moments such as failing to meet deadlines and producing poor quality code

(03:50) – Stewart admits to having sent the right email to the wrong person on a couple of occasions

(03:59) – Unfortunately the email made sense to the recipient but in completely the wrong context

(04:47) – This resulted in personal embarrassment on both occasions

 

(04:56) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Stewart says that his greatest successes are where he’s helped other people

(05:25) – Stewart talks about working with a couple of company founders in Portugal and how he helped them with their start up

 

(06:20) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Stewart says that he loves change and that’s what he loves about the I.T. industry

(06:31) – Right now there is so much change and so much to adapt to

(06:41) – Stewart says that one of his biggest challenges is staying relevant

(06:56) – A lot of the people Stewart works with are fifteen or twenty years younger than him

(07:00) – Stewart says he learns from them as much he helps them

(07:23) – Constant learning, constant adapting, constant staying relevant is what excites Stewart the most

(07:40) – Phil and Stewart discuss how to keep relevant and ways to keep learning

 

(10:09) – The Reveal

(10:27) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “I didn’t know what I wanted to do after university. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to work with a great company”

(11:36) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Roll with it. You need to be flexible”

(12:36) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I don’t know”

(13:45) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Staying relevant but also keeping a balance”

(14:38) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Being an only child”

 

(15:54) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Stewart says that if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing then stop. Life’s too short

(16:38) – If you’re not enjoying what you do, go and do something else

 

3 Key Points:     

  1. Identify the gap from where you are now to where you want to be and then plan backwards
  2. Continually learn and adapt to ensure that you stay relevant
  3. You won’t always end up where you planned to go but it could be even better

 

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