Episode 51 – You Must Always Ask Questions with David McGimpsey

 In Podcasts

David McGimpsey is UK-born and Australian raised. David has been in Information Technology since 1992, when he started working as an IT assistant, crawling around on the floor fixing hardware. Shortly afterward, following a literal stroke; and a stroke of luck; David got the opportunity to travel the world, managing the IT systems of a marketing firm. Today, David is a communication skills trainer, based in Japan, and has just released his first book.

In this episode David McGimpsey tells us why you should always ask questions to confirm your understanding. David also discusses the importance of continuing to develop your communication skills and why you shouldn’t rely solely on your education.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:51) – Phil introduces David McGimpsey

(01:31) – David tells us that he started working as an I.T. assistant when seventeen years old

(02:27) – David decided to change his life and began working for a marketing firm giving him the opportunity to travel the world

(03:22) – Phil comments that it must have been interesting for David to experience different countries and cultures early in his career


(03:44) – Unique Career Tip: David says that communication skills is the biggest focus you should have when going into an I.T. job

(04:03) – David says that one of the things that attracted him to I.T. was the ability to sit behind a PC and write programs with no interruptions

(04:28) – However that approach doesn’t work anymore. You need to have great communication skills

(04:52) – More people are tech savvy these days and more likely to ask questions

(05:38) – David says that he would really encourage people to work on their communication skills


(06:03) – Worst Career Moment: David talks about working for a bank and rolling out a change which had to be rolled back immediately

(06:27) – David says that he didn’t ask enough questions or investigate the change he was making

(06:37) – The change resulted in broken functionality which impacted customers

(06:46) – Although the rollback was quick, the fallout from the mistake was not good

(07:20) – David says he learnt to always ask questions and never take at face value what you’re asked to do


(07:48) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: David says that for him it was the ability to work remotely for the bank

(08:05) – David worked for the bank in Melbourne and then for five years from his house in Japan

(08:39) – David had handed in his notice at the bank when he had decided to move to Japan and the bank offered him the opportunity to work for them remotely


(09:26) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? David is excited by the influence that I.T. professionals are continuing to have on businesses

(09:41) – Even though people are generally more tech savvy, I.T. professionals have a chance to have a big impact on the direction of organisations


(10:17) – The Reveal

(10:23) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “Working on my own”

(10:47) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Not to burn your bridges”

(11:25) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I would network more. I would try to be more social”

(11:35) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Helping other people to communicate”

(11:47) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Emotional intelligence”


(12:24) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: David says that you shouldn’t rely on education alone

(12:35) – Try to get as much experience as you can for the kind of job that you want to do

(12:50) – Start doing small projects on your own, such as building software or doing something for a local business

(13:07) – This will stand you in good stead against other candidates for a job


3 Key Points:     

  1. Communication is a skill you should continue to develop throughout your career
  2. Never be afraid to ask questions and confirm your understanding
  3. Don’t rely solely on education an try to get experience related to the kind of job you want to do


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