Episode 243 – Develop Adaptability and Direction Recognition Skills and Have Confidence in Your Abilities with Stephen Woolston

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Stephen Woolston.  Stephen is a program and service delivery consultant with an extensive background in IT infrastructure. He holds a first-class computer science degree from Nottingham University and started his career working on mainframe systems at Norwich Union.

He is also a professional coach, helping people to become happier and more successful in what they do.

In this episode, Phil and Stephen Woolston discuss how to quickly adapt your approach to problem-solving, in an ever-changing landscape, by using radical adaptability and positive direction-finding. How to quickly adapt to new environments, find and fix more problems effectively. As well as the importance of having confidence in your abilities.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(3.04) TOP CAREER TIP

Develop radical adaptability and a positive direction finder. You need to have the ability to drop into any commercial environment and quickly figure out what is happening and how to move things in the right direction.

During the podcast, Stephen explains, what he means by radical adaptability and positive direction-finding. As well as how you can develop those skills.

 

(5.23) WORST CAREER MOMENT

Stephen was once an operational planner, responsible for the governance of approving renewal costs. When he started, he was handed a cost schedule that he assumed covered everything. Unfortunately, a big expense had been left off that schedule.

From this experience, Stephen learned it is not enough to simply check your work. You also need to be on the lookout for mistakes that have slipped through the net. The experience taught him that no colleague can produce flawless work every time.

 

(9.46) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

For Stephen, the highlight of his career was taking a leading role in Norwich Union´s Unix systems management. At the time, Unix was in its infancy. So, Stephen had to develop backup, recovery, monitoring and alert systems because they were not really available elsewhere.

(12.56) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

The fact that there are always new problems to solve is exciting. But it is also a huge challenge. You have to constantly be learning new things to keep up. Something that will also be the case in the future.

 

(15.12) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – As a child, Stephen liked sci-fi, so a career in IT was a natural choice.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Every day you are creating your career. Things are constantly changing so you need to regularly review the direction you are going in.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Get into one big, rich and powerful company and stay there.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Stephen would network more and do so from the very start.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Communication skills, if yours are good you can work anywhere on any project you want.

How do you keep your own career energized? – By seeking opportunities to work in new environments.

What do you do away from technology? – To relax, Stephen listens to movie soundtrack music and spends a lot of his downtime coaching others.

 

(19.40) FINAL CAREER TIP

Have confidence in your abilities, don´t worry that you don´t know everything. Nobody understands a technology or subject completely. Tech moves too fast for that to be possible.

No firm is running perfect systems. There is no shortage of things to fix or update, so you will always be able to contribute something important.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(3.26) – Stephen – “You cannot fit the client’s problem to your solution, you have to fit your solution to the client’s problem.”

(7.03) – Stephen – “If there is an error somewhere, find it before it finds you.”

(12.44) – Stephen – “With every evolution, we solve old problems, and we create new ones. They’re the ones we need to focus on.”

(14.14) – Stephen – “Develop adaptability and positive direction-finding skills to meet the new challenges in IT.”

(17.36) – Stephen – “Good communication skills enable you to solve many more problems and work with far more people.”

(20.17) – Stephen – “Have confidence in your abilities. Don´t worry that you might not know everything about everything.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – STEPHEN WOOLSTON

Stephen Woolston is a program and service delivery consultant with an extensive background in IT infrastructure. He holds a first-class computer science degree from Nottingham University and started his career working on mainframe systems at Norwich Union.

He is also a professional coach, helping people to become happier and more successful in what they do.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – STEPHEN WOOLSTON

Stephen Woolston can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/woolers

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenwoolston/

Website: https://theswcoaching.com

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