Tag Archives: story

Is Networking All It’s Cracked Up To Be? – Gus Parkhouse.

In my first few days at IBM it seemed that one in every five words was “Networking”, now I’m a year in I can see why this was emphasised so much. I know working for a tech company you’re probably thinking why is computer networking so important to IBM and why does everyone keep talking about it? Although computer networking is important as connects components and nodes this blog is all about social and workplace networking. I’ve started to really see the benefits from good networking and constantly growing my network, these benefits are;

  • Opportunities
  • Connections – knowing people in different places
  • Advice
  • Positive Influence
  • Confidence
  • Friendship
  • Feedback

Through speaking to my line manager I have found many opportunities such as moving from an account in London to one closer to my home in Manchester, allowing me to spend more time with friends and also allowing me to be more sociable outside of work without having to stay in rented accommodation. Without knowing who to approach this would have been a lot more of a strenuous and time consuming task. It also helped me to know who to approach with certain aspects of work, for example Cognitive computing, as I found that just knowing one person in this area was positive as it helped to open up doors to other members of that team and eventually help progress an extremely tricky task.

Since starting as an apprentice in IBM and building a great network of apprentice architects in one base location, I have now moved to the other side of the country and don’t have the pleasure of seeing apprenticeship colleagues on a daily basis anymore. But this hasn’t stopped me from networking with them, it just changed the ways in which I do it. Face to face turned into instant messaging, phone call, text messages and e-mails. I still ask this network the questions that I feel would defy the quote “There’s no such thing as a stupid question” and they’re happy to help. I went from working in an office with distinguished engineers to working from home for 3 weeks, during this time I had to call upon my network for the majority of information needed. I found working remotely from home a very big challenge as I was getting minimal human interaction which is the opposite of what I had the week before. I also created some new connections in this period with the Chief Architect of the new account I was heading on too. My new network connections into the architects team came in incredibly handy when on-boarding and learning what was vital to learn and what could wait.

When I had settled in my new account, I was advised that a new Deputy Chief Architect was joining the account. When he arrived on the account I took the time to sit down and have a chat with him that eventually turned in to going to grab some lunch to get know more about what he had previously done and what he was expecting of me, but also a less work related chat about what he was interested in that turned into him becoming a mentor for me and helping me with architecture and learning.

On the new account I have been able to expand my network further in a very short amount of time as I now work with such a vast team, this networking has helped me to expand my knowledge and get involved in a lot more tasks. This ever expanding networking has been great for helping my confidence in meetings with both the client and senior members of the team as they are there to reinforce the information I’m putting forward. Not forgetting to mention the social benefits of being involved in a mixed team, and all of the networking I have taken part in has helped me to develop my LinkedIn profile and help create a strong virtual network.

At the beginning, I won’t lie, I was very skeptical about the hype around “Networking” but now after just a year I can see that this is and will always be a massively important tool throughout my career. I would now say I agree with the old proverb “It’s not what you know but who you know” and can see where it possibly came from.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, feel free to message me on LinkedIn for any questions. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gus-parkhouse-288855101)

Gus Parkhouse.

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A Story …. – Avtar Marway

Let me tell you a story…
When I was in high school, I had a friend who would pay no attention to learning all because they didn’t have their mind set on anything in particular, other than having fun. This friend went through the 1st year of GCSEs with this mind-set and got the worst grades of his life. He got G grades in subjects such as Geography and shocked everyone who was learning the subject. We didn’t even know that a G grade existed and neither did he! At this point in time, he was given very low target grades for the subjects he was studying and that’s when it hit him…
This person is now studying Dentistry at one of the Top Universities in the UK and he is one of the most dedicated, hardworking people that I know. This person exceeded their target grades hugely and that’s because they set their mind on what they wanted to achieve. He gave himself many goals that he wanted to achieve and he made sure he worked enough to meet and exceed those goals.
He proved that anything can be achieved if you set realistic goals that relate to something that you want really bad.
He aspired to be a dentist and, after realising he was wasting his chances during GCSE’s, knew he had to work hard to achieve his goal. I am glad to say that he met those goals, even when others weren’t as optimistic.

Why am I telling you this? Why should you care about this person? I chose to tell you this story as I thought this would be a good introduction to today blog topic, goals and aspirations. In this blog I’m going to be telling you about my 1, 5 and 10 year goals and aspirations that I have for my life, my job and my career.
By the end of 2015, I would have hoped to have achieved and obtained:
• Motivation for the gym and to gain weight (This will be a hard one!)
• Chelsea FC to win the Barclays Premier League
• All compulsory IBM apprentice and foundation education
• Further understanding in testing and infrastructure
• An industry-standard and well known qualification in Testing and Infrastructure
• My own car, paid for all by myself
• Experience in travelling to places all over Europe and the world (This goal is going well as I’m currently on holiday in Barcelona and plan to go Amsterdam soon)
• Experience in SAP (System Applications Products)
• Job Satisfaction
By the end of 2020, I would have hoped to have achieved and obtained:
• Promotion out of the foundation and apprenticeship scheme
• A reputation for previous work completed
• SAP knowledge in many areas
• Experience of travelling and staying in the city that never sleeps
• Experience in skydiving and mountain climbing
• A chance to work abroad
• My own house (this isn’t realistic but it is something that I would like to work towards)
• Once again… Job Satisfaction – Life can’t be lived without happiness
• The ability to help other apprentices and foundation employees with the experiences that I have obtained
So, I think having goals in 10 years is good but they aren’t really that realistic as anything can happen in 10 years! However, a few goals that I would have hoped to achieved and obtained are:
• My own house (if I haven’t had it by 2020 – hopefully I have)
• A family and a child/children maybe?
• A great salary to provide for my potential family and to those in need
• A great reputation for work that I’ve completed and people I’ve worked for and with as well as being an expert in a field that I enjoy
• A list of reliable contacts and friends all over the world
• Last but not least, job satisfaction!
So in My Life, My Job and My Career… these are my goals and aspirations. As unrealistic as you may think they are, I feel that they are things that motivate me to work and try harder in everything I do. They give me a purpose to wake up every morning and go to work and they’re things that I want to achieve. I hope that the objectives that you set yourself for this and upcoming years are met and you do whatever it takes to achieve them.
If you’ve got any questions or queries, feel free to Tweet Me @AvtarMarway or message me on LinkedIn “Avtar Marway”
Enjoy your year and make the most of it .