Studying after 10 years of working.
It is tough, no doubt about that. I am no longer as young as I used to be. I was never the academic type. 10 years ago after getting my computer engineering diploma, like many young Singaporean men, I had to serve National Service. Oh boy, did that do a number on me. Most of the things I had learnt studying my diploma, like programming and such were like ghosts of the pasts to me. So I ended up as a Technical Assistant in a Secondary School as my first job. 2 years I stayed there, my boss was nice, the teachers were nice but I always wanted something more. Then I went to a seminar, it was about selling life insurance. I decided to give it a go for 2 years.
It was great to sell life insurance, I met with all sorts of people just to explain the importance of life insurance. It is a great product this life insurance, you pay some money every month and if something happens to you, your family gets a whole ton of money. You know what they say about insurance agents? “If you survive the first 2 years, you’ll probably do well”. I did for 2 years and went the market crash came in 2008.. Everyone was holding on to their money tightly. Nobody wanted to buy anything. Oh well, and back I went to IT. At the time I thought maybe I should get my degree, but after looking at the fees of getting one, I decided to wait. Well ladies and gents, if you are still reading this, I can tell you right now. Don’t wait, get your degree.
Back to IT industry!
So I decided to return to the IT industry and I got a job as a Desktop Engineer. Oh boy, it was a fun albeit average income job. The funny thing about IT guys is that we sometimes get revered, like some holy saint who knows everything. But still, I felt held back, something was amiss. I knew I could do better, be better. So instead of taking a degree, I took some certification courses and updated my resume. It was a great feeling to finally put down some certificates. I got a better job as an IT Administrator and for a while I felt good.
I designed the infrastructure of one of my previous companies from scratch. I touched on servers and firewalls, I was in paradise! And I had to switch to another company. Oh boy was I in for an awakening, other than my IT administration job, I had to create exam user IDs for students, I had to sweep the floor sometimes, wipe the windows. I had to clean air-con ducts, change the light bulbs, repair chairs and tables. The worse part of it all is that when my colleague left and I was all alone to take care of everything.
Everyone comes to me for every little thing, broken chairs, flickering light bulbs, frustrated. I have not had a decent break since February of this year. I feel like nobody cares until they want something from me and it feels like I am being taken for granted. I am doing multiple jobs and I do not get the salary I deserve. I will share with you right now dear reader. With a few commands, I can bring the entire company offline, take my laptop and disappear. The power that I have is immeasurable, to bring down a company to its knees is pretty powerful. And that’s because I am the only one who takes care of everything. I have the passwords, I have the administrative rights. I have the power.
I have morals. I don’t do such things. But I can if pushed to my limit.
The inner me says “Hey, you can do better than this you know?” . That was when I finally decided to take my degree. It was nothing fancy, degree in computer science. However I do hope that with this degree, better opportunities will come my way. It is not easy, after 10 years of working and then hitting the books is tough!! I am glad that because of my diploma, most modules are exempted and I only need to complete 3 modules.
It feels good to study again. I feel like I have a new purpose. Somewhere I had written down that I want to be a Chief Technology Officer and that is what I am striving to be. I know I can do it.