Learning journey: Finding pleasure in the job

Date: May 8, 2016
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“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”- Aristotle

With the changes taking place in the technological arena, it is sometimes difficult to work out what my next new role should be in order to succeed as an ICT professional, but that is what makes the job interesting.

a albert 1I have been with Gender Links for seven years now, and I am currently working as a systems administrator and audio-visual officer. The most important skill sets that I require for my role are listening to my users and being creative and innovative in solution design.

Listening and asking the right questions are necessary to understanding the challenges that users face in their IT environment. I normally approach this by putting myself in the shoes of my users and trying to understand what problems and issues they face, and then using my experience and knowledge to develop an innovative and creative as well as cost-effective solution design.

Time management is another competency I have had to develop at Gender Links. Juggling work, family and leisure time is not easy and gets more difficult as I move up the corporate ladder. Managing my time effectively ensures that I get a good work-life balance which enables me to succeed at work, have time to spend with loved ones and maintain good health.

To achieve this, the two things I have had to do are to prioritise and delegate. Prioritisation of tasks is very important for me as there are so many streams of work going on. I need to update websites, respond to queries, draft presentations, meet with consultants and even do administrative work. Having a to-do list is necessary.

I have learnt that by prioritising, I can also identify tasks that I do not need to perform myself and these are prime tasks that can be delegated. My approach to delegation is to ensure that whoever I delegate to has the knowledge and capability to perform the task and also has support from me to a albert 2be able to complete it. I am very fortunate to have a colleague like Thando Dlamini (GL Communications Officer), who has developed the heart and passion for systems, and is willing to take up the challenges I throw at him. Mastering these two aspects of the work – prioritisation and delegation – will go a long way to achieving my goals at work.

You could ask what makes me “click”. I am a very keen photographer; a traditional one if I may add. I have rangefinder cameras and even shoot on film, despite my high-tech day job. I enjoy capturing life as it is – old buildings and ordinary people doing their chores. I get a thrill out of framing my subjects and delivering the images, which one would consider uniquely interesting. In the same way at work, I enjoy framing client issues, conjuring solutions and presenting delightful outcomes. I enjoy sharing IT knowledge with my colleagues, and the face I see when someone learns something new is simply priceless.  That is what makes me tick: hard but pleasurable work.

Through my interactions with users and external service providers, I have come to realise that there is no such thing as a crisis; just a set of problems to be solved sooner or later. Even in a so-called crisis, the answer is there somewhere. It may take time but if we search hard enough, we a albert 3will find it. I have begun to develop the art of looking beyond. Not every situation is a matter of life and death and has to be solved instantly. There is usually a longer-term cause and effect and some people actually see opportunities in such situations. In short, life and time can be the best teacher.

My position in Gender Links has allowed me to develop better insights into organisational procedures and how to go about getting the best out of our key business processes. I always say that I feel blessed for having participated in several policy strategies and planning exercises. The experience I have gained has given me what I like to call “proof of knowledge”. It is something I can present to my future employers which tells them I have been successfully educated in the IT industry and I am willing to learn and adapt to the industry’s rapid changes.

Written by Albert Ngosa, IT and Audio Visual officer, Gender Links.