Saturday, December 31, 2016


So to get the exception out of the way first. Redundancy! After a number of odd events, I found myself at risk in the 3rd round of redundancies at Aker Solutions Aberdeen.

I'd been there for 23 years and for the most part, had a great time. It was a great company to work for. However in the year up to redundancy, the cracks were showing, Little in the way of new or interesting work, lack of any real direction in the department I worked for, and a total lack of leadership.

So on the day after I was put at risk, or should I say my ‘position’ was put at risk, I was asked to work overtime, work the weekend and cancel a week's holiday…

So it was time to take some control back.

I could possibly have put up more of a fight and argued but I was done. It's a strange feeling having to give up something you had worked for and enjoyed for so long.

The timing couldn't have been better. It was the start of the school summer holidays and I had as much free time as I wanted to spend with my boys (Jamie 8 and Thomas 5). We had a brilliant summer riding bikes, playing in the garden, playing lego, going to the park, and camping. I noticed quickly my health was improving, I was sleeping better and generally feeling good…was I ill?

During the summer I also attended some career events and met with a few people who made some good suggestions as to what to do next.

Become a teacher? Yea that sounds good where do I sign. I applied and was rejected! I don't have higher English. Unfortunately 30 odd years ago when I was planning to become an Engineer I had chose Technical Drawing over Higher English. The rejection letter was interesting in that it had quite a few grammar errors in it which made me laugh, My English isn't the best but hey I was going to be teaching computer programming.

Work for myself? I attended a number of brilliant training courses run by the Business Gateway in Aberdeen. With the theme of Digital Boost, they provide free courses that help with setting up your own business. They also provide a coach to help you through the process. I have one waiting on the sidelines till I'm ready.
Go back to School? I found out about a facility in Edinburgh called CodeClan that offers a 16-week software development boot camp. This sounded a good way to bring my software and coding skills back up to scratch. Learn Ruby, Java, and Javascript. So in the same morning, I applied for both CodeClan and to the Transition Training Fund (TTF). The TTF provides funding of up to £4000 for redundant oil-related workers to help with retraining.

I was invited for an interview with CodeClan and had to provide further info to the TTF to back up my application. As it happens I was offered a place on Cohort 7 at CodeClan and secured my funding on the same morning. So if you have read my other blog posts you will already know this is what I decided to do for the next 4 months.

So I am writing this on New Years' Eve 2016 and am very thankful for the year I have had.

I have a brilliant family, a supporting wife, two fantastic boys that are growing into brilliant little humans.

I have met so many new people this year, my fellow students at CodeClan, people at Business Gateway, reconnected with some old friends, and met some new ones. My health is better, I'm sleeping well and enjoying life.

I am super excited about what 2017 will bring. I have a plan and will go through that next week… Watch this space.