As part of my Executive PA course at Pitman Training in Manchester, I’m learning web design.
Strange really, as I have no eye for design and as a techie, I’d be absolutely useless.
Yet I’m doing it and enjoying every minute of it! It was my Course Advisor’s idea. On the Pitman Training Executive PA Diploma programme, you and your Course Advisor choose four of the 16 subjects so that you can tailor and personalise the programme.
The idea is that you choose four subjects that blend the current needs of the jobs market, your personality and your interests to make you more attractive to employers.
Apparently my Course Advisor had recently had a successful French girl learn web design and she got a top job at a construction firm where she looks after their intranet. And after talking to me for an hour he thought it would be a good solution for me, too.
So I’m learning Dreamweaver and html. It’s so interesting and I’m building a sample web site as I go along!
One of the reasons for taking this route is that it makes me a bit different from the other people who will be chasing the same jobs as me. I can add value for my employer through my web skills.
I’ve nearly finished my Executive PA course and I’ve been saving the web bits till last, partly because I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to do them. But I’ve picked it up with no real problems and when I have got stuck, the girls have always been right there to help me.
Last week I started my first round of interviews with agencies and it was funny to see the look son their faces when they learned about the web elements of my studies. They’ll certainly be able to remember me!
Apart from going all geeky, I’ve learned to touch type at 60 wpm, use an audio transcriber and I bet I know more about using Microsoft Office than Bill Gates. Without being boastful, I can honestly say that I can do things with Word, Excel and PowerPoint that most people don’t even know is possible.
My other chosen subjects were a minute taking course (I’ve already noticed that the agencies were impressed by that) and SpeedWriting, which is a system for taking notes, fast.
This web stuff though, is making me convinced that the recruitment agencies should target me at high technology firms and web development agencies as, even though I wouldn’t be working in a technical field, I would have the vocabulary and that would make life much easier for everyone concerned.
I can see myself working for a dynamic young CEO in that kind of environment.
It seems odd that I’m learning such modern skills when you consider that Pitman Training has been around since the year dot. My mum studied with them in the 1970’s and they were already a bit of a “heritage” name then!
I think they’ve changed a bit since my mum’s days though .
Nowadays its mostly computer based training, with the odd classroom course. So there’s no more rooms of prim girls clattering along on typewriters!
And soon I’ll be leaving them to start my new career. Wish me luck!