Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Going over to the dark side

After two Masters Degrees and one professional qualification and many years' experience of doing a job, it now appears that in order to do that same job for some-one else I need to begin a further paper chase. So I'm to become a student again, in order to show any potential employees (or clients) that I actually can do what I have been doing for the past 15 years or so.

I have no-one else but myself to blame. During my career I have often veered off the straight and narrow. At one time I wanted to re-establish myself as a journalist, then I wanted be a writer (2nd Degree), forgetting that what I really needed was this one qualification, the one I should have studied for from the very beginning when I went into business. But then I was young; too much in a hurry to see I was given bad advice. As a result, I opted for a qualification aimed at a student without a University Degree, one that would be a quick fix and one that would teach me the basics of that profession. Of course in the 1990's a degree from Finland wasn't exactly a commonplace thing either

The two-year qualification I took in the early 90's was an excellent way to learn the basics. Unfortunately in my particular area, that qualification, though difficult to achieve and arduous to maintain, is not very well respected. Whether it's because it's mostly studied by women, I'm not sure. One of my business associates once called it a Ladies' Knitting Circle. That was many years ago, but I do think that the reason why exemptions are rarely given at the right level for this qualification is that my Association is undervalued.

Hey ho, I sound bitter, don't I? But I'm actually not. I have finally decided that I will bite the bullet and spend the next two years or so studying (something which I thrive on - I'm an eternal student). I am, after all, in a far better position to do it now than before: I have much more time than I did when we had the business, and of course, the children are no longer small.

The only worry is my writing: I know it'll suffer. But, the urge I have to produce fiction is so strong that I think it'll survive. In the past year when I've combined writing with working part-time with something totally different, I've found that I've been more productive than ever. Perhaps it's the effect of this blog? Or because there no longer are any school children in the house? I don't know. What I do know is that I will get that qualification, at last, even if it kills me.

Besides, you never know, I might even learn something.

11 comments:

Sam Liu said...

An eternal student and a lover of fiction writing - that makes two of us then :D Good luck with your studying, I am sure it'll be an extremely beneficial experience, hopefully it will help your novel rather than hinder it :)

KarenG said...

I went back and finished my degree 5 years ago. I thought I would hate it but it turned out to be a great experience. Opening new pathways in the brain and all that.

Sharon Longworth said...

Ooooohhhhh. Half of me is full of admiration that you are still studying and learning. Half of me is jealous that you are able to do this. And the other half is simply curious to know what the qualification is that you're setting out to get. I know - too many halves; clearly I should never study maths.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

I can understand the eternal student thing.. though still this would irk me to have to go back and study what I already knew!! I once took a break from IT and studied Remedial Massage but unfortunately didn't finish the last subject before going back to corporate.. not sure I can do it all over again... Good for you though.. great attitude.. xx Julie

Susan Erickson said...

going back to school...did it in my 30's and 40's but now in my 50's I'm not sure I could muster the enthusiasm for papers and examinations. Worthwhile, always....

Helena Halme said...

I didn't even think age would have anything to do with not being able to learn. Isn't that funny? Perhaps I won't learn anything any more, I'll keep you posted!

XX

Anna Maria said...

I am an eternal student, too. Of course, this is due to the fact, that both my BA and MA are from Poland, which means they are not worth anything here - I would hazard a guess that even more so, than Finnish degrees. Certainly Scandinavians do not have to fight against the kind of prejudice well-educated Eastern Europeans do;-( I just know that without a British degree I will forever be stuck in low-paying jobs for which I am hugely overqualified.
The kind of degree I SHOULD do bores me, but I cant afford the one I am secretly dreaming about, so I feel very frustrated about the whole thing.
Good luck with your studies.

Anna Maria said...

I meant "even less so".

Helena Halme said...

Anna Maria, I know exactly what you mean. When I came over here 25 years ago, no foreign degree was appreciated here. Scandinavians were all lumped together and were seen as providers of Swedish massage if blonde and female like me...not quite, but certainly my degree was called a Mickey Mouse degree several times.

One piece of advice, do go for the same level of qualification as you have in Poland. Don't make the same mistake I did in thinking you just need a 'brush-up' with something here in England. When you have a UK qualification, that becomes who you are and they ignore your Polish one even more.

Good luck! xx

PS. Just an afterthought, in Finland it's even worse when it comes to foreign qualifications, so it's not just an English problem ;)

Anna Maria said...

Thank you, I hope attitudes towards Eastern Europeans will change, too, at the moment we are not only all lumped together (I've met people who think we use Cyrylic in Poland), but all of us should be happy picking vegetables or changing old people's nappies, God forbid we should compete for "proper" jobs. There are a lot of Poles, whose English is not good, or they are not highly educated - but I am, and I am tired of being tarred with the same brush. And I can't just "go home" - I'm married to an Englishman and we have a child.
Thanks a lot for your advice:-)

Chic Mama said...

Good luck...sounds interesting. X