Friday, 23 January 2009


I suppose one of the perks of my job is that I am encouraged to go on any training courses I might find relevant to my career development.

The main flaw in this perk? I'm not really a "course" kind of person.

But today I was on one of the most interesting courses I have ever been on*. Of course, since the only other work-related course I ever went on was a Moving & Handling Course (which assessed how much we'd learned about lifting and moving heavy objects by making us pick up the world's smallest and lightest basket???), this wouldn't be hard. But I'd probably go as far as to say that it was more interesting than any of the subjects I covered on my course at university too.

I mean, I made notes!!!

I even - gasp! - answered the course-leader's questions out loud! I didn't always get them right, mind you, but I tried.

This is very unlike me.

Anyways, it was called "Working Internationally" and was basically about how to work around (and with) cultural differences when dealing with people from other countries, whether they spoke English as a second language or were simply from another English-speaking culture. And it was absolutely fascinating. Sorry, I sound like a total geek, don't I? The guy leading the course had tons of experience in the field of working internationally and dealing with different cultures and was full of examples and anecdotes showing the differences and the possible faux-pas that could be made when working in a foreign environment.

I discovered that, since I (and many other Scottish and/or British people for that matter) tend to use humour and compromise a lot, I probably would be a nightmare for a person from another country to deal with. Apparently, the only humour that is universally understood is visual humour, like slapstick - and, like the dude told us, it's kind of hard to bring THAT into a meeting.

I'm sure I could give it a decent go though . . .

However, it's made me realise I'm a lot more keen to learn than I thought.

One of my friends recently started a university course and she has so much enthusiasm for it, I'm utterly jealous. My marketing degree was okay, I suppose, but I wouldn't say I'd had any MASSIVE interest in most of it. And, let's face it, it actually hasn't really done me much good career-wise plus I can barely remember anything from it.**

But you know, I would LOVE to do some sort of course, just for the sake of it. (I'm aware I still haven't started my writing course, but I will soon, I promise! Plus that hopefully will ultimately have a POINT to it, so it doesn't strictly speaking count.) I just don't know WHAT I want to do.

But I'll hopefully find something soon!

Watch this space . . .

And I didn't even know there WAS a video for this song until today, so I can't resist posting it since I love the track so much. Hopefully now that "I Get Around" is being used in a Rimmel advert with Kate Moss, Dragonette might get a bit bigger over here . . .

Time to get drunk methinks!!!

*Plus we got TONS of free food. Pastries for breakfast. Muffins for morning break. Sandwiches, veggie samosas and chicken legs for lunch. And some other sort of cake for afternoon break. AND we got to leave at half past three cos the guy needed to catch a flight down South. I still feel full even now . . .

**At the course today, the guy mentioned a SWOT analysis. I knew I'd done these tons of time during uni, but couldn't even remember what the acronym stood for. I mean, I know I've been out of uni for nearly eight years now, but still . . .


  1. Heyyy wow, sounds kinda cool! No wonder you are enjoying it! Hope it continues!

    Enjoy your weekend :) x

  2. **Ah, good ol' Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Yes I did those at Uni as well. Partnered up with a PEST analysis of course.

  3. Especially last year, I was thinking about doing a course just for the sake of it..

    I'm doing something right now, but it's really NOT what I want to do and I wanted to do something just for ME. Not because I have to get a job.

    I have been trying to convince myself that it doesn't matter if it helps me get a career of sorts.

    I really don't know yet.

    It's just really disapointing to see what my life is going to be like if I dont intervene. I wanted to at least try something else because I am not enjoying what I am doing now.

  4. Free food makes me like courses WAY better.

    Also, international communication is fascinating. Super interesting and also useful, I think.

  5. That's what I've been told before too-- that humor doesn't translate across cultures. Especially sarcasm.

    Oh well-- I guess I shouldn't talk to anyone from outside of my culture b/c I can't turn it off!

  6. You can go one step further with our good friend Michael Porter and talk about PESTEL C as well. Speaking of which, Mr Porter is due to have a good idea in 2009 to keep up his trend of one every decade.

    Did the free food sway you at all? I have to speak to lots of people (current job in International Sales and Marketing) and have to deal with dozens of different accents. Murder!

  7. Haha I've had to sit through the moving and handling course twice now....its soooo utterly mind-numbingly boring!

  8. I'm aware I still haven't started my writing course, but I will soon, I promise!

    Good!! I'm going to hound you if you don't (albeit virtually, so it's not exactly going to be that effective!)! ;p

    As for SWOT, that rings a bell for me too (A Level Business).

    Can't wait to read what other course you want to do! :0)

  9. Nice! We have courses at my job, too. As an intern, I'm encouraged to go to them, so I finally did last week. It was neat--we looked at a case study, and there were participants via telephone from our offices around the world. My favorite part of the lecture was when a Canadian professional asked a question: her accent was awesome. :)

    Your course sounds very interesting! A few summers ago I participated in a diversity conference where we did a lot of workshops and classes, but none of them included anything like yours. I'm jealous, lol,

  10. Well, jokes vary from country to country. And I'm not trying to offend you guys, but British, Scottish and Irish people are quite harsh with their jokes.

  11. I read a staggering statistic that something like 85% (possibly more) of people that graduate from college end up with a job totally unrelated to their major.


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