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Do I have what it takes. Am I smart enough to do IT?

From time to time, I get asked this very real and important question from people who are not overly happy in their current role or are wanting to change their career, but are unsure if they have what it takes or if they’re smart enough to make the leap into the world of IT. Or another very real statement I hear, is that I want to get into IT, but it is too intimidating because the field is so vast. Well, I am here to tell you (via this grammatically challenged blog post), that you are smart enough and do have what it takes! I’m hoping by the end of this blog post, you will understand that it is normal to have these feelings of uncertainties and insecurities in the beginning, but there really is nothing to fear. If an average Joe like me can do it, then you can too.

Now, why listen to me? Who even am I? 

Pulp Fiction

Without boring you too much, here’s a brief background. I grew up in a small town called Stratford, where all throughout my schooling, never really knew what I wanted to do with my life. Nothing overly stimulated or excited me career-wise, besides the things that are generally considered hobbies (music, movies and video games for example). I finished my last year at Stratford High School and still did not know what to do with my life. My Mum was a Projectionist at the local Theatre who trained me up, and then I too became a Projectionist. Life was nice and easy with no dramas, but I could not help shake that dead-end street feeling. I knew deep down that I needed to get out of Stratford. I have good buddies that are perfectly content with staying there which is awesome, but I sadly was not one of them. I just needed to find a reason to leave or have a destination to go! I got home late one night after having a few drinks at one of the only bars in Stratford, pulled out a frozen muffin that was in the freezer for some reason and put it in the microwave for one minute. While waiting, I turned on the TV and channel 2 was halfway through Pulp Fiction. I decided then and there, I was going to try and pursue a career in film. Shortly after this realization, there was a sudden burning smell all throughout the house. My parents woke up and got out of bed to investigate. The muffin! I completely nuked it. I still consumed the crispy, rubbery, charcoal mess.

Burned Muffin

What to do after you burn a muffin

I started researching how to progress further and decided to study film at The Wellington Film and Television School. I left Stratford and moved in with some randoms in Hataitai. It was just a one-year diploma which I thought would be perfect. I could smash that out and then jump into work afterwards. During that year, I realized sadly that film was not for me, and that I only really enjoyed the more amateur side of filmmaking. I completed the year regardless and then was faced with that daunting decision of what to do next! I got a job as a Projectionist at Reading Cinema in the meantime. Once 35mm film became obsolete, I started working in the Gold Lounge instead.


Afterwards, I got my Duty Manager’s license and started working at a pub on Lambton Quay. I had some great memories from this period of my life but knew that hospo was not where my heart was. I managed to get a very random job of installing and fixing slot machines after the hospo work. Inside these slot machines was basically the same parts that were inside computers. I then realised that the thing I liked most about that job was the technological side of things. So, after great contemplation and courage, I decided to quit my job with steady income to start all over again.

Fixing Pokies

When you know, you know

I looked around for a place in Wellington where I could study IT full time and managed to find a place called Computer Power Plus (which is now called Whitecliffe). I completed a level 5 diploma that touched on all the main fields within IT to get a feel for everything, and to work out which fields I liked best. That is the great thing with IT, I reckon there would be a field for almost everyone. I decided to continue my studies for one more year and completed a level 6 diploma that focused more on networking, which I really enjoyed. Near the end of this year, I started working full-time as a Remote Service Engineer at LANTech, which immediately put that recent knowledge into practice. I learnt so much there, met plenty of great people, and have kept in touch with many of them today. After about 2 years there, I got the opportunity to work as a Field Engineer at IT Works which brings us to the present day! The great thing about this role (besides the great people), is the constant opportunity to grow and expand your knowledge and skills. This is thanks to IT Works for being involved with all areas of IT, while also excelling at them. I have been growing here now for over 2 years.

Computer Network

As you can see by taking a stroll down memory lane with me, changing your career and jumping into IT is a very real and feasible pathway. It may seem a little daunting at first, but if you just take it one step at a time, you will succeed for sure. Studying is not mandatory, but it helped to get my foot in the door. If you are brand new to the world of IT or think it might be for you but not completely sure yet, then studying and completing a level 5 diploma could be a great entry point to see if it is right for you. I would recommend a diploma that touches on all aspects of IT to start with, to see what you like. And don’t worry about whether you are smart enough or not. If you put in the time and dedication, you will be fine.
If you are not overly happy with your role or career choice currently and feel like you need a change, I say take the plunge!

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