Friday, 12 September 2008

Driving Passion

I'm feeling rather pleased with myself this week. Let me tell you why;
I've not been happy in my day job for a while. Years, rather than months. I don't want to get into detail, let's just say the company culture and philosophy doesn't match my own personal values. But what to do? I work in a particular niche of Information Technology, but it is a small, specialised niche and there's not much work around that I know of, not like the heady days just prior to the millenium (remember all the scares?). I didn't really want to jump ship just to end up in another company I didn't like so I stayed put for a while.

Those who know me reasonably well will know I've been involved in Advanced Driving and Motorcycling for several years and Trisha has many times suggested I think about driver training as a possible career. Anyway in December last year, I finally decided maybe she was right and started on the road to becoming a driving instructor, little knowing how drawn out a process it is.
Basically, you have to pass three tests; Theory, Driving Ability, and Instructional Ability, but before you can take any of them you have to be registered as a potential driving instructor, and to get this registration you have to have a CRB check. Cue a series of delays with government agencies processing (or not processing) forms and you've really got to want to do it or you'd die of boredom.
I eventually got my Theory Test booked for Saturday 14th June and knuckled down to some serious study, even borrowing a friend's house the day before the test to be able to study in peace and quiet, away from the joys of family life. Thanks, Maureen!
I passed and as soon as I could, booked Part 2, the Driving Ability Test for one month later on July 14th.
Since December I'd been looking around for suitable training - I'm not arrogant enough to think my background would get me through without it and how right I was!
Shying away from the large schools (lots of money up front and no guarantees) I eventually located an independant trainer with a host of qualifications, including IAM, RoSPA, DIAmond, Cardington, and even a degree in driving tuition. Here's a man with passion for his vocation, I thought, and I wasn't disappointed.
Peter is very down to earth but really knows his stuff and on July 14th got me through Part 2 after just 6 hours of training. Pass rate for this is apparently around 54%.
Part 3 is the biggy. The overall pass rate is just 24%, but first time pass rate is only 7%.
Fifty one more hours of training saw me sitting (and passing, first time!) my Part 3 ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) test on Tuesday this week with what the examiner called a very "solid" pass (Thanks Peter!).
So now I'm looking at a new career as an Approved Driving Instructor. I've no illusions about it being an easy life, but I'm damn sure I'm going to enjoy it a whole lot more than attempting to implement sub-standard software in front of disapproving customers. I'm finally going to be responsible for the service I'm providing, so I'll stand (or fall) on my own merit. I've given my notice in for my current job so there's no going back and I'm looking forward to my last day of incarceration on Friday 10th October.
Roll on that day.
A whole new life awaits.
Like I say, I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. :-)