“In the morning they gave Reacher a medal, and in the afternoon they sent him back to school…” So begins Lee Child’s latest novel: Night School.
In Scotland, in North Lanarkshire at least, kids are going back to school today. Thursday seems like a very strange day to be going back. It used to be Wednesday after a couple of teacher “in service” days when my kids were younger. I’m sure I went back on a Monday, back in the day.
Every year I think that I really need to go back to school myself. There’s only so long I can work before my skills become out of date. The main problem I have is what to study. Every project I see advertised has a different skill set required. Oracle database, SQL Server database, MS Access database… SSRS, SSIS, Oracle BIEE, SAP Business Objects… Excel VBA, Power BI, Qlik, Tableau…
Yet, if I take the time to study one of these, I know it will come in useful, either in a contract or to show I’m committed to personal development.
Thinking about going back to work is bringing this question back into focus.
I quite enjoyed Night School, by the way. More than some of Lee Child’s more recent novels. He seemed to capture some of the originality that has been lacking.
I doubt I’ll ever be able to “attend” the same sort of “school” as Reacher (chance would be a fine thing), but it is interesting that most of us are in the enviable position of being able to decide we can gain new skills or refresh older ones, and that we can decide which skills to try and gain.
It allows us to direct our lives rather than simply being ordered one way or another.