zandax online course logo
zandax website search
zandax phone callback
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

How a Training Course Changed My Life

From the ZandaX Relationships Blog

Articles to help you build productive relationships

Home  >  ZandaX Blogs  >  Development Blog  >  Relationships Articles  > 
How a Training Course Changed My Life

How a Training Course Changed My Life

A post from our Relationships blog

Article author: John B
      Written by John B
I used to work in banking. No, not the high profile "hedge fund" kind of banking that many people may think of, but branch banking. It was in South Africa, and I had worked in branches or agencies at six different locations.

I had wanted to change my career, but I simply could not think of what to explore. The longer I stayed in the banking industry, the more frustrated I became.A friend suggested that I look into doing the same Java programming course that her brother had recently attended, as that seemed to be one of the ways that my mind worked best. It was a four month full time course, so it would mean me resigning from the bank, and living off savings until the course was finished.

Luckily, the company that offered this course had a second office in Cape Town (as opposed to Johannesburg where I lived), and my brother kindly offered that if I relocated to Cape Town, I could stay with him rent-free while I attended the course, so that helped me to survive while I did the course.

The only obstacle still in the way was to see if I could actually attend the course. They had an aptitude test that required you to get 75% or more in a five hour exam of 5 questions, basically an hour for each. Principally maths based.After sweating my way through the test (and only just scraping through), I signed up to do the course at their Cape Town office, and relocated. The course had to be paid in advance, and it would take approximately three months before a payment from my banking job became available, so finances were very tight.

I'm not going to bore you with the details of the course itself, except to say that it was not only three months of full time training, but also a month at the end to complete a project. Every Friday you had to take two tough tests, and you needed to keep passing to carry on with the course. You also then needed to pass the whole project, which involved designing a fully functional computer programme for a particular type of shop.

I wish I could say that it was easy, but it wasn't! It was a lot of hard work (my life basically ground to a halt while I was doing the course), and even more worrying.

But I managed to complete it, and we all went in on the final day of the fourth month, to get our final results and certificates … only for another student to ask me when I would be ready to take the actual certification exam. I hadn't even heard of that! He explained that I had passed the course for this company, but to really prove that you knew what you were doing, you also needed to pass Sun Microsystem's exam (they were the founders of Java). That way, prospective employers would know that you could do anything they needed you to do.

I now had to worry about this exam too!

What I did not realise was that I had something bigger to worry about! Johannesburg is the powerhouse of South Africa, and had lots of large organizations that had already moved over to using Java. Cape Town was not in that position, and work for programmers with only Java knowledge was limited. So those of us who had done the course together were now all up against each other for the same few jobs, and most of them already knew a few other programming languages, so I was struggling.

I ended up having to go overseas to work, and build up some capital. I then returned to South Africa, and ended up working at a training company. In sales. Not as a programmer.

It's been 15 years since I did the course, and I have never actually worked as a full time programmer. But I have never looked back on it as a bad decision. It changed the whole course of my life, and here are some things that I learned by doing it.

1. You have to invest in yourself.

Nobody else is going to. You need to put money away for a rainy day, or for your retirement years, but what are you doing to improve your current position? Sometimes the only thing that you can do is invest in yourself to improve your own opportunities.

2. You have to keep improving.

Gone are the days that you stayed in one trade your entire life. Unless you are working in a very specific vocation (my brother will stay a cardiologist until he retires, I am sure), most people now change career every few years (around 12 actual changes across a working lifetime). But even cardiologists like my brother have to go to a minimum of two conferences a year to stay up to date, so you are going to need to keep improving in different areas too. The way the world changes now, if you don't improve, you're getting left behind.

Want to Build Better Relationships?

If you'd like to learn more about building relationships, why not take a look at how we can help?

Boost your interpersonal skills with our online courses.
RRP from $89 – limited time offer just $16.00

3. There are two areas to train yourself in.

The first is specific job skills. Like Java programming. Whether you're a programmer, a salesperson or an administrator, there are job-specific skills that help you to do the job better.

The other is personal skills. Whether you call them soft skills, business skills, or general skills, these are the ones that will allow you to get the work that your job skills enable you to perform. Like how to interact with others. I may be the world's best Java programmer, but can I convince somebody of that in an interview? That's where I need those personal skills.

4. It will make you more positive.

I left the course feeling that I could now do anything. If it required studying, I knew that I could master it. Any course that you do, from a two hour online course to a long term degree, will help you feel a satisfaction in having finished something, so you can always do more.

5. Trying new things opens even more doors than just the narrow one you originally saw.

I met my wife at the training company that ran the Java course. She was the administrator of the centre. I had to wait for the course to be over before approaching her, or I would have just distracted myself, but it was worth the wait! For years, the other students (when we got together) would jest with me that I got way more out of the course than any of them did. You never know who you are going to meet, but it will open you up to entirely different groups of people that may give you even more ideas about where your life may be going next.

So I believe in training. At any one time, I am always signed up and doing something to improve myself. Currently I am in the middle of an online course I found, that impacts my direct role, and lined up after that is a course that I want to do just out of curiosity. I cannot see any benefits that apply to my current role, but it will do something for me long term, I'm sure of that.

And I believe that training can change your life too. In ways you cannot even imagine!

Want to Build Better Relationships?

If you'd like to learn more about building relationships, why not take a look at how we can help?

Boost your interpersonal skills with our online courses.
RRP from $89 – limited time offer just $16.00

Back to the Relationships blog

Click the button for more Relationships articles.

The ZandaX Personal Development blog

Click a panel for great articles on personal development

Write For Us

We pride ourselves on our busy, high-quality and helpful blog, and we're always looking for guest contributors to increase the variety and diversity of what we present.

Click to see how you can write for us with an original and well-written guest post.

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Service & Support
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2023
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Develop Your Skills, Knowledge and Understanding with ZandaX
Click any subject in the listings for more information and a full list of courses

Personal Development
Personal Development training
Your soft skills affect everything you do, at work, at home and with friends ... they are truly life changing!
Online training courses
Hot Off the Press...
We're always adding to and upgrading our courses, so here are a few of our latest releases:
For a full listing of courses, please visit our Quick Course Finder to find exactly what you want.
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this