FRESH AIR… the two words that sum up my volunteering at the Conversational Business Chair.
This beautiful story begins about a year ago.
I was working in a company, I felt comfortable and happy. I had some great colleagues with whom I still keep in touch and a good boss, whom I am very fond of and to whom I will always be grateful for his support. But companies change and with the latest changes I felt neither so comfortable nor so happy, so that stage ended after 10 and a half years.
After this I felt relieved, but obviously, there was also uncertainty. I didn’t want to continue working in the industry I had just left and for the rest I felt a bit obsolete.
I glimpsed a world where technology is used for practically everything, but I had not recycled myself for several years and I had even forgotten the languages I had learned… I thought about taking courses, but there were so many new and unknown subjects for me that I did not know what to choose or where to begin…
Where was I going to work at almost 50 years old? My answer was clear: no idea.
Luckily I had an AS up my sleeve; Jose Perez, Strategic Director of the Chair, whom I have known for years and who had followed my entire career since its inception.
Faced with my uneasiness a year ago, he advised me to forget everything for a few months, to reset my head and not to decide anything about my future career until it was clear.
He was telling me about the Conversational Business Chair, it was still in the pipeline but already sounded very interesting.
Months later, when I was clear and tired of being at home, Jose thought I could contribute positively to the Chair, he did not offer me a job, but a little light at the end of the tunnel…. So we agreed to make me a volunteer and dedicate my mornings to him for a few months.
The experience is going great.
The first thing I felt when I arrived was a good working environment and since then I ask myself every day, what am I going to learn today?
Apart from contributing my experience and know-how, I have not stopped learning.
In spite of having studied computer science, I’ve been updated in many technologies that I didn’t know before and that now I already manage: new softwares, social networks, tools, applications, etc. … (before I didn’t even have a Linkedin profile).
I have recycled myself on many fronts, one of them is English. I had forgotten it after so many years without using it. However, now I practice it with my colleagues, which is helping me a lot to recover it and I feel that I am growing as a professional.
Collaborating here has opened my mind and changed my vision about the use of the applications we use on a personal level and I understand more and more when they say that the world is conversational.
Now that I manage on a daily basis the different communication channels such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitch, etc., I have learned that the use of social networks is no longer only for personal use, but now companies manage their businesses, government entities communicate with their citizens, universities strengthen the relationship with their students, etc… …
All information is more accessible and communication is more fluid.
On a personal level, I have been surprised that nowadays it is no longer necessary to be a computer scientist with a university degree to become a digital professional.
Especially conversational business technologies. For example, instant messaging applications or chatbots, have made the latest generation technology easy to use for anyone who wants to use it, since it does not require any special programming knowledge.
To be collaborating with the Conversational Business Chair that is dedicated to sharing this knowledge and bringing it to young people who want to develop their digital talent, as well as to people who want to retrain professionally. Instructing them in one of the emerging professions of the conversational business, and that will help so many groups, makes me feel proud.
In a society where the group of people called “ninis” is growing, something that both outrages and frightens me, here at the Conversational Business Chair I see something very different.
I meet guys who are eager to study, to learn, to improve, to succeed… willing to invest much of their time to study instead of wasting it. Honestly, it has given me back the hope almost lost in today’s young people.
This reminded me of when I was 22 years old, working at the university while finishing my studies, learning languages and taking as many complementary courses as possible. It has been a few years since I have been able to dedicate time to study.
But now, back in the academic world, I have regained that restless and curious little girl. I feel again with that youth and that desire to learn, to improve, to do new things… and that is exactly what I am doing while helping in this interesting project.
Why am I volunteering at 48 years old? Because sometimes that’s all you need in life… a breath of fresh air.