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Join @JLab Insiders

Hi, I'm Bogdan Gorka

Learning Jira was the best career change decision I have ever made

On this site I share what I have learnt about working as Jira Administrator and Business Solutions Expert.

These are the 3 things I strongly believe in

Internet Era is based on
innovation and knowledge

The world we live in is progressing fast because of smart people with innovation, knowledge and experience who know-how to apply theory into practice and they do that every day. Some of the most successful businesses today have no factories, no machineries and are fueled entirely by knowledge and innovation. The most well known and profitable businesses of the Internet era have been created less than 20 years ago and some of them even less than that.

Be independent
in your career choices

There are many people who depend on others to make decisions about their career. Their bosses, their HR managers, their bank mortgages make them do what they do and stay where they are because it is safe.
I say, you are the only one who should decide when is the next chapter of your career and be open to go for it. Nobody likes jumping into the cold swimming pool but that is the smart move not to get bored at work (and get fired after many years of service in the same company)

To be valuable on the job market 
you have to learn new things

Those who finished their education in their school times find it hard to be a part of the modern and innovative industry. They will have simple jobs with repetitive tasks. Especially in the IT area, there is no other option as to constantly learn. In other areas like finance, logistics, management also new trends are being introduced every year. If you do not learn, your knowledge becomes obsolete and thus your career options will become very limited over time.

How did I get into business consulting? 

Well,

I started working as Microsoft Consultant,  a bit by accident, in 2013 in Australia. These were my first steps in business consulting, however what I did earlier one could call internal consulting.  But the Microsoft technology at that time did not appeal to me that much, although I have learnt a lot about SharePoint and Project Server

Then, some five years ago when I worked as management consultant with one of my clients, I accidentally discovered Jira - it was love from the first sight. It was a perfect match with my process workflow and business analysis oriented mindset. The ease of use and flexibility when implementing processes were awesome. I watched hundreds of on-line courses and You Tube videos to learn everything there was to learn. I was lucky to meet great experts on my education way so I had hundreds of hands-on practice and finally I could transition from being Project Management Professional into Atlassian Certified Professional. 

Today I work as Atlassian Business Consultant and will continue my Atlassian adventure as long as it is attractive to me.

My Certifications

How do I know about training others?

Letting others to learn from me has always been one of my big interests.

Quite early in my career, when I worked in a large FMCG company as Project Office Manager, I designed and delivered in person a few courses in Project Management to spread the knowledge about managing projects.  It was not really part of my duties. In this way I could share my know-how with over 100 trainings participants and I enjoyed it a lot.

Later I attended a school of business trainers to get some formal education about teaching others in the business environment. Being a business trainer was my main line of business when I started my solo-preneur company in 2014.

Shortly after starting my new career as Atlassian expert, I started designing and delivering various trainings in Jira and Confluence for end users.

I spent a few hundred of hours in training rooms teaching others business processes and how to use what’s best in Jira and Confluence.

However, a large portion of my training experience comes from my project management trainings earlier in my career.

What is JLabNotes.com all about?

During my work as Atlassian Consultant I have collected an enormous amount of notes, how-to’s and tricks in Jira Administration. JLabNotes is all about sharing what I know about Jira Administration and meeting ‘just-started’ Atlassian enthusiasts. During my projects I helped personally at least a few people to change their jobs and get better career opportunities (and earn more) by becoming Jira Administrators. I know that it works and I want to spread the word about it.

Instructional Videos

Many of my Readers (from what I know) are now enjoying Jira as users and are thinking what’s next. My suggestion to them is:

Become Jira Administrator!

About 2 years ago I got really interested in instructional videos and have spent some time to learn all the technicalities of video production. I am publishing these videos on my YouTube channel: Jira Lab. Although I had some good response to many of my videos, I missed that I could not really communicate with my viewers. YouTube comments are not enough. To know what to share I need some regular feedback what is actually interesting to my viewers. It can be achieved only with a website like this and with a community of people who are looking for some proven and practical knowledge. They will find it on JLabNotes.com

Collection of my articles

I started this blog so I could achieve a few goals. On of them was to collect my articles about Jira and project management which I have been publishing for the last couple of years on various websites, especially on LinkedIn. I also wanted to organize and share my collection of Jira notes which I created while working as Atlassian Business Consultant. I know that by sharing the knowledge I will meet a lot of interesting people and this will be a great reward in itself.

Last year I started my YouTube channel

In 2019 I created the JiraLab YouTube channel to publish my Jira Administration tutorials. They are now linked and published on this website for better content organization.

My best Videos to date

My long(er) story - for inspiration

I cannot be sure if my story will be of much interest to you but if you are thinking about the career change, you may find here some inspiration and a formula to organize your efforts.

I am not a career coach and I am not going to pretend that everything I planned in my career went well. But a few principles helped to be on track and follow in the direction which I wanted.

When I look back, I always tried to be in control of my career and be one step ahead of the job market. Why? Because I wanted these three things:

  1. to work for good and reliable companies
  2. to be well-paid for delivering services which were of value to any employer
  3. to do the job that was interesting for me 

I never wanted to live in fear of loosing my job. Instead, I was prepared to be fired every day. I was not stressed at all because I have always had something valuable that was attractive on the job market - experience, new and up to date skills and formal certifications. Some people called me obsessed with my career but I can only agree that I was (and I still am) obsessed with with the freedom of choice what I do professionally.

I always wanted to be one step ahead of the job market.

Enter your text here...

I never wanted to live in fear of loosing my job. Instead, I was prepared to be fired every day.

How to be one step ahead of the job market?

When I was in my 20s, 30s or now in my 40s, I have always used this 5 steps formula to be ‘one step ahead' of the job market

  1. 1
    Look inside and outside your area of interest
    Enjoy the job you have but look around the business world, talk to others, take part in conferences, watch webinars, observe what is now on the top in your area of interests and what is trending to be there soon
  2. 2
    Select the trends interesting for you
    Pick and choose these trends, which were interesting in your area of interest. In my case for over 15 years it was Project and Portfolio Management and I was looking for new trends in this area only (and this I could have played a bit differently to be honest)
  3. 3
    Listen to the Job Market
    Read job advertisements, talk to HR consultants and see what is valuable for employers, what they are willing to pay for, what is worth more to them
  4. 4
    Learn more to become an Expert
    If you notice something that is really interesting for you and it is already valuable for employers, start learning about it. If you stay up learning till late at night (although you do not have to) it is a proof that it is really interesting for you
  5. 5
    Start practicing as early as possible
    When you learn enough for a beginner, start putting your knowledge into practice in your place of work and grow your practical expertise. Look for synergies and combine the new knowledge with your current experience as much as possible

Year 2014 - time for my career change

This 5 steps formula worked great for 15 years in the area of project management where I collected a lot of experience, practice and formal certifications. I did not have to change the employer, but I changed my positions almost every two years. Then it was time for another change - I emigrated with my family to Australia.

When I turned 40 I knew that managing projects is not going to support me over the next 20 years. There were simply too many people claiming “I am project manager” so the value of this profession was getting very generic and less valuable for employers. Also for me, this profession was getting less and less interesting. I knew that it was high time to start preparing for my plan B.

So I used the my 5 steps formula again and started looking for a completely new domain. For some time I even wanted to be a Wordpress Administrator. This was all about low code programming and led me indirectly to the Atlassian world.

In 2014 I started my solo-preneurial career as independent management consultant.

I have never been a consultant before but at least I got some glance at this profession when I briefly worked in this position in Australia. So, step by step, I collected experience but I felt this was not exactly what I wanted. I was still looking around, observing trending Agile methodologies and the shift towards team centric management methods. I was in my step 1.

One year later, in 2015, by pure accident, I discovered the Atlassian technology and Jira (which was still not too well known at the time). 

This was my step number 2 - I knew that communication problems have always been a big issue in the project management world and this simple tracking tool with its workflows was very powerful and able to solve them. I made a decision to turn my career into technical consulting which combines management experience with hands-on configuration skills. I knew I wanted more of Jira.

Steps 3 and 4 were somehow combined together. 

My current client at the time wanted Jira and wanted project management practices to be designed and implemented on this platform. I teamed up with Jira experts and started learning more about Jira administration and solution configurations.

Step 5 - practicing and practicing

Some time later I was prepared to start designing my own solutions. I had a lot of Business Analysis experience which I could now put into practice. I remember that my first solutions based on Jira were supporting sales and legal processes (that were no Agile at all). Later there were other processes for the Project Office. That was how I began my career change road. Along the way I met many Atlassian experts from whom I had leaned a lot of practical solutions. I combined more and more my extensive experience as project manager and business analyst with my interest in configuring more complex Atlassian solutions aimed at project and portfolio management. This was my step 5. A few years later I passed my Atlassian Certified exams and I am still learning new things in the Atlassian ecosystem every day.

Do you want to start your career as Jira Administrator?

In my story, I shared with you my formula of 5 steps to change a career and be one step ahead of the job market. That is exactly how I became Jira Business Consultant. If you have already been a Jira user long enough (and you love this application), maybe you want to consider making it the next chapter of your professional career?  

The first step is super easy - join our @JLab Insiders for free. Press the button below and learn more.