Monday, 23 June 2014

Moving on - from a job and a particular corner of London

I moved to London seven years ago this autumn. The January following my move, after an internship and a brief spell of job-hunting and sleeping in various family members' spare rooms, I got my first full-time, no-break-for-university-terms, this-is-what-I'm-now-doing-with-my-time job. It wasn't in my industry of choice, but it would supposedly set me up with some basic office skills that I could later transfer across into my preferred field. Long story short, I still work for the company that first gave me a shot in this city. Three different jobs, six and a half years, seven or eight different desks, and countless projects. Working in one place for several years it is remarkable how easy it becomes to spend the days on autopilot, how quickly one can repeat familiar tasks and make the necessary calls. You can coast through tasks bounded by established processes and management systems. I could have stayed here forever.

And that is one reason why I handed in my resignation last month.

'Comfortable' is not a description that I aspire to in my professional life. I like challenge. I like creativity and innovation. But above all, I like to feel that the work I am doing truly matters and has value. For the past year, I have whinged endlessly about my job to friends and family; to the extent that I even bored myself with my inability to get fired up about what I do any more. My job didn't offer those things I like and need in a workplace. I felt frustrated, stuck, and disengaged during the hours of the day I spent at work. I experienced insomnia and lethargy. And when I did sleep I ground my teeth so hard I cracked one of them. Clearly my professional life wasn't working out.

At the end of this week I will turn in my security pass, and the following Monday I will not pass through the revolving door I have used hundreds of times. I will not force myself up from my desk at twelve thirty, and head out to find a sandwich from one of the little cafes around Charlotte Street or sit in one of the green squares scattered across Bloomsbury. I will not nip down to Oxford Street to run errands or stand in line for interminable ages at the Newman Street post office. I will not venture into my office's windowless basement to change into my running gear, and go for a quick lunchtime jog around Regents Park. When I start to flag mid-afternoon, I will not be able to instantly message a friend a few desks away, and suggest popping out for a restorative coffee. There will be no impromptu post-work drinks, putting a crappy day in the office to bed, before heading back home.
The famous London icon I have worked beneath for six and a half years. And a corner of my office.

But there will be lots of new things (I hope!), a renewed sense of purpose, and fresh challenges. And maybe even a new corner of the city to explore. I am excited to get started.

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12 comments:

  1. Definitely sounds as if it was time to move on. I hope you enjoy your new London life !

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! It certainly was. Now time for the next adventure...!

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  2. Carpe diem, or alternatively, as John Donne said, "To will implies delay, therefore now do." Wishing you plenty of doing - excitements, excursions, experiences and all other good things beginning with ex. This is from M2 by the way but I can only publish it as Anonymous as I've forgotten all other useful logins.

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    1. Ah, it's let you comment at last. Well, that's very nice. And thank you for your wonderful wishes. Very much hoping to come and visit now I have some more freedom...!

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  3. Yay! Best thing you will ever do - enjoy!

    LCM x

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    1. Thank you, LCM. I do hope so...shall keep you all posted as to how I get on!

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  4. Well, Flora, from our last conversation it seems to me that this resignation was long overdue! Well done for taking the plunge. After all, we only live once. I can't wait to see what's next for you!

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    1. Funnily enough, Muriel, you're not the only person to say that! It's definitely been coming for a while. Keep your fingers crossed I can track down an exciting new challenge. In the meantime...more time to blog!

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  5. Excellent news. I moved jobs in May for similar reasons (needing a new challenge) and it has worked out brilliantly so far. Good luck!x

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    1. Good for you, Jo! I hope my next move is as successful as yours...! x

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  6. Never have I heard moving on from a job more eloquently put! Best of luck and exciting times around the corner no doubt :-) xx (Laura)

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