Sunday 27 November 2016

#176 Manufacturing donkeys

"I heard you were leaving. Is it true?" read a message that popped up on my screen. "Yeah" I replied "I didn't think that many people knew yet".  Greg was a guy who'd left our team a year or two ago and had been helping to drive environmental changes in another department. "I also heard that you don't have another job lined up". "I feel like taking a month or two off" I told him. "It surprised me because you've been here for so long and I know recruiters are advertising a lot but obviously with Brexit there's a lot of uncertainty around". He seemed concerned so I walked over to where he was sitting to say hi.

We grabbed a meeting room. Greg was evidently quite unsettled by the idea that someone who had been at the firm for so long could just leave. He talked about how he'd needed a change not that long ago and had found it hard to arrange so he'd sent an invite to one of the partners, who helped him to arrange a transfer. He said he thought I was in a similar situation.

I never quite know how to tell people what I think.

Putting time in a partner's diary isn't something I'd normally do unless I needed to get something signed. What did I have to lose though? I'd never met this guy but he had a nice reputation and was supposedly good with people. I liked the fact that Greg seemed to care and I wanted to go with that. Who knows, maybe this guy would have something useful to say.

There was one half-hour slot in his calendar towards the end of the week. I knew he'd probably accept the invite. When you send someone an email saying you've been with the company for ten years and have just handed in your notice, they tend to get curious.

The partner was as nice as my colleague's description. He asked me to tell him a bit about myself, which I did. I told him about some of my experiences on projects in recent years. 

Greg had been concerned upon hearing that I was leaving but he hadn't managed to probe that deeply into why. He did ask me about it and even checked whether I agreed with his impression. I made some statements and showed enough agreement to validate him and maintain an easy conversational flow. The partner on the other hand had started in neutral. He'd never met me and had no preconceptions. 

He ended up surmising that actually a career break might be good for me as it would give me the time and space do some thinking and then go after a role that I really wanted. He observed that I felt quite liberated about the whole thing. "A bit scared too" I told him, so that he'd think I was normal "but yeah, no second thoughts". He agreed to let me know if he heard of any jobs that might interest me.

That evening I got a text from my sister. She'd heard there was an explosion in the city. She said she wasn't sure where so she just wanted to check.

"I agree" I told her. "You should check".

1 comment

Running on empty said...

Ten years is a long time. I changed jobs alot more quickly than that. Do you get long service leave in your country at ten years?