The Beach Hut

The Beach Hut

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tomorrow's My Last Day at Work

Tomorrow I'll be leaving my place of work, the place I've worked for the last 14 years, to the day.  I've moved around a lot here, I started when my youngest son was 5 and I was appointed to a new project as a part time admin assistant and over the next 14 years I moved from there to PA to the Chief Executive, Volunteer Manager, back to PA with Operations and HR Manager thrown in - by now I was working full-time (phew!).

Today is the day UK students receive their AS and A Level results and in the office there were very proud parents who's children were either (apparently) indifferent to or disappointed by their results.  'Ultimately,' I said, 'it's only ever the latest thing you do that counts.'  It's true for examination results, GCSEs, NVQs, AS and A Levels, Degrees (Under or Post Grad) but it made me reflect on my own experiences in the workplace too.

By the time I started with this latest company I'd had four full-time jobs; the first two were secretarial - I learned shorthand and typing at college, then I moved to London and got a job with a local authority as, what do you think?  Yes, a secretary.  However this was a promotion - I was secretary to the Assistant Director of Housing and I wouldn't have been appointed to that role if I didn't have the recent experience behind me.   Five years later I grabbed the opportunity to move up - and to the side a little - to become a Rent Arrears Officer.  This was a great job involving meeting people and helping them fight their way through the red tape of the benefits system, giving debt advice, attending court and ultimately (not so good) attending evictions (now that's a blog in itself).

When I moved my family out of London to the south coast to run a hardware shop I was leaving a good, solid career with a local authority and a better salary than I was to see for the next ten years.

After just four years in the shop I moved on again, this time broke, dejected and feeling utterly hopeless and I started to look around for another job; I was an experienced debt counsellor and housing officer, surely the world was my oyster.  It wasn't.

Eventually I found a job as a part time admin assistant.  And this is where my blog started.

It's only ever the last thing you do that counts.  I'd been out of the housing business for four years - my skills and experience were out of date and no longer relevant.  Now I'm leaving my current job and intend to take a break,  try my hand at writing and finish my degree.  However, unless I manage to write a Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey blockbuster, I'll be back in the job market at some point, and then will an employer be interested in an unqualified HR or Volunteer Manager with lots of outdated experience?  

And those young people receiving their A and AS level results today - they only have to get them into university, after which it will be their degree that counts and no-one will ever again ask about their A level results.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

My Lucky Day

I had a win on the Euromillions recently.  It was the week they promised, “100 UK Millionaires”.  I was quite extravagant, I paid £10 for 5 lines; one for each member of the family.  I’m not a gambler by nature and I rarely even do one line on the lottery but I fancied my chances here; there would be 100 winners after all.

As a child Sunday evenings at my grandparents’ house would often mean a game of cards or a Beatle Drive and the grown-ups thought playing for pennies would make it a bit more interesting.  I didn’t.  Even though the pennies were given to me to play with I didn’t want to lose any of them!  “OK”, said Mum, “we’ll play with matchsticks instead”.  Not me – what let someone take my matchsticks?  No fear! 

Little has changed really.  Perhaps I’m just a bad loser, but I’ve never really understood the ‘fun’ in gambling.  Some say playing the Lottery isn’t really gambling; but what else can it be when you pay money in the hope of winning a large sum and in reality, usually, don’t get anything back?

Anyway, that week when 100 UK Millionaires were created, I had a win.  You’re probably wondering what I did with my winnings.  Well, £2 went on another lottery ticket and the remaining 80p went on a (small) bar of chocolate to celebrate!