The next steps are sometimes the hardest

So imagine you’re sitting in an office, in a comfortable job surrounded by lovely people and the relaxed hum of work. Everyone’s busy, except you. Instead you’re bored stiff trying to find something to occupy your mind before you decide to run around screaming with a gun to your head. The work you do is menial and completely soul destroying, but everything else, the perks of the job, the money, the commute and the colleagues, they’re all lovely. There’s just one catch – the work is utter crap with no challenge or hint or progression. How long do you think it will take before you go insane? For me, it took 1 year and 4 months counting down the days and wondering when I would get off my arse and find something else. But everything was just so convenient. I didn’t need to take the busy packed tubes, I could take the trains which were less packed and quite reliable. If I was ill, I would be sent home to recover, if I took holidays, it would be okay because at least I actually had paid holidays on a fixed term contract. When I did get sent out the office it was to a flashy all paid for conference once a year. How could you possibly complain? Champagne on Fridays, treats and sweets practically every day and the knowledge of your hopeful departure to another country if you’re successful. So how long do you think it would take you? It’s easier to stay believe me and I didn’t have as many responsibilities as most people such as children to consider and balancing family life. But I decided to leave. When I handed in my resignation I was euphoric, but then after a week or so, I was distraught. What the hell did I do messing up a perfectly good job just because I was bored? All I had to do was stick it out for a few months, but here I was giving up a great company, great benefits and excellent colleagues. Ironic that the joke was on me.

On my last day, I was terribly sad because I was giving up so much. The week before I left I found out the company was merging and therefore increasing the opportunities within the firm to learn new software and meet new people. I was terribly annoyed to discover that this was the worst kept secret which was concealed from me from every person I asked who knew, when it was quite blatant everyone in the company knew except me. I was unfortunately the last person to find out and by that time I had already handed in my resignation. It was too late, a replacement had been found, my new job was waiting for me and yet I felt cheated somehow. I couldn’t turn back time, but I lost a lot. If I knew, perhaps I would have reconsidered and stayed, but then I would have had to say no to this new opportunity. I cried when they did the leaving speech, but my dear colleagues promised they would see me for my leaving drinks the following week. So I left with a heavy heart, but little did I know that business is simply business and I was just a meaningless person in that company. But did you know? I was like a dog within the company – the lowest of the low. I knew something was going on, but no-one trusted me to tell me. While everyone knew and gloated about that knowledge, I was left in the dark. I was never privy to news because I was junior.

I arrived to my leaving drinks and I waited. I waited and waited painfully aware that one by one the colleagues I thought were friends palmed excuse after excuse and I was left standing alone in a packed bar. Only two people attended, though I only really count one of them. The first to arrive was my lovely replacement who only stayed for less than hour, but I was embarrassed to find only one other colleague who I worked closely with came along soon after. The two of us went along to another bar and while she regaled me with all the new treats they were being given, I felt a stab of envy burn brightly. Trips to abroad for a conference, fancy parties at London hotels, new Ipads for every staff member not to mention at least 2 bonuses in store. Well you can imagine how much I wanted to kick myself. Until I walked away and I thought. No one really cared I left. I thought I had so many friends, but in the end I had only one. I was clearly living on another planet. It hurt. Have you ever had one person turn up to your leaving drinks? It really hurt, if it wasn’t for that one person I would have felt so alone. But you learn fast and boy did I learn. Business is business. Colleagues are not friends, they are colleagues. Work is work and that is the way of the world. Don’t get too emotional, don’t get too sentimental. All the false promises of keeping in touch – everything it wasn’t true. Don’t hide beneath those rose-tinted glasses. Don’t expect to see those people again, because expectation will only seek to disappoint. I am missing out on so much and yet I am not. I have moved on to a new job at an international excellent firm with new challenges. My colleagues so far are very nice and the work is different and new with room to progress and develop and opportunities to shine. I am moving forwards and the lesson that I will bring to the new place? To make sure I stand out and shine like I did in my first job. There will not always be people who want to push you and make you do better. You have to push yourself. If you’re bored you should consider leaving because even though materially it sounds amazing, its not worth it if you’re writing a book as well as working.

If you don’t leave you’ll never leave. If you stay, you’ll be missing out on all the new things you could have learned, all the new people you could have met. Sometimes I still wonder, but I reckon if I turned my current opportunity down, I would have regretted and played the what if game then too. It was one of the most difficult learning curves of my life, but necessary. I will continue to fight for my dreams and I will not let anyone put me in a box again. Don’t let fear get in the way because that is exactly what I am letting prevent me from my future by holding onto my past. But I am trying to let go. Every day is a new reality check. Every day is a battle.

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Beautiful Strangers

So it has been some time writing down my thoughts but sometimes I feel like it wouldn’t be right to say what I think. Some things are just best left inside right? Lately I’ve been feeling a little blue- well when do I ever not feel blue! I seem to go through periods of happiness, sadness, reflection and boredom. I get bored very easily with my life. But some good news to share is that I finally found a job which I have been in for 2 months but it is a temporary contract so its been extended till end of May which is great. The job itself is interesting and the work is varied though I must admit I don’t really like the prospect of staring at a computer 5 days a week constantly form 9am-5:30pm! Its just boring and it makes me lazy. I want my work to be varied in the sense I want to move around, do things not just sitting down but be active too. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for this job especially to be at a good medium sized corporate company. I get some free lunches, treats sometimes and the people are nice enough, the work is varied so what more can I ask for in a job? Well one very important thing I’ve come to realise as a priority is communication. I want more communication with people. People are fascinating and have so many stories to share. So many lives- so many experiences and most people have substance. I like talking to people – I like making friends, but somehow no one wants to talk- no one wants to share. I find it very hard to break down barriers and walls people build. Whatever happened to those lovely people you can strike up a conversation with on the train/bus? Where did all those wonderful people go? When you bump into the most unlikely people who just lift your spirits. Those who are passionate about life and try and infuse that passion within others. I met a guy in a shop once who asked me why I look so sad? I should be happy I have friends, family and life. I smiled and he lifted up my spirits. But I don’t meet those fantastic and amazing people who can touch your lives with just a few words. You never forget the people who strike up a conversation with you. They may be pushed to the back of your minds but their memory never fades- well for me at least!

Anyway as I was saying people at work hold you at a distance. No one wants to get to know you and there is that distance. When I first arrived a few came up to me and said “oh if you need anything then I sit here” but why offer something when they don’t mean it. They don’t expect you to actually come up and say hi. What happened to making people feel at home? Inclusivity! The other day half the office went to the pub but what about inviting the rest? Not even the poor guy sitting next to them was invited. You take what you get from a place and I know what I’ll certainly be taking is experience. But I certainly won’t be taking friends. People aren’t as friendly there and I think its a great learning curb for me to know and understand what’s important in a job. Maybe a corporate environment is just not for me. I want to go out after work with the office crowd to the pub! I want to get to know others who I work with. So what to do? Wait to be invited right? No I am not waiting for anyone. I already have some amazing friends. All I’ll do is continue being me and I’ll move forward with or without making new friends.

I hope I will find myself one day. I already know who I am but what I mean is that I hope I will find the right job for me- one that I will enjoy with all my heart. Here’s to the hopeful future! And here’s to all those amazing strangers who have such a positive impact on others. I hope they continue to still do that for that presence is strong indeed. They are beautiful strangers and most of their hearts are made of gold.