I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I love my job and I love the people I work with. A couple of months ago, all I could think about was hanging onto that job, but now I wonder if I’ve been there too long? Am I stuck in a rut?
The recent restructure and a huge office clear-up brought everything into focus for me and I started to ponder my long and not so distinguished career as a council press officer.
I have been there for a third of my life. Yes, A THIRD OF MY LIFE.
I am in my third decade there.
I have been demoted twice.
I have had two pay cuts – although I am currently pay-protected for two years.
My previous, three year, pay protection went by in the blink of an eye and is now but a distant memory.
I was my now-boss’s mentor when she joined us four years ago.
My desk drawers were so rammed full of crap that I stopped using them in approximately 2004.
In my jam-packed drawers I found notebooks of the people who’d covered my maternity leave in 2003 and 2006; a confidential file relating to a big child abuse case my long-gone job-share partner worked on; photos of myself looking young and pretty at 25 and with hair that was neither grey nor dyed at 30; and my own personnel file from 1999 to approximately 2003.
I have been there for three council elections – and the fourth is just over a year away.
I have worked for a hung council, a Lib-Lab alliance and am now on my second Conservative council.
I have been through countless restructures of both my own team and the council.
I have bought myself four diaries since the council stopped providing them due to budget cuts and the fact that we are supposed to use our Outlook diaries.
My favourite ever front page story was in 2004.
In an un-used file on my desk I found a letter dated 1993.
So is it time to move on? But where would I go and what would I do? I’ve been there so long that I can’t see myself being able to do anything else. I am well and truly stuck in a rut.
But I’ve stayed for a reason. It works for me. It is an interesting, challenging job, but, because I’m not the manager I don’t have huge responsibility. I have six weeks’ holiday a year and I work 20 hours a week. I leave before 5pm most days.
But the thought of suddenly waking up at 65 realising I have spent my whole life there scares me. And how many times will I have been demoted by then?! I will probably be a 65 year old junior admin assistant. Please don’t let that happen.