A networking event after work. Big shiny office in central London. Peers. A good seminar followed by drinks and canapes. I ask a bronzed girl at my table if she was at the last event. “No”, she said, “I’ve been off-shore the past 3 years”.
I want to be off-shore.
I am disillusioned with work and plan to leave. Funny how things change. The first 8-9 months I was in this job I swore blind it was the best place I had ever worked. Then the novelty wore off. I love the people. Probably the nicest I’ve ever worked with. But I really can’t stand much about the culture. The lack of work/life balance. I have no career trajectory that I can see. Not really the company’s fault. I need somewhere much bigger. Were the hours not so long I could have stayed here a long time, possibly.
So we’ll see. I have a KPI setting meeting with my boss on Friday (key performance indicators for the next financial year). She’s told me she wants me to tell her “what a great year would look like” for me. Struggling to know what to say. They are recruiting more people including more people for me. This is good. But it’s not really enough.
I once thought I was on a good package but when the hours became very high I no longer feel that. The bonuses (imminent) will need to be very good (doubtful) and the pay-rises (touted at 3%) will need to be much higher in my case to placate me. I want 10%. I’ll probably tell her that on Friday, too. In an uber-diplomatic way I will probably infer, with reasonable subtlety, that if I don’t get it I’ll walk.
The company has low turnover. It has a highly eccentric culture. It doesn’t like it when people walk. So we’ll see.
But the networking event, seeing peers at vastly bigger globally recognised household names, made me feel I’m in the wrong job. I want the opportunities that come with much bigger places. Sure, I have boat-loads of autonomy in this role. But I’m more of a team-based person anyway. Huge levels of autonomy doesn’t mean utopia by any means.
I walked to Bond Street to make my way home. Temperature rising. Due to reach 25c by Friday. The tube felt warm and muggy. I had to wear a suit today (because of this evening’s session) and it doesn’t fit me any more. I’ve put on quite a lot of weight. For years I was blissfully slim. Now I am not. And my old, smart, suits – don’t fit. I blame my job.