I’m about to start a development course and one of the actions on Day 1 will be to look at what career I want. This is quite a daunting thing to think about. I’m 45 and have never known what I want to be when I grow up. That in itself is never something that’s bothered me, I’ve always been happy to go with the flow.
The flow though has taken me to the civil service and a promotion 18 months ago that means it’s the sort of thing that now gets talked about constantly. One of the issues is the civil service is huge… so much so that after 10 years don’t know all the subsets of my own department never mind the other ones. A lot of people see career advancement as moving up in grades rather than jobs. That’s how I ended up where I am and in hindsight if I could apply for this role directly knowing what I know now I probably wouldn’t want it.
I’ve got myself on the mailing list for civil service jobs to give me a greater idea of what is out there but even just reading the titles of some roles is daunting. I quite like the idea of moving to the department that deals with education or the environment but then I wonder if the red tape and entrenched working ideas are the same everywhere. I should get a mentor on this course so I might look at seeing if I can get one that is in one of those other departments.
The other issue I have is my own confidence. I spent the first year of this role feeling like an imposter. I’ve settled now and know what I’m doing and where I need to improve but when I think about moving somewhere else or another promotion I keep telling myself that it’ll not happen. I’m not the type of person who this would happen for. I know deep down this is rubbish. I managed to get this promotion and I did it on merit rather than being a senior managers pet.
I’ve a tendency to quit when the going gets tough with work. I got myself all the way up to mortgage adviser 11 years ago. It wasn’t for me as such as I felt there was too much hard selling but rather than look at using my successes (and I had plenty) to move roles within the banking company or to another company I demoted myself! Plus I demoted myself to an office where no one got a promotion unless they knew someone and were a favourite. I wonder if I carry a bit of a chip about this?
I’m not always the first person people think of for getting the juicy pieces of work. One manager called me ‘quiet’ in a derogatory way but where I see quiet as someone who comes in and gets the work done without fuss, they didn’t like that and expected me to be foolish like them. I didn’t fit in with her values so I got held back. The whole desire to be invisible probably never helped me either.
So I need to start thinking and at the age of 45 come up with some kind of goal. I’m about to spend 2 days looking at this so by the end of the week hopefully I should have a more defined idea of what I want. Having changed managers and my resolutions I’m slowly becoming more visible so that will help.
Who knows in 12 months I could be in my dream job…whatever that may be….