How actually do you feel?

As the lockdown has gone on I’ve found that I’m thinking more and more that my working life has to change. It’s been obvious for ages that the company I work for are crushing all the joy out of what I do. The more they understand the specialism of what I do, the more they seek to control it, to the point where they are trying to change it into something else, more akin to mail order. They will do anything stop me having contact with clients, or at least minimising it.

I’ve always been aware that it isn’t the best fit but have been able to concentrate on my thing and enjoy that. Although the job has been a bit of a basket case, it has out of necessity been possible for me to put everything I have learnt together. There has only ever been me and at most a couple of youngsters in house, so I have had to do everything. A lot of the time I’ve had to be able to cut and make everything a customer has ordered and when it has needed alteration at the end it is me that has had to take it apart and adjust it. There is no one to blame but me and fuck that is good experience! I’m still improving and can see that I can carry on learning indefinitely.

I’ve set up a workshop at home over the last few weeks because locally here covid has yet to peak and I want to cut down my travel into London for obvious reasons. In setting up somewhere to work, I’ve kicked off all sorts of possibilities in my head and although, especially politically, I’m looking on at the situation with horror, along with lots of us on here, with my working life I’m actually starting to feel quite excited about there being change.

Anyway, the intention of the thread is not to bang on about fucking tailoring, I just thought it might be quite good for us all to have a place to discuss our thoughts about the future. Everything’s changing and might not be the same for quite a while. What is it throwing up in your situation?

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I was always a permanent employee until 15 months ago when I started working for myself. While the money has been better and the lack office bullshit more so, I am not sure the long-term effects on my mind are all that great. There is a constant low level anxiety associated with where the next piece of work is coming from. As a permanent employee there were periods of change which made me unsettled, but they were irregular and transient. I am glad to have dipped my toe in contracting though.

I am now looking at becoming a wage slave once more.

The grass is always greener etc

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I really don’t know what will happen with my job. I set up my own business in mid December and, effectively, closed it in mid March, until starting to go back in 2 weeks ago.
I haven’t had a salary for 6 months and I certainly can’t see any happening in the next 3 - 6. My active clients have gone from about 20 to 2, and even they don’t know what their future roadmap looks like.
Worrying times, for sure, but we are where we are and somehow we’ll survive, because that’s what you do.

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What is it you do Mike?

Permie software Recruitment, Ritchie - boo, hiss !!

I thought that the whole point of what you do is that it really is the best fit :smile:

Badum tisch!

Unfortunately for you, I’m here all week.

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I’ve been really struggling with work. I’ve had lengthy periods of illness at the end of each of my last three teaching semesters so have been thinking about retiring on medical grounds for a couple of years. We’ll be ok financially but I was really worried about the mental side of being home all day. Also, I particularly associate being at home for any period of time with illness, which obviously isn’t good.

One benefit of the lockdown is that I’ve had about eight weeks of living at home while I’ve been reasonably healthy (I was finishing my recovery from surgery at the start of it). I’ve learned that I have less to worry about than I supposed and the major stress was as a result of agreeing to do some pro bono work (modelling of daily death counts which was a nightmare project for many reasons the least of which was the topic) . If it is safe to do so I think I’ll try to do one more year and then give it away next summer. If there is a second wave in the winter then I’ll sack it off earlier as my GP and oncologist are both now suggesting it is something to think about.

I always swore I would never retire fully. Now it is a matter of when, not if.

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Fortunately for us, our sides didn’t split, so no stitches required.

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My day to day hasn’t really been impacted by recent events. One of the reasons I moved from IT and working 200 miles away from home every week was to be able to spend time with the family/grandchildren so not seeing them for 9 odd weeks has been difficult.

So going forward things are pretty much the same for me, spend time with the people most important to you - when we finally can.

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I think I had a similar epiphany on the main thread a few weeks back. Having tasted a slower and more enjoyable way of life, getting to spend more time with Hel and the dogs, and meandering about the garden, and generally appreciated what’s around me.

I couldn’t think of anything worse than going back to 60+ hour weeks and taking on ridiculous challenges, trying to inspire, manipulate and bend 100s or 1000s of healthcare staff away from what they’ve gotten used to, and work/ think differently for patients, in the hope that you infect a critical mass of people to carry on in this way after you’ve left. It’s not sustainable and I’m beginning to have doubts it’s worthwhile too.

In your case Ritchie, as per a few months back, nothing that was agreed when you were thinking of leaving appears to have genuinely resolved the issues and concerns you have deep down about your employers and what you’d really prefer to spend your time doing. I suspect that the only boss you’d be truly comfortable working for is yourself, but I understand there are lots of things that look like obstacles and uncertainties that can make that choice a difficult one to come to for yourself (regardless of how others seem so certain of what you should do!).

I feel that lots of people have found that life under lockdown gave them cause to reflect and assess what makes them happy and how they would prefer to dedicate their time (should they be lucky enough to have choice/ discretion etc).

The hard part inevitably comes when you have to turn realisation into decision and action :grimacing:

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I’m actually quite enjoying it all, I’ve never spent so much time just sat in the garden and reading. Normally I’d be in the office mon>fri and then be too tired or fucked to do anything at the weekend.

On the upside a lot of companies are now embracing remote access/working solutions so I think the whole office commute thing will improve for a lot of people.

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This is the thing that has always worried me about setting up on my own and I’m under no illusion that working for a behemoth of a corporation and having renegotiated my contract last year hasn’t helped me over the last three months. When I’m there though, I have huge anxiety about the politics, to the point of exhaustion. As you say, the grass is always greener…

It used to scare the crap out of me as well but I now make sure I have at least 3-6 months of living money stashed away in case something happens.

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Suck it up and buy a Porsche then, loser!

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Yeah, my kids have never seen me so much, it’s been lovely spending time with them and Kerri, loads of long walks and just hanging out. None of us has been bored.

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Sort of no idea what’s going to happen

Selling is the easy part, but getting hold of stock could be hit and miss
I only work a few days a week due to back problems, and have had to go onto universal credit, which ironically has made us both a few quid a week better off

To old to train up in something new, and the thought of working for someone 9-5 fills me with dread

Be a shame if this little business we have built up by chance falls

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Why do they not want you to have contact with clients?

Here’s hoping your business comes through it well Stu

:+1:

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My place are now saying that office based staff will be working from home until the New Year.
Things will change for ever.
I am sure that many firms will be wondering why they need expensive offices.
I have found this period quite difficult. I live on my own and am part of the shielding group, for 8 weeks I did not set foot outside the door and saw nobody.
In that time my Dad died and I couldn’t visit him or go to his funeral.
Although we have plenty of MS Teams meetings and couple of social meetings timetabled I don’t think this has done me much good from a mental health pov and have found it quite difficult to self motivate to do anything which does not have a deadline and is not project related.
I should be spending time re-writing some operating manuals, creating some online training for remote induction sessions and completing a Microsoft online training course - I have done none of it.

I have been stressing a bit about dealing with my Dad’s estate and selling his house.

I don’t miss the commuting. On average I used to do a 50 mile/ 1hr 20m each way commute about 3 times a week, one day in central London by train and tube and one day wfh.

I have about 6 years of work before I retire and cannot afford to retire early, I am not looking to change jobs either as I quite enjoy what I do. Once our retail operation gets going I will be busy again, talking to more people and probably happier.

The Covid relaxation has helped and I have started playing golf again (with plenty of safeguards), being outside in decent weather has been a major bonus.

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He might tell them the truth :grinning:

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