A few things leapt out at me during a recent interaction:
- Our business is very dependant on our client’s shut-downs. We typically install and commission during the March-April Easter break and over the December Christmas/New Year period. Oh, and we often do smaller jobs on weekend shutdowns.
- This company is really good. It’s pensionable age is 65. The previous company I worked for was 60. It gives me a whole further 5 years to save for retirement.
There were many other things said, many other topics discussed and explored, but ultimately these two statements are indicative, I think, of the environment.
The people, I’m sure are personable and friendly, most likely a good team to work with if…. If you buy into their world view, which appears to be – You work your career, full-on, nothing else but work. Then you retire at some arbitrary age in the future and you then live and enjoy life.
It’s always dangerous to jump to conclusions, to make judgements based on a short two-hour meeting with someone, but in many situations it’s all we have and decisions need to be taken based on those short interactions.
What struck me again is the overriding inability of most corporate sheep to even consider that something else is possible. After all, what on earth is normal about accepting that the company takes preference over all your limited weekends and public holidays?
I really don’t think I could go back into this type of environment, irrespective of whatever the offer might be. I know, I just know, I’ll be miserable there. The initial contact was certainly no time to interrogate their attitudes to unpaid leave, flexible working hours, remote-work but I have seen enough of the culture in that one brief meeting to understand that it’s not something they have up until now considered let alone would embrace and allow.
So I pretty much know all of this, even before I went in for the chat. So why do I do this to myself? Why even waste the time?
Well, partly because much of this could actually still be only in my head and I may well be wrong. It’s always good to have a particular stance clearly and directly articulated by the other party rather than assuming what it might be.
The other, less desireable aspect, is that the money [or lack thereof] really does have a serious hold on me. It’s been extremely hard considering a future with no income and there really is this inner concern that I will not be able to replace a standard job/salary by my own efforts. Again, perhaps all in my head and not a current valid concern until I’ve tried and tried again. Unless I’ve tried and repeated failure has proven this point, perhaps I’m imagining things that may not be?
None of this makes it any easier. None of this allows me to easily just say no to one of the very few opportunities that have popped across my path.
Mmm! Living in my head. Not perhaps the best thing to do all the time. Perhaps it’s best if I give the independant, self-earning path a full go before I take the coward’s way out and run back to the coporate?