There have been many occasions in a working environment where I’ve been put in situations that I cannot fully understand the work at hand. It was in these circumstances that I really understood people’s true personalities and values; those who took time out of their own busy schedule to lend a hand, compared to those whose focus was on their own careers, which put them in a slightly different spotlight.
The biggest surprise for me is witnessing first hand the dog-eat-dog world within a working environment. Not going into specific details, as personal goals are definitely healthy for any individual, but when it comes at a cost to another individual in a way that could be avoided – it just isn’t worth the knock on your own conscience!
These experiences have both hurt me in the short run but also opened my eyes in the long run in ways I would’ve never imagined when it comes to the sort of environment I want to work and live my life in. Within my first weeks at the big four firm (Company 4), the individuals who either provided their assistance without a second thought, or interacted with me in a non-work conversation – I knew I would maintain these strong bonds in the long run.
A partner at this firm who always comes to mind – on the very first working day he popped by my desk, learnt my name (and has never forgotten it once – especially for such a full name as long as mine!) and had a wonderful, totally non-work related conversation. This was strangely the most memorable and happiest interaction with a new colleague I’ve ever had. This is because I felt his ‘human side’ straight away instead of a ‘robotic, working side’ from the very first day. This not only helped me understand the people I want to work with, but also the type of individuals who I wanted leading, teaching and mentoring me.
LIFE GOAL 1: As soon as I experienced this encounter, the real lesson I wanted to learn was how to become a successful individual like him from a career perspective, but more importantly how he maintained the ability to grow his ‘human side’ to all his employees – the real meaning of success!
Not only this partner but there were numerous other colleagues who were similar, in particular within my own client teams! However there were also a lot who were not and that’s just something out of my control. But what was in my control is who I chose to aspire to and those whose personalities who I did not want rubbing off on me – I guess this was the benefit of working in a large organisation.
I’ve talked about the individuals who have taught me a lot about the real meaning of success, however in my next blog I will talk more about the reason for leaving this role for my current role.
I was in a very comfortable environment so why did I leave? Because that was the problem…
One thought on “(5) Life network”
I’m really grateful that a google search took me to your blog a year ago. It was very inspirational and I thought it might be a good idea to share my story so maybe others can see it as a comment? There’s definitely similarities to yours!
Like yourself I also graduated from a good University (Lancaster) and attained a 2.2. Many factors played a part in my performance (health mainly) and it was a horrible time. In the end I just wanted it over and done with and was pleased I tried my best, I even managed to get a 2.1 in my third year, but sadly being 1.5% off is still being off of a 2.1 overall.
I ended up going through a phase containing a strong lack of self belief. Prior to graduating, I had applied to a tonne of jobs and what felt like ‘wasted’ tedious amounts of time on their application processes. Something I have enjoyed is working at a summer camp for outdoor education, so I managed to get that job somewhere local for the summer.
Following my time at the summer camp, I attained a job offer with a firm called FDM. They have really poor ratings on glassdoor but part of me was desperate and wanted to believe I would be one of the few to have a good experience. Some things that were particularly bad about this place were that I would be under contract to be with them for 2 years. Furthermore, they also wanted me to specialise in a course that I was not particularly enthused by. I can code, but I really don’t enjoy it. 2 weeks before I was due to start the job, my mother had a sit down with me (she’s of a background in private investment and has practically been my mentor throughout my life so far). She understood that I really wanted to just start working and support myself financially etc. But the 2 year commitment they have is very unreasonable and you can never predict what your circumstance will be within those 2 years. I saw sense and declined the job.
Following no success, I decided to do some part time teaching in science and mathematics and as much as I enjoyed it (sometimes) I often found myself frustrated with the academic system as well it’s format and restrictions which teachers can’t do much about.
I then met a friend of a friend during a social gathering who worked in media. He asked a lot about me and ended up recommending me to his company, I got the job as a digital investment planner (sounds way cooler than it actually is). Regardless, it was a job without restrictions and my friend told me to go for it even if it’s not something I think I would enjoy. I took the leap, it was a good job, might not have paid well, but it was giving me the experience I desired. My only issue is I didn’t ‘click’ with my colleagues and this is factor that I believe demotivates a lot of working people. My lunches were often pretty lonesome and all the socials revolved around clubbing and drinking, which is definitely not my thing!
A consultancy called Grant Thornton recently emailed me asking if I would be interested in a position at their firm, I had applied to them last year. I wasn’t too keen on the position, but I didn’t know enough to be put off or anything, so thought ‘why not?’. Long story short, I got the job following an interview and the people seemed really welcoming. It also offers a proper qualifications to work towards and substantially higher pay and perks etc.
Things are really good and to be honest, since finishing university, my depression has been thrown out the window. I feel so good it’s unreal! I’m due to start my position as an auditing associate in 2 weeks.
I hope there aren’t too many errors in this post, unfortunately grammar and spelling isn’t my forté.