In reviewing 2017, the first thing I did was look back on what I wrote for 2016.
That actually gave me a positive that has shed an unexpected light on my last 12 months, because they weren’t half as bad as the dark places that I found myself in during the previous 12.
I’ve fully intended on writing this post for a good long while so I’ve been thinking about how it was going to be constructed. I was keen to put the good points in as well as the disappointing ones, because there are parts of the year I have enjoyed, not least the fact that I went on two holidays in a year for the first time ever and went on my first summer holiday for around 2 decades.
However, my year has been dominated by the events of 5th January, when I was told that I’d be losing my job. The whole debacle has been a mess. The paperwork that makes it legal has still not been completed by my employer despite it being a 10 day process. They asked me to stay until the end of this year in March and, at the time of writing, I think I’m still staying for another year.
The hardest thing about thinking that you’re losing your job is uncertainty. With me, this is a particularly big problem because even at the age of 34, I’ve never really had a job interview that has resulted in me getting a job. I’ve had two interviews at my current employer, but I joined by accident when my temporary job in HR was made permanent. My first “real” job there had a two question interview – “do you know what SAP is?” (I didn’t really) and, “can you drive?” The second two part interview had one part dominated by questions about football. The four I’ve had with other companies have all been unsuccessful.
I approach most things with confidence, but results in most aspects of my life where I have to sell myself as being a good option typically end in failure. Narrow failure, but failure nonetheless and that isn’t remedied by however many tales I hear of people saying that redundancy is the best thing that ever happened to them or whichever cliche about doors opening and closing and everything happening for a reason dares to be ventured.
The effect of the uncertainty on me has been a drop in motivation rather than anything else. I’ve felt undervalued, and the impact of that is that I haven’t really pushed myself beyond the call of duty. I get in to work somewhere around 9 o’clock, but I’m not too bothered if it’s a bit later. I’ll leave when it’s not worth me starting something else or 5 o’clock, whichever is earlier.
It’s allowed me to set my own objectives. The company I work for are very big in to “Management By Objectives”, or MBOs. They’re measurable metrics that determine whether you get a bonus and / or get sacked and they focus on the end result rather than how it’s achieved. Already having my future sorted, though, and leaving, has meant that my MBOs or my boss’ have not meant a great deal to me. Of course I work to a certain level of professional pride but within that I determine what’s important.
I treat the work world separately to what I call real world. I’ve had people in my life in the past who have pushed the boundaries of self being the most important thing towards self being the only important thing and I don’t want to be that person.
Workwise though, that’s the attitude that I’m going to take in to 2018, to value myself even if the company doesn’t.
Away from work, as I said earlier, it doesn’t seem so easy to talk about 2017 somehow. I’ve enjoyed it without anything out of the ordinary happening. It’s been regular and normal and probably what I needed after 2016. I don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions because I think it gives a certain unnecessary emphasis to what is a fairly arbitrary point in time for deciding to do stuff better, so all I’m going to say looking forward personally is that I want to carry on having fun.
I hope that your 2017 has been everything that you wanted it to be and that you’ve managed to learn something along the way. Here’s to 2018. I wish you all the best.