Road Trip to Leicester: Reflection on idealism and work

money

It’s funny that the last time I was in Leicester I was young and idealistic.

I was full of hopes and dreams.

I was going to change the world.

I was naive.

Leaving Leicester

I left Leicester after my graduate placement failed to materialise with a permanent contract.  I should have realised then that working ‘really, really hard’ meant nothing – you couldn’t change the world around you, you had to adapt to what it throws at you.

All I had left was a broken down bike and substantial amounts of debt, which had been built up on the hope that ‘tomorrow’ I would be paid more.

But that never materialised.  But nevermind I had ‘industry experience’ and I was going to get a good job.

But I never counted that due to the recession there were professionals with 5+ years experience going for the same entry level jobs.

Because I had been inflexible and unable to adapt to my situation I was unemployed for a long time.  It took me a few months to realise I was not as in demand as I thought, so I had to adapt – my priority was to clear my debt and start a fresh.

The next job

It did not matter what the job was as long as my incoming wage was larger than my expenditure.  And soon I got a job in a library, which was a unique experience as I was then only member of staff with a masters degree.

business man wearing glasses reading a book

Sometimes it was difficult when I got patronised how to carry out the most simple task – such as removing books that had not been taken out for a year.  There was one woman in particular who did the same role, but because she had done the same job for the last 15 years thought she was my boss.

“Just wait” I thought “You’ll be following me in no time”.

Back to Leicester

Returning to Leicester brought a mix of emotions, at the beginning it was a place of opportunity, a new beginning.  By the end it spat me out – I was penniless, jobless and I had been screwed over by a scummy landlord.

Leicester did not need me – there was no future for me there.

It was also ironic that I was driving to Leicester, to say three years ago I was huge on my environmental beliefs and I thought anyone interested in the environment who drove a car was a huge hypocrit.

‘I was never going to drive’ I said.  I spouted all the dogma that I had been brainwashed with.  It took years for me to realise that shouting out the same tired statements would not do anything.  It’s the truely innovative – the engineers and the entreprenuers who would really bring change.

Reflection

It was great to catchup with my old manager.  He made me realise a lot of things about my past here:

I did not miss the job

I did not miss Leicester

I missed working with my manager – he was a great guy and a pleasure to work with.  He gave me opportunity to prove myself and would not make me feel bad when I failed.

He has been a major influence for the type of manager I would be – if I ever get to manage someone.

Reflecting in general – I know a lot more about myself from living in Leicester.

  1. It displayed my ability to do things on my own.
  2. I learned the importance of being flexible and changing with your environment
  3. No matter how much you want something, it doesn’t always happen – sometimes you end up finding something better.

Don’t be broken up about the failures in life, learn from it and move on.

 

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