In my career I have had some pretty “challenging” jobs. At twenty-one I was a section manager for an unemployment benefits office, where key skills included ducking flying objects, rapid calls to the police, strategic use of air fresheners, and counselling, coaching and support. There were definitely days when I didn’t get up full of joy at the prospect of going to work, (like the time when the post office lost a whole postbag full of giros) when the workloads were excessive, and my team were down by three or more staff, but I still got a lot out of it.
That job gave me the self-belief that I could lead a team and get the work done against the odds. I also saw some amazing success stories: coaching unemployed people into work and starting new businesses, encouraging and supporting staff to develop in their roles, gain promotions or find new opportunities to flourish. There was a sense that you were helping people. My team did everything they could to get the right benefits to clients on time and assist them in getting back to work. I trained my staff on the principle that if “someone’s benefits don’t seem right, they’re wrong”, believing that it’s hard to focus on finding a job when you don’t know how to feed your family that day. It wasn’t anybody’s idea of a dream job, but I worked with some great people, we had a fantastic team, and we were doing good work.
This was the beginning of a “harlequin CV” with jobs in estate agency, pharmaceutical sales, medtech, home care and market access. Not every job has been perfect, but I have learnt something from each one, even if it’s how to spot the job you shouldn’t apply for.
Figures are being quoted of 4,000 or more pharmaceutical sales specialists being made redundant nationally. I’ve been there, hearing the word “restructuring”, and being part of a team where the company decides to stop promoting a product. It is stressful, exhausting and worrying, but from personal experience I can honestly say that in a few months or a year, people in this position may look back on this time as a turning point. Finding a new direction to a job/career/business of their dreams.
On Monday mornings I am happy to go to work, I genuinely love what I do, and my wish for everyone right now is that, even if this time is rough, the next step in their careers is the one that they love.