Listless in Sydney

For the entire week, I have found myself in a state of indifference.  And I need to snap out of it, fast.

Granted, it was a short week, punctuated by a public holiday on Wednesday in the form of ANZAC Day, and the weather has been cold and mostly miserable, but there must be something more than just a short week and bad weather that made me feel so blasé about work.

I’m putting it down to a number of things:

* I’m really bored by what I’m doing at work.  I’ve been doing the same thing for nearly 12 months now (well and truly outlasting the original intended 6 week assignment) and it’s become mind-numbingly mundane.  And for the past few weeks, since the team restructure at the client site took place, I’ve been relegated to the really, really, really boring stuff.

* I’m a bit annoyed with the seemingly lack of direction as far as my career progression is concerned.  For almost 12 months, I had expressed a desire to work on bigger and more complex projects and learn more skills to undertake these projects, whilst at the same time I’d also expressed a desire to work in another branch office (namely Melbourne) if an opportunity was to arise.  I managed to land my current project 12 months ago, but the project now sees me as more an admin person than a project manager, and there are currently no other projects for me to move to.  I told my manager of my desire to start a Masters degree, and all I got back was “duly noted – we are neither encouraging nor discouraging you from post grad studies, but know that it is duly noted that you have mentioned it to us”.   As for working in Melbourne, they recently hired someone else and it’s not looking like I’ll ever get the chance to work in Victoria.

I’ve bided my time with this company, having started in November 2004 working for a terrific lady who has great mentoring and leadership skills.  I came on board bcause she said at the time that she was more than happy and willing to promote me into the realm of business consulting.  I learnt the business from the ground up, and looked forward to moving into the projects sphere.  But now, two and a half years later, after one seemingly perfunctory promotion and one major project under my belt, it appears I’ve reached my glass ceiling, looking at my managers scratching their heads wondering what to do with me.

Do I wait and see if they will promote me to a higher position and another major project, and if so, how long should I stick around to see if they will do that?  Or should I just pack my bags and ride off into the sunset?

There is another reason for my complete lack of interest in work.  After extensive research, I can now definitively squash my dreams of working in the UK.  Unless I marry a Pom, there is simply no other way to work in the UK.  Everything I read told me I was too old, too under and uneducated, too late.  So disappointed was I that I cried myself to sleep on Sunday night when I finally slammed shut my laptop after reading the final article.  I guess my disappointment in being forced into giving up and letting go of my dream of 15 years spilled over into my work life more than I expected it would.

As I read one article after another, none of which gave me any good news about my prospects of gaining the proper visas to work in the UK, so many what ifs played out in my head.  What if I had just packed my bags and left when I had the chance at the age of 25?  What if Dad had enough foresight to not give up our Hong Kong citizenship before 1997?  What if I had been working for different people earlier in my working life?  What if I had completed my uni degree earlier?  What if I had chosen a different discipline at uni?  What if, what if, what if …  I hate playing the What If game – I always lose.

I subjected a good friend of mine to the above whinge on Tuesday night, and he came up with a few solutions for me (no more excuses, he said – the only way forward is to find solutions):

* Look for another job.  Keep working now but look for something else.
* If this industry is not what I want to be involved in, be prepared to start again – starting again isn’t so bad.
* Stop playing the What If game and focusing on the past – start looking forward again.
* When I mentioned I’d be interested in writing some movie reviews and book reviews, he suggested I should write to a few people and offer to write articles for them for free.

I’m working on the above.  I’ve already approached another company to suss out potential opportunities.  So far so good.  More to come about that next week.

And I’ve started a couple of articles, plus I’ve resumed work on my novel.  Slowly getting there.

I think I’m getting my mojo back.  I’m looking forward to a better week next week.

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