Sunday, February 07, 2016
Thirty-two years (or, is it time for a grown-up gap year?)
My partner calls me Rain Man because of my uncanny knack for remembering dates and doing mental arithmetic. One date that's never slipped my mind is 7 February as it's the anniversary of when I started my first full time job, at the age of 16, in 1984. (Not my choice. I would have preferred to finish school and go on to university, but that option wasn't on the table back then.) The job was a junior role in a chartered accounting firm in provincial New Zealand. Not exactly Bastards Incorporated – I still use that phrase to refer to the Sydney employer I worked for in 1991/2! – but not a very pleasant place to work. So today it's been 32 years since I started working there. Oh my goodness. I can happily report that I've had some much nicer jobs over the years and managed to gather several diverse university qualifications along the journey.
In an interesting twist, last week my current employer announced that it would be discarding several hundred staff over the next few months. Maybe my number is up. I've never really taken a break from the workforce so perhaps it's time to start pondering the idea of a grown-up gap year?