So I have a work dilemma, kind of.
I guess it's a career dilemma but I don't like talking about 'my career'. It sounds like I'm about to throw you under a bus (metaphorically speaking*) in a cutthroat office environment, and I'm not even sorry because I have to think about my career...
And before you suggest I'm uncomfortable with the term career because I associate it with men and I don't think I deserve a man's success, that's not it.
Some of my friends who are girls (that's most of them) definitely have 'careers'. I wouldn't blink if they talked to me about their plans 'to progress their career', or making decisions based on what's best for their career.
I just don't like the idea of it for myself. I'd rather concentrate on each job as it comes, and obviously I know that doing well in each job will have a positive effect on Future Me, but I've never made plans and so far it's worked out very well.
When you make a plan for the future, you commit to one option, out of literally thousands. Moving to Paris was a plan I made about ten months in advance, maybe a year in advance. But imagine if I'd planned to leave Paris after my first year as an au pair?
So, at the moment this is completely theoretical as I haven't got a new job yet. But I had an interview last week and it went really well. They want to take me out for a drink next week to see what I'm like as a person in a non-interview situation. (Although obviously I will be treating it like an interview, don't worry, I won't get drunk and start talking about how I don't think of myself as a Career Person.)
Amy, who works in recruitment now (after hating it at first, she's now realised she's exceptionally good at it, as she's a refreshingly lovely person in a world filled with aggressive, impersonal recruiters) said people only ask candidates for drinks when they're pretty keen to hire you.
The people I met in my interview seem really nice, and they are kind of desperate for a copywriter. It would be a really good opportunity for me to come in and play a huge part in them winning new pitches and selling in new ideas to their existing clients.
It's also quite a bit more money. I'm not obsessed with money, but it would be nice to jump my salary up, because - well, because it's always nice to have more money for trips away/theatre tickets/paying off debts etc.
If I get offered the job, my only reservation would be that my current agency would be left in a really shitty position. We're in the middle of a massive project, and I've done most of the copy for it already, but I guess they'd like me to see it through and the client has gotten to know me as the copywriter.
The project itself is great, and I should be really excited about it. But...
I don't know.
I've been working on the same client for three and a half years. I'm bored and nothing ever changes. Also, a few months ago, my manager told me I was bad at presenting and that there was 'a negative opinion of me' (she gave no context and no examples). At the time I'd never really presented to anyone, and I thought I got on with everyone, so it was a really weird thing to say. Since then, our boss (as in the boss who rules over all of us, including all the managers), asked me to present to the client and I think I've proved I'm really good at it. (I did Drama at uni for three years and taught in Paris, so if I'm not good at presenting what the fuck have I been doing for most of my life?)
But it doesn't make me think 'wow I've finally proved her wrong'. I just think 'what a ridiculous way to manage people'. I hope in the future she doesn't write people off so quickly and also that she doesn't give people personal feedback, as it really upset me and knocked my confidence.
So it's all going well at the moment, but I was SO miserable a few months ago, and things have gone well before and then we'll have a lull. When I'm not doing projects with our Big Boss, or other teams within the agency, I'm back to doing the same old shit I've been doing for three years. And it's hard to go back and forth between being involved in strategy, and presenting, to then have everyone discussing my copy without me in the room, and not listening to me when I try to voice my opinion.
It's just so weird how it gets really good and really bad again, and this job has come up and they said in my interview that the recruiter called me 'a real gem' and they agreed with him.
So in terms of my ego being boosted, it was a great interview. I feel like at this new agency I would have the chance to be myself, and I'd have permission to be my best self all the time (yeah, I use 'my best self' quite a lot now, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes in earnest).
And also, not that I care about having a career, but if I did, this would be like taking the next step.
Is it crazy to leave in the middle of a big project? Is it frowned upon? Is it bad karma? Am I being a horrible person?
I need answers. I'm seriously considering writing in to a newspaper agony aunt or something, as all my friends obviously think I'm a nice person. But what if a complete stranger looks at this objectively and says 'That would be the move of a dickhead'?
I don't know.
This is why it's best not to have a career.
*To any of my non-English readers (it could well be just me and Amy reading Left Bank Manc at this point, but you never know, an Austrian girl Googling 'au pair life' might stumble across my blog and so this note is for her): 'to throw one under a bus' is a great phrase. I won't explain what it means as then I'd have to explain every colloquial phrase I've ever used, or worse, every turn of phrase I've completely made up. (I know what you're thinking: She's just like Shakespeare. It's about time somebody made that comparison, thank you.)