Forty Years a Twelfth Spy


Forty years ago this month, I began working in what is still my current job. Thirteen years into this job, I strained at the leash and trained to become a teacher. I did not, however, change my occupation. Similar diversions enticed me in 2001, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2013. On all these occasions I studied and gained new qualifications always with the plan to reinvent my work-self. As recently as two years ago, I took a Master’s level education assessment certificate with the noble idea of reshaping education in the Travel & Tourism sector. A great thought at the time, but the pandemic struck a few months later and ended my activities in education and travel in a Wuhan flash.

I cannot say I was bereft, but I was left with a packed CV, a small mountain of certificates and regrets about not changing my work when I had the chances. When we are young, we aim to not have future regrets and here I was, in the future, with regrets. But that was then and this will be now.

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This will be now…

because in a few days I will be starting a new job. It will be very different to what I’m used to as I’ll have to commute to an office where I won’t be the boss, won’t have control over our marketing and the accounts. I’ll be the new employee!

That my work-life has lasted exactly forty years is rather haunting. The fact that I experimented with alternative paths but then reverted to the original one is telling and I wonder if not taking these leaps of faith was laziness or fear of the unknown, it’s probably a combination. However, this no longer matters because I can wrap these feelings up in a ball that I shall call Pre-Birth, or as they probably say in Latin; Prenato, and roll it into the corner for the cat to play with.

Format and Re-brand

What will happen in a few days will be my occupational re-birth i.e. Re-nato (yes, it’s true) and like everyone on the edge of a new venture shall feel the heady mix of trepidation and excitement. The job itself is something I am looking forward to. Perhaps ironically, I shall be helping people find work and to deal with their other life challenges. What plays on my mind, however, is that by becoming an employee, my personal and work identities will become disconnected, de-branded even. In my previous guises as a travel business owner and freelance coach/lecturer/teacher/assessor and blogger, I was what I did and was always aware that I had to be ‘on-brand’ because every action whether in the flesh or online was part of the larger process that needed a favourable representation.

This does not necessarily mean I intend this blog to go super rogue, but it might allow me to go off-piste more often

. See you on the other side.

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