I have a dear friend – H – who came to Glasgow to become a student more years ago than either she or I would care to admit. H got her degree and stayed. Over the intervening period she has progressed through her profession to the point where she is in a management role. But H was not happy. Why? She undertook her education and took a job in her chosen field because that is what she wanted to do, not to be a manager. Her current job was taking her further from her desired role. In my engineering role it is the difference between being a Group Head in charge of a team of engineers and a Technical Specialist being an acknowledged expert in a particular area.
And then in late February following a “bad day at the office” she enrolled with an on-line vacancy service. Within a day her dream job was advertised. She considered whether to apply. It was in London. What would happen to her network of friends that has developed whilst in Glasgow. Apply or not to apply – well she applied.
In early April she was invited to an interview. I had the privilege of travelling to London with her. We headed south the night before on the sleeper into Euston. ScotRail were having a special offer for Advance Members that had a return single berth for £99 per person. H had taken advantage of this a few weeks earlier on her fact finding trip to London with a mutual friend.
After leaving the train and having breakfast, H arrived early for the interview. She heard the previous candidate responding to their final question whilst waiting to be called. I headed to a local Waterstones with a Costa Coffee shop close to the Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC), which I visit on a regular basis. After the interview H and I met up and were joined with a friend of mine who works in London for lunch in an Italian in The Strand.
During the afternoon, H was considering whether or not she was successful. She was unsure and felt that other probably had a better chance. So as not let it prey on her mind, we undertook some sightseeing. It was a pleasant afternoon in the sun.
Apart from the day trip three weeks earlier, H had never been to London apart for a one or two trips to the Horse of the Year show at Olympia many years ago. I have been quite a few times on business trips, however apart for a day in July 1989 and another in December 2003, my only sightseeing trip to London had been with my parents and the elder of my two sisters in June 1972.
Crossing the Thames at the Hungerford bridge, we walked from the London Eye to Tate Modern. One of the sights we saw was this sand sculpture.
An afternoon snack at Tate Modern before going onto the Millenium (wobbly) bridge. It was the first H had seen of St Pauls Cathedral from the bridge, so she took a picture. We gave St Pauls a miss – read on to see if she will see it again.
Back to the South Bank, we walked back to the London Eye. Although I had been on the London Eye before, I had never been on it whilst the sun was setting. As it was still some time to sunset, we crossed the Thames at Westminster Bridge, had a look a Westminster Abbey, but had missed Evensong (next time maybe). Crossing the river again at Lambeth Bridge we reached the London Eye as sunset approached.
After our trip on the London Eye, we headed to The Strand for an evening meal before returning to Euston for the overnight train home.
Sitting in her home the following morning having got back from the train, having a tea/coffee, H was not confident she had done well when the phone rang. The job was hers. Well done H.
Now a month on all the necessary checks have been done by her future employers, and the appointment has been confirmed, and she is now composing her notice for her current job.
I have a business trip to the InstMC in a week or so. H will be travelling with me, so whilst I am attending my meeting, she is going to make a start looking for areas to live. We should have a few hours before and after my meeting to visit potential areas. Several friends (of both of us) have suggested areas to look at. I will be in London again in early June, and again at InstMC. By this trip she is hoping to have some properties to look at. I am honoured that she trusts me and appreciates my views whilst she is make this life change.
However back to her new job. It is a job her current employers have been considering about for a few years. As development role she has been doing it in addition to her substantive post. However this is not ideal as she was unable to do it justice, and her current employers did not see the point of creating the post when it was being done. Well now she is leaving they are considering creating the post. Will H apply for it if it is created? Probably, and with the advantage of having been away and done the job elsewhere and being the first incumbent in a new post. This is probably 12 to 18 months away.
As a friend of her for more years than I am going to admit, I hope to visit her at every opportunity when my work takes me that way, and especially for her significant birthday later her year.
Anyway more on H, the new chapter in her career and life in future postings.