Belt and Braces

The trouble with the legal sector is that even in this modern age, most people conjure to mind a stuffy belt and braces type with a penchant for pocket watches sat behind a monstrosity of a desk, on top of which lurk an avalanche of title deeds that wouldn’t look dissimilar to the artefacts Indiana Jones would unearth on some dubious crusade.

But thankfully whilst some service providers will cling to the old school as though grasping their mother’s apron strings, there are other renegades that see beyond the Latin and ribbon tied Briefs to Counsel.    In that sense I reckon I could be considered an innovator, as while everyone around me rocked pin stripes I donned Spiderman rings and neon bird cage earrings – what can I say, I was ahead of my time!

But all too often, I felt stifled by certain establishments.  Like Melanie Griffiths’ Working Girl I had a head for business and a body for sin….alright maybe not.  In the interests of full disclosure my arthritic bones are ready for the scrapheap, but a girl can dream of possessing a derriere like Beyonce together with a little accompanying ‘hot sauce in my bag swag’!  What does she even mean by that?!  It makes me think of those dinky little individual servings of ketchup I always throw to the bottom of my bag, never to be seen again until I can’t find my keys and am guaranteed to burst one.

All too often we idle for a while, languishing in the mundane, putting off the inevitable until subconsciously we know, just as the Littlest Hobo did, it’s time to move on.  Because we acknowledge that despite relegating ourselves to the unenviable rank of the rookie (or newbie if you prefer), such short-term plight is a drop in the ocean.  With bated breath you attend the mandatory induction days, laminated name badge pinned to your breast like a cheap travelling salesman.  Why can’t we swap the obligatory “hi, my name’s Tracey and I’m an alcoholic” for something a little less tedious.  I once said just that.  It did NOT go down well.  Talk about a tough crowd!  I got sidelong glances all afternoon as though they were trying to spot where exactly I was concealing a 4 pack of special brew.  How about getting to know your colleagues whilst pitching your wits over a classic games-fest of Guess Who, Connect 4 and Cluedo!

Let’s face it, we’d all love to be the Wolf of Wall Street, well maybe minus the narcotics – I couldn’t even manage to finish a single cigarette as a teen!  Thanks to my asthmatic lungs I took one drag and sounded as though I were a 90 year old with emphysema and a 40 a day habit.  Class A drugs aside, it’d be nice to flash the cash like old Wolfie and buy yachts and mansions not to mention having Margot Robbie draped over my arm.

Just as Jerry Maguire shouted “show me the money!” so too we expect to see a monetary exchange for our efforts.  But feeling valued encompasses much more than what ends up in your bank at the end of the month.  How else do you explain the exceptionally high turnover of staff some companies have when compared to others.

There’s a lesson to be learned from Dolly Parton’s horn honking, foot tapping 9 to 5.  No one wants to work somewhere you feel your boss is secretly Dr Claw from Inspector Gadget; next time Gadget, next time!  We want an employer that sees beyond the veiled payroll number and recognises the multi-tasking champion beneath.

It takes more than just willing that elusive bubble in the spirit level to even out to ensure your work/life balance is spot on.  Whether you’ve mini people to look after or not, being an adult in today’s climate is a daunting prospect.  There are landlords and lenders all too willing to pull the rug from under your feet, not to mention energy providers who sit around wondering how many extra zeros they can add onto the price for boiling a kettle!  Instead of waiting for and relying on an employer to see something in you, see it in yourself first and foremost.

Just as you would in any relationship whether intimate, platonic or business, if it’s beginning to turn toxic, get out while the going’s good.  You wouldn’t accept second best in your personal life so why should you in your professional capacity?!  That’d be on par with choosing a Rustlers microwave burger over a steak.

Because finding the right employer is like finding the right man, once you know you’ve hooked them, hide the crazy along with the keys and cover the escape route.

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