Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Blog Every Day in May - Blog 28 - Bad advice

Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I've struggled to think of a specific piece of bad advice I've had, partly because the people around me are quite sensible and rarely give advice, but if they do it's worth listening to, and partly because if it was that bad I'd probably just ignore it and forget about it. 

The worst advice I can remember being given was by a recruitment agent. Clearly now I wouldn't take advice from someone with such a vested interest in my decision, but I was young and naive back then. 

I'd started job hunting and one of the recruitment agencies told me about a great opportunity at a local firm who were well known for the quality of training they provided, and that it would be a great move for me. Taking them at their word, I went for an interview, was offered the job and accepted. 

It soon became abundantly clear that I'd made a horrible mistake. It was like I'd gone back in time. For the first time in my career there were some clients I wasn't allowed to work on as they wouldn't have a woman on site. I was also treated like a first year trainee, despite having five years of experience, as I wasn't following their chosen training route. I spent a lot of time bored and stuck in the office, which was made worse by the fact that no-one talked in the office!

I made myself a pledge that I'd stick it out for a year, but in the end I only managed nine months. I decided that although it might raise questions about lack of commitment, one short spell of employment on my CV would do less harm than spending more time in a job where I was de-skilling on a daily basis. Luckily I found another job fairly quickly. I still remember how one of the partners wouldn't even look at me after I resigned, let alone speak to me. I was so pleased to be leaving that I really didn't care. I had a renewed spring in my step, which must have annoyed them as they only held me to half of my notice period. I still remember literally skipping down the road to my car after I'd cleared my desk. At least it made for a good tale to tell in interviews!

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