People are always telling me this....one day I'll get away with it.
An ex boyfriend of mine once reliably informed me that if you are stuck out in the cold and need to share body heat to get warm then you do...in fact...need to be completely naked for it to work efficiently. This was after he'd taken me to the country park at midnight and stolen my bus pass.....I'm not sure what he was hoping to achieve, we'd only been seeing each other a week.
Minor catch-up in the life of Becki....everything is going simply swimmingly at the moment! Close friends will know that things at work are picking up! I've been in my role of 'Operations Officer/Estates and Laboratory Management Team Member' for about 3 years now. When I asked about the chance of progression at my interview (having reassured Bruce that I wasn't after his job) I was faced with much umming and ahhing and told that there are no definite lines of progression. I didn't really mind this too much at the time, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or how long I would stay, so I was just happy to take the job and figure it out from there.
Turns out that UCL sucks you in, it sucks you in and never spits you out. There are people I work with who studied for their BSc's here and never left, they've been a round for nigh on 40 years! I admire that kind of dedication, and if you're enjoying your job then it's fantastic, but after a while you do tend to fall into one of 3 categories:
1) Happy but stagnating
2) Stagnating and institutionalised
3) Flexible and happy
Some people are happy to continue doing the job they're doing forever and that's cool. Some people are resigned to the fact that they have been and will be doing the same job forever, but have been here so long that the thought of getting a job elsewhere is too much effort, or far too scary. And (I know, never start a sentence with an 'and', I'm a rule breaker, get over it), some people have the balance, a place like UCL changes over time, you've gotta move with the times instead of standing stubbornly in the past. UCL is proud of it's past, but as Darwin knew, evolution is inevitable, evolve or die. Some people (the minority and usually the ones who don't take themselves too seriously) can do this. My lovely Lindar is one of them...technician/reasearch assistant.....admin/estates...immunohistochemist, and she's still very happy, will be happier soon, but I'll leave that there for now.
I was in danger of becoming a number 1) *snort*, I think. I very much enjoy my job, the people around me make it for me, I was happy pootling along doing my thang. I like to think that at some point I'd have woken up and thought 'hang on, where did the last ten years go?' but this place sings you a lullaby and it can be 30 years before you know it!
Anyway, recently things have been changing a bit, I've been taken under a wing so to speak, there is exciting training coming up which will adorn me with a qualification that I can take anywhere I like, I'm being mentored and all of a sudden there are 'meetings'. What are they, pray tell?
Climbing the greasy pole is a bit of a mixed blessing I think I'll find, the higher up you get, the less friends you can afford to have. I had a meeting with a gentleman quite high up in Estates recently and he asked me where I want to take my career, and I was quite honest when I said, 'I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was 15 and they sat me down to fill in a silly quiz which promised to tell me excatly what I should do when I grew up, and I don't really know now, but at the moment this feels right to me and we'll see where it takes me'. I'm still young, and if I find that this isn't for me then that's fine, there will be plenty of other opportunities.
In case you were wondering, that quiz told me I was best suited to being a Fish Farmer.