Go with your gut

go with your gutIn the aftermath of the whole ‘quitting the horroffice job with the horrible boss’ thing a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been replaying the whole thing.  As you do when you’re sitting at home contemplating which daytime TV programme will be the most entertaining and simultaneously least depressing.

And I think there’s a lesson to be learnt from the experience (the Horroffice one not the daytime TV one).

I remember three distinct stages to my learning curve.

  1. The initial job spec that my agency sent over.  I was less than enthused when  I read it.  To be fair, there hasn’t been a job spec I’ve ever jumped for joy over.  Because none of them have ever said “Job Title – Being Happy.  Boss – Me, myself and I.  Pay – Whatever you need to do stuff that makes you happy.”  I’m working on creating that job for myself.  Anyway, I digress.  So the job spec was full of the worst bits of number-crunching and none of the stuff that I quite like.  The company wasn’t particularly exciting either.  So my gut feel was to say no.  But I’d been out of a contract for almost five months and funds were running low.  I agreed to be put forward for the role.
  2. The interview.  When I turned up for the interview, I felt like I’d travelled back in time.  It was the most depressing office I’d been to – my initial impression was a cross between a seventies sweat shop and a 19th century gaol.  Bars across the windows (seriously!), nasty teak effect desks and squeaky chairs, sludge coloured walls and sticky carpets with swirl effects.  The people there looked pale, everyone was silent and there was a palpable air of misery.  The interview itself went fine, but I felt like I was interviewing my boss rather than the other way around.  And nothing in that forty-minutes made me hope I’d got the job.  My gut feel was that I never wanted to be back here again.
  3. The first day.  I got the offer, and because I was scared of running out of funds I took the job.  On the first day there I wanted to leg it.  My impression from the interview was confirmed.  There was a lock on the ladies loo.  A lock!  Why did the ladies loo need a lock?  That’s just one example of the kind of stuff that terrified the crap out of me.  At the end of the day one of the girls there asked me, half-jokingly, half-seriously whether I was going to come back tomorrow.   I wanted to tell her it was debatable.  My gut was telling me to get outta there.  I didn’t.  I kept going back.  Until the evening of the Horrible boss and ‘that conversation’ (read about it here – http://www.heenapattni.com/just-say/).

Here’s the lesson I’m choosing to take from it.  Trust your gut.  Always.  It’s never wrong.  It wasn’t wrong for me when I read the job spec.  It wasn’t wrong at the interview.  It wasn’t wrong on the first day.  And it wasn’t wrong when I finally listened and quit.  It’s not wrong now when it’s saying “stay calm, Heena.  You’ll be ok.  The right thing is coming.  I’ll give you a heads up when it’s here.  Chill”.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten something useful from that experience and time – it’s given me some great material for this blog, for which I’m very grateful.  And it’s got me listening to and trusting my gut instinct again.  If you’re ever unsure of your next step, here’s my advice, for what its worth.  Stop.  Take a minute.  Breathe.  And then go with your gut.

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