Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The CV I never submitted

Old age encourages me to hand out advice but I’m really not entitled. Take my employment record in journalism. I started work in 1951 and except for two years’ National Service I didn’t change jobs until 1959. Thereafter, until I retired in 1995, I had thirteen jobs, one of them three times.

Until 1972 I didn’t take what I did seriously. Until 1975 when I became an editor I accepted no responsibility. If I fancied a change of job I took it. After six years in newspapers I worked on magazines dealing with: cycling, hi-fi, civil engineering, motorcycling, logistics (first time), instrumentation, production engineering, data processing, general technology, logistics (second time), institutional catering, metal fabrication, logistics (third time).

Moving to the USA didn’t hamper my wanderlust. In six years there I had four jobs. Only in my final job (Logistics, third time), which lasted eleven years, did the various things I’d learnt come together allowing me to say I’d become professional.

Despite this ebb and flow, and a couple of exceptions, I enjoyed myself enormously. And that in itself is shocking. I made no attempt to learn from my enjoyment; I continued to move via whim rather than planned advancement.

What conclusions? Mainly that I was extremely lucky. I chose a line of business where academic qualifications weren’t required and to some degree one lived by one’s wits. In the final decade I saw that “characters” were sellable and decided to turn myself into one. I suppose it worked but there are risks. The Ancient Mariner was a character and I’m not yet convinced I’ve out-distanced him. In the seventeenth century my ancestral prototypes are to be found in several Shakespeare plays, usually called Fool.