Je ne regrette rien… (or do I ?)

“Je ne regrette rien…”, Edith Piaf famously sang. What it must be to be without regret! We’ve all, at some stage of our lives, regretted actions we’ve taken, wondered “what if..?” about the alternative to a decision we made, or perhaps looked longingly over our shoulders at something that once was. Hindsight is frequently beneficial.

Take this blog for instance; I once wrote a post that was misread or misinterpreted, and this caused a lot of ill-feeling. Hindsight and reflection enabled me to amend the blog to better reflect my thoughts on the issue concerned (hopefully in a less contentious manner!), but is hindsight always beneficial?      

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In late 2016, having moved from a job due to threat of redundancy, I was soon seeking another alternative as the move had proven to be a poor one for many reasons. Just as the initial rush of phone calls from recruiters was slowing, one called me about a job; Better paid, closer to home and convenient for transport links. I applied successfully and started shortly thereafter. 

Fast forward through three happy years, and I found myself amongst colleagues who had become friends and with a job I enjoyed immensely. My role and responsibilities had evolved; I felt comfortable in my work whilst being sufficiently challenged, felt valued and respected, and that I made a positive difference to my company and my colleagues. I genuinely looked forward to coming to work every day. It wasn’t without occasional friction, but nothing I didn’t relish tackling. Working hard with people who I respected and who respected me too. Then things changed.

In 2019, the loss of one client’s business saw our Bristol office closing. Whilst a few people were sadly made redundant, many colleagues were thankfully able to transfer to where the client had taken their business.  I and some immediate colleagues remained with the company however, working from home.

During my time with the company, my role had evolved considerably as mentioned above. Taken on as a software tester, I had become the IT all-round support for our Bristol office and provided project work and business analysis support to my line manager amongst other things. I’d been busy making myself indispensable! Going from frequently bustling around the office assisting people at their desks, as well as working at my own, to being sat on my laptop at home, it became immediately apparent just how much my role had changed. Colleagues in related functions elsewhere in the company, subject to a lot of changes and increasing insecurity themselves, suddenly became very parochial about their areas of responsibility that I assisted with, and hyper-critical of my contributions. My skillset and job remit were both becoming increasingly diluted and confused. I still had things to do, but simply was not as busy nor as challenged. Despite lingering regard for the company, I sought another job and was successful in late summer 2019.

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That was what was.

The job I moved to in September 2019 is with a progressive company, working with great tech and nice people. My role and responsibilities have been refocussed back onto software/app testing, and what I’m working on is new to the company and changing, as are the personnel working on it. Uncertainty ahead is largely down to the matter at hand being a new product with a shifting roadmap for the company’s production thereof, rather than a lack of financial stability or an uncertain client base. My salary saw a reasonable increase as well. I’m enjoying it…but there’s a certain something that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes me uncertain it’s what I want, and I may well look to move on.

Most of us will have seen something we enjoy come to an end. A favourite TV show reaching the end of its run, getting to the end of a good book, an enjoyable holiday, and so on. It’s only natural to wish it wasn’t over. So it is with my old job. I enjoy where I am, but I do spend far too much time wistfully thinking about my old role! My previous post on this blog spoke of leaving that job as it came to an end. It was written at the time and was probably far more objective about the practicalities of why I moved on. Erstwhile colleagues who were reassigned to work from home like I was have been made redundant, so from a purely practical point of view, it has been a good move.

For those reading this that haven’t read the previous post it’s HERE, but to quote the last paragraph:

Whilst it’s true that I had colleagues I valued, the environment, workload and many other things changed quite profoundly…whilst I will miss my colleagues past & present, and think fondly of how the job was, I haven’t left a job I love. Not anymore anyway. I’ll remember it fondly, will smile when I pass the building I used to work in, and enjoy the memories…but I won’t regret leaving.

from “The end of the Amber Road “, the previous post on this blog.

That hindsight I looked for the benefit of…I think in this instance it’s not been quite so beneficial! In this case it’s fuelled missing a job I enjoyed, but I retain sufficient objectivity to know that’s “heart ruling head” and that it’s the people and a enjoying their company I REALLY miss. It was a great job with great people, but I’ve moved on. Whether where I’ve moved on to is the best thing remains to be seen. More “Je ne sais quoi” rather than “Je ne regret rien”!