Written by Bob Howard-Spink
Now I am all about looking forward in life …doing new things …never too late to change and all that.
Dwelling on the past certainly wouldn’t be seen as recommended practice by yours truly. But it seems I’ve had a bit of an epiphany moment or maybe an accumulation of meta-epiphany moments.
The first one was last year when I came across the now empty offices of Golden Wonder. Stood there I remember thinking about my life – “what memories of my ’79 to ’91 'career golden years' must live on between those walls!” – and then I wistfully moved on to Starbuck’s.
A second moment came when on a Google Earth hosted nostalgia trip to my old school – yes there was the prison ..and Hammersmith Hospital …but why couldn’t I see the school? I was shocked when I subsequently discovered that “Danes” had been demolished and relocated 20 years ago.
And now recently a third moment – I learnt from a former Kraft Foods colleague that the old firm are vacating St Georges House in Cheltenham.
This one seems to upset me most. Probably because my life changed here. St Georges House is where I initially made it in my 2nd career in sales. Office + Secretary + Ford Granada with parking space were the trophies that marked my rapid ascent to HO Senior Management from a speculative beginning as a territory salesman in 1972.
And yes – maybe because I also had this fanciful idea of dropping in there one day. Of being welcomed like a returning hero. Checking out my old office and seeing whether Dave Parry had ever managed to get an enclosing glass wall and door across his alcove – management had it removed – only senior managers were allowed a walled office!
So I am a bit disappointed to know that these special places from a life past are no more.
But I feel more for my former colleagues who made these places their career homes for life – they are very sad.
They talk about the weekly reunion and “keeping it going” with mates they’d work with for 20, 30 40 years. And it’s probably hard if not impossible for them to understand why I should feel happier, because in my life I switched jobs and careers several times.
For me – and I think for more people than realise it – happiness in a job and career comes from achieving renewed success from the uncertainty of fresh challenges. From gaining acceptance and recognition from new peers.
And from ultimately recognising that making a difference in life for a whole new family of people is infinitely more important and rewarding than a walled office.
Bob Howard-Spink is a supplier of positive attitudes. He runs OnWeGo; a website for people who think they've done as much as they ever will in life and work. Bob supplies inspiration and ideas on work, health and play. He is an advocate for making the rest of your life, the best of your life!
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