In which Cher helps me put the clocks back …

A lack of care on my part has meant much of my Sunday had an internal soundtrack provided by Cher.

It’s my own fault. I got up to discover, of course, that all the household clocks needed to be put back. It’s a tedious job – we like clocks – and so in an idle moment I began to wonder if anyone had ever written a song about this twice-a-year chore.

Quick as a cobra but with rather less clothes Cher popped into my head belting out If I Could Turn Back Time.

You see where free association takes you? All day, including, putting the finishing touches to the first draft of a job application, Cher has been there with me.

‘Please provide evidence relevant to the ‘qualification and experience’ elements of the person specification.’ If I could turn back time, if I could find a way …

‘Please describe instances where you have demonstrated sound judgement, managed complex environments or influenced key decision makers’ I don’t know why I did the things I did …

‘Please use this space to provide relevant information not disclosed elsewhere in your appplication.’ I don’t know why I said the things I said …

Please provide details of your current position and your reasons for leaving.’ My world was shattered I was torn apart …

‘Please describe your most significant achievement and how that success made you feel.’ Like someone took a knife and drove it deep into my heart …

Very off-putting. And it left me slightly sheepish that my knowledge of Cher’s lyrics was that extensive.

Of course this year’s end to BST falls on All Hallows’ or the older festival of samhain. It’s a time to look back and remember the life of summer and the year just passed. It’s also a time to look forward and get ready for winter and the dark times ahead. 

Well, it’s definitely been a memorable year, particularly the last few months of it. Although I would not claim to be happy with all that has (and is continuing to happen) I hope I’m in a more accepting frame of mind. Thinking about the year ahead is harder.

It’s a kind of excited-scared feeling. I’ve always been a goal-orientated sort of person. And for the past twenty years that effort has been organised within a clear career structure. It feels strange, but not completely unpleasant, to think about a future less structured around clambering up some promotion tree.

I was chatting recently with an old colleague who is making a life for herself doing what she is good at in her own business. She said one of her secret (and greatest) pleasures was becoming a self-determining person again. If she doesn’t like the feel of a potential client organisation she says, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’

Wow. Can you imagine saying that in your present circumstances? Let’s pause and imagine doing that that … Wow.

Although I’m busy applying for full-time permanent jobs there’s a little voice beginning to say, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want? Will that make you and the family happy?’

Do I really want to put the clocks back in that sense? That’s the problem with being forced to think deeply about what is important. As with free association you are likely to come up with an answer you may not have expected.

Cher. All together now …

If I could reach the stars …


About redundantpublicservant

A redundant UK public servant looking for work, sharing his experiences and providing a space for others to do the same.
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6 Responses to In which Cher helps me put the clocks back …

  1. Dave says:

    The first thing I did when closure was finally confirmed and I knew we’d all be made redundant was call an old friend I hadn’t spoken to for maybe 9-10 years. I felt I needed perspective and as a ‘business coach’ the hope was he’d help me find it. Over five sessions he did and I was able to untangle the many strands of life that grow like Ivy constricting our future choices. I worked out what ‘success’ for me looked like around my own 5 areas of concern (money, work style, home, productivity, and authenticity) and the process freed me to look again at what actually mattered to me. In an uncertain situation it’s important to have a clear view of what’s next. I’d recommend the process as an invaluable investment in yourself.

  2. citizenr says:

    Yep I’m going to go into business rather than finding a full time job. Very scary/ exciting. Is there work out there are a consultant for you?

  3. brightandsmiley says:

    Yes you should feel sheepish about your knowledge of Cher’s lyrics. Yet how uncannily apt. Also made me laugh out loud, but in a good way!

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