Meditations on changing jobs and being crap

Having changed jobs four times in five years you might think I’d be pretty blase about starting another new job on Monday (in fact, stretch the time to six years and it’s six jobs in six years!)

But you’d be wrong – I’m very nervous about Monday, for two reasons.

Reason one, the simplest to explain, is the four-day trip to Paris for training.  I’ve never been sent away for training before, let alone abroad.  I’m excited about going, yes; but being alone in a strange place where I don’t speak the language?  That’s quite daunting.

Reason two is more complex.  It involves producing work I can be proud of.

I started my present job eager and excited, ready to do what I do best, which is write.  The previous 2-3 years had been spent getting good at writing for a living (very different to writing a blog) and now a big company had taken me on as a writer and I wanted to prove myself.

Bill LumberghExcept…it didn’t work out like that.  Within a couple of months my job metamorphosed into repetitive data entry wrapped in an encyclopedia of ever-changing pettifoggery.  The only creative solace was in finding new ways to type the phrase “No changes needed”, which I wrote 40-50 times a day.

There are only 7 ways to write “No changes needed.”  Trust me on this.

After seven months I was put on antidepressants and realised that I had to find a new job.  Five months later and here I am: about to start a great new job with an exciting company doing what I love – writing.

And I’m terrified, because I care if I mess it up!  I care about doing well at this job.  But the fearsome flipside of is: what if I’m crap?  What if I fail?

I want people to say “Good work, Stu!“; I want to be proud of everything I write; I want to learn new things, attempt new tasks – hell, to revolutionise web writing!! 🙂

Being crap at complicated data entry is fine, it’s not like I put any effort into it.  The fear for the new job is: what if I’m crap even when I try…?

(Oh, I’m sure I’ll be fine – don’t worry!)



  1. Yes you will be fine. So many people read and enjoy your Blog, you write very readable stuff on many subjects.

  2. In your noble (slightly obsessive) need to be perfect, remember to take criticism well at your new job – nobody is perfect, don’t let criticism bring you down. It’s good that you care so much, it’ll shine through in your work. And Paris! how can you not want to go to Paris! Hello and Yes is all u need to know! U can throw in a few un peu s (little bit) as well. It’s taken me 4.5 years since coming back from London to finally do a job I want to do. If you’re in the same job for too long people say you’re in a rut. If you switch jobs every year people say you’re finding yourself. In the end all that matters is that you are great dad and great husband… Good luck in Paris. You might want to watch the Billy CRystal classic, Forget Paris!

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