Tag Archives: maternity leave

A Desk Monkeys Life for me.

I think I’ve given up. I’ve lost my drive and ambition.

I posted late last year about my “need” to get promoted, and be the best I can at work, at all times.  I told you how I’d applied for a job and the recruiter has taken over a month to offer interviews or not.  The job application closed at the start of October. It’s now January and it’s still not gone to interview. I gave up on that job early December. This post isn’t about that job as such. More any job.

Before maternity leave I was in a few talent programmes at work. My managers had always supported and challenged me with projects and tasks. For the past 7 years, since moving on from my first post in the company I have never done my job, I’ve always acted in the position above or been on projects for senior management. I thrived on the challenge and being the best I could be.  My last post before maternity leave was working with level 2, 3 and 4 managers and treated as an equal. I was influential in resourcing decisions and was the subject matter expect on our forecasted demand. This was my favourite job to date. I worked from home and was basically left to it. So long as the work got done, so long as I attended and chaired the conference calls as needed, I worked whatever hours I liked. Granted I was contracted to do 36 hours a week not including lunch, and sometimes I’d do 50 hours, others 30. It worked for me, it worked for my boss, it worked for our customers.

When I went on maternity leave, I dispersed my tasks across the management team. Each one, taking on a small part of it. This of course, in a company and industry driven by cost, meant I was a headcount reduction. My role no longer existed.  When I came back after less than 6 months leave, I was placed, without choice, in a new role. A technical level job, Configuring and deconfiguring circuits on systems.  I’m now a “desk monkey” clicking, copying, pasting all day. Following set processes. Working through queues of jobs.

This is a desk monkey job. This is not me.  It’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do, I can do it. Easily. I excel at it. This job sits better on my CV 5 years ago. I’ve taken huge steps backwards in my career because I took 5.5 months out to start a family.

I had a good bitch to a couple of senior managers about it. There’s nothing they can do.  I’m needed where I am, and without a job coming up, me getting and passing an interview, being offered and accepting a job… there’s no way out.  This is in a company that’s constantly challenging its headcount, and where managers cost way more than team members, so they’re reducing the number of managers.

Here I am, a no-body for the first time in years, a desk monkey, working 8.30-5 every day, on queues, hoping for a promotion. Who am I kidding? Well, not me, not anymore.  I’ve given up. I’ve applied for four promotions since October. I’ve had two  No’s before interview “more experienced candidates were interviewed” and I’m still waiting to hear if I have an interview for the other two.

Maybe I should concentrate on being a mother outside of work. Maybe I should appreciate the fact that for the first time in years, when it hits 5pm I can walk out of the office and go and get my girl. Appreciate the fact no one expects me to go above and beyond. Accept the Generally Satisfactory scoring on my quarterly reviews instead of outstanding or excellent. After all, this is what they expect of me. My “priorities should have changed” they said, and they have, I put my daughter in fulltime nursery at 4 months old and my GOD I wanted to make that worthwhile. Do her proud.  It seems now isn’t the time though. I should do my 8.30-5 job, plodding along, accepting the vanilla blandness that is my working life.

Nothing special here. No ambition. No drive. Just a desk monkey.


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