Tales from Urban Dilettantia


Decision Day

After much furious thought, this morning, I declined the offer of a year working in our Moscow office. The decision wasn’t the product of any single large factor, but rather of the aggregate of a number of medium-sized things. Here are some of the things:

1. HR fail: Our HR division is understaffed, under-resourced and, in my opinion, unlikely to ever be a great source of drama-free support. Organsing a teleconference was an ordeal. Clarifying the terms of the secondment and costs to be paid back was a pain. Pro-forma contracts were not available for to be viewed before I gave a verbal decision. These things, and the stories of every other person who has been seconded by Large Accounting Firm, gave me little confidence in the process. Also, in contrast to firms in the Oil & Gas sector, Large Accounting Firm does not pay a living allowance.

2. Opportunity: I work for people who keep telling me this is a Great Opportunity. And it is. Thing is, I’m at a point in my life where taking this opportunity means giving up other opportunities here. Launching secret map project software. Making a film. Breaking into the local art scene. My life is not my job at Large Accounting Firm, and the more I look at what I’m building here, the more I realise that.

3. Travel: I have UK citizenship. I can work in the EU any time I want. On my terms, at a time I choose.

4. My support network: It’s been a tough couple of years. A really tough couple of years. And out of it, I’ve grown an amazing network of people I love around me. And, as one of my workmates said yesterday, ‘in your place, I’d want my friends and family around me’.

5. Career: Even if my life were all about my job at Large Accounting Firm, my interests run very much towards energy policy & sustainability. Russia lags Australia significantly in this area, and a year there would be a year removed from what I really want to be doing.

6. Proving Things: I have decided that I can be the sort of person who Has Adventures and Does Interesting Things without saying ‘yes’ indiscriminately to every single thing that scares me. I know I could do the year in Moscow if I wanted to; I don’t need to say yes and go do it just to prove I’m big, resilient and brave. I am big, resilient and brave anyway!

7. I have decided I am too old for ‘because Mum doesn’t want me to’ to be a good reason for doing something.

There are all kinds of smaller reasons too, but I these are some of the weightier ones. I am building a life I love; renovating a house and garden I adore and throwing everything I have at growing my tiny, ridiculous, parochial, sunshiney, isolated little city into somewhere better to be. And I am going to spend 2011 doing more of just that.

Category: life the universe and everything

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3 Responses

  1. Adam Wright says:

    Hooray! That spares me getting passive-aggressively annoyed at you for abandoning me personally, as I tend to do when people I like move away.

  2. Natalie Latter says:

    Ditto the hooray!

  3. Helen says:

    My desire to abandon Adam personally was of course an important factor, but one that was not ultimately persuasive enough to outweigh my other concerns.

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