T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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I Do Not Think This Bodes Well

A couple of months ago during a WPO team meeting, Sue mentioned that the Director of Legal Services had agreed that Grade 2 staff (i.e. WPO's and Clericals) could apply for Legal Assistant posts if such ever arose. There was an unspoken assumption that a Legal Assistant post would indeed arise, as Legal was in the process of a(nother) restructure, but no timescales were provided for when this might occur.

I have been giving thought to job-hunting and occasionally checking around online, to no avail. There are no permanent full-time typing jobs in Birmingham, or at least none at the right salary, and all the big money is in London. As much as I love London, I don't want to live there - and indeed, if I did, all that extra money would basically be an equivalent wage to what I'm on now if you take the horrendous rental prices into account - and don't particularly want to commute there, so all the extra money would go on travel / mid-week accommodation anyway. There are equally plent of jobs in Manchester and Bristol, which are about as far away and expensive to get to.

My cut-off for job-hunting is April 2013, as that's the point at which I cannot get any more money through the PDR process, and no longer get a cost-of-living increase (cheers, Government). The PDR's are designed to 'develop' you in your role, but once you hit the top of your grade you are literally going nowhere, just gaining new skills to stagnate where you are, which seems entirely pointless. The Chief Executive has been murmuring around coming up with some way of rewarding those at the top of their grade with more money, but nobody can quite envisage how. So, April 2013 is the point where I need to seriously start looking for a new job, unless something miraculous happens in the meantime like winning the lottery or all my idiot colleagues getting sacked.

I've been telling myself and some work people - including some Legal Assistants, my line manager, Boss Dave (who basically confirmed there would be a post arising before it was announced) and a few others - that if the Legal Assistant post did arise then I might go for it, if only because it's on Grade 3 and thus more money. I have no specific interest in being a Legal Assistant, but as I'm here I might as well go in that direction, as secretarial work clearly didn't suit me. There would be the potential to study for the ILEX exam at some point and I could do with some learnings to stop the brain cells atropying, if nothing else.

Except, of course, this is Legal Services. So this morning we finally receive notification that there is indeed a Legal Assistant post within West Team, initially on a three-month contract but with the possibility of extending it, which is open - as promised - to Grade 2 staff. Aside from the fact West Team houses both Spellathon and Shambles (given the note Spellathon dictated to her Legal Assistant this morning, I doubt she would be any better to work for in that capacity), the closing date for applications is 10.30am on 18th June. THIS MONDAY.

If I decided to go for this post then my intention was to shadow a Legal Assistant for a day to get a feel for the role, because I naively assumed that once it was announced we would have a week or so in which to think about it, rather than three fricking days. We have one Legal Assistant in today (Naz) so I think to burden her with shadowing would be rather unfair, and frankly I was hoping for more time to actually think about it before even considering the shadowing route. If you recall, I didn't have chance to shadow for the secretary role because I was OFF SICK when it got announced, only to be coerced into it upon my return to work. When that job came up there were at least a couple of weeks in which to consider it, ditto for the senior WPO role when that arose. Three days is ridiculous.

Part of me does want to go for it. Part of me thinks I probably won't get it because it's West Team and the Senior who is line managing doesn't actually know me in the slightest (if it was South Team I might have a better chance). Part of me thinks I might be in with a chance because when it was mentioned in the team meeting, there was literally NO REACTION from any of my colleagues so I think I would be the only WPO who applied - though that does not take Clericals into account, of course. The other part of me is absolutely dreading what might happen if I go for it and get it, given what happened last time. I am already panicking about something which might not even occur.

This makes me rather sceptical about ever finding another job anywhere else. If an internal application can make me this terrified, how the hell am I ever supposed to get a job somewhere else? The trouble with working for the Council is you get stuck and comfortable and forget what the real world is like.

So yes. Quite possibly I should STFU whinging already, but when you're stuck in self-preservation mode and other people have no concept of that, it's kind of difficult to think straight and make coherent decisions, even when they could be for your own good. :(

Tags: future, job-hunting, work: legal
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