So, having said a fair bit about what’s happening to Land Registry, and to Stevenage Office in particular, the big question is: what am I going to do in response?
In the build-up to the announcements, I’d assumed that if Stevenage Office was to close I’d most likely be looking to transfer to another office, and we’d relocate as a family. My wife’s a primary school teacher with a good reputation and she should have no difficulty finding work, and my son is yet to reach school age so moving isn’t going to interfere with his education.
Moving would be a big step for me. I have lived in Stevenage my entire life, so have never had to go through the whole thing of establishing myself in a community, making new ties, finding friends, learning my way around and so on. And the thought that I’d have to move to a new office, although daunting, was actually quite exciting because although I’ve never moved, I know it’s something I need to do at some stage on my life.
Yet when it became clear that the chances are I won’t be moving to another office, and I’d actually have to find another job, for some reason I simply asusmed that I’d be looking locally. But do you know what? There’s no need for me to do that at all. I can look anywhere. Having begun to get excited about the prospect of moving and starting all over again, there is no reason to restrict myself to this region.
But still there is much to consider. Do I look for something similar? A straightforward office job that I can get on with, and leave behind at the end of the day. Or is this the chance I need to do something utterly different? To reinvent myself? Most friends I’ve spoken to tell me to treat this as an amazing opportunity to finally start doing something I actually enjoy. To find a new career; to retrain. But there’s a problem with that. Since being sat down at school at the age of 13 or 14 and asked to think about what I wanted to do for a living, and having no ideas, I still have no ideas. Look at me. I’m the sort of person who’s stayed 21 years in a job I’ve never really enjoyed all that much. If I was the sort of person who had ideas about what to do, and the motivation to do persue them, I wouldn’t still be where I am. And the Land Registry is full of people just like me. Few of us really wanted to be there. But even fewer had the motivation to do anything about it.
Now’s our chance. If only we’ll grasp it.