Wednesday 20 October 2010

I never made the first team, I just made the first team laugh....

There's an article on the BBC website today headlined "Do You Have a Wayne Rooney in Your Office?"  I presumed that this was going to be an article about someone who was anxious to move to pastures new in order to further their career ambitions, financial or otherwise.  Potentially interesting, I thought.  We usually have several of those passing through at any one time, on their way onwards and upwards to bigger and better salaries elsewhere.  Good luck to them, I suppose.

Actually, the article's not that interesting.  Instead, it breaks down the potential Wayne Rooneys in your office into a number of categories:

> Bringing the company into disrepute
> Underperforming
> Wanting to leave
> Feeling undervalued
> Asking for a payrise

Blah blah blah.

Bored yet?  I was.

It did get me thinking though: as I've worked in (more or less) the same place for a number of years without ever really distinguishing myself or seeking to move elsewhere, I'm clearly not the Wayne Rooney in my office.  But if I'm not him, then who am I?  My immediate thought was a player like Ryan Giggs: came up through the youth system and clearly content to spend his whole career in dedicated service to one club.  Hmm.  But then again, am I really ever likely to be regarded as one of the best players in the world and receive the honour of being voted footballer of the year by my peers?  Am I the kind of player that people will want in their Fantasy Football team? Will I receive much in the way of sponsorship or endorsements? In a word, no.  Reluctantly, I'm also forced to admit that, honest performer and hard-worker though I am, it looks too late in the day for me to receive International recognition now.   I may once have been a contender, but those days now look to be behind me.  I'm solid and reliable, but I doubt that I'd be the first name down on the team sheet.  In fact, I'm not sure that I'd make the bench.  Or the first team squad at all.


What does that leave?

Am I even on the groundstaff?

I hate this metaphor.


  1. I think, perhaps, the problem with the metaphor is that it assumes the work team is one you want to be picked for. Whereas, you've lived life in such a way that you are solid and secure at work, but get your fulfillment elsewhere. And in those other areas, I'd bet you're much more likely to be this Ryan person I don't know.

  2. To use your metaphor: I was in the first team of the last "club" I was with, and then I got a transfer to another one on slightly more wages.

    Now I'm in one of the lower divisions, but still find myself looking for 1st team work. That may be because I'm never picked for the 1st team at this new "club".

  3. Threelight - there's an interesting post in here somewhere about what people are prepared to do to get ahead with their career. I know that I could leave for more money and more status, or I could do something completely different, but I stay where I am. I play this for comic-effect, but actually my standing appears to have been enhanced by taking some time off. I'm not in the first team from the point of view of grade and pay, but in lots of other ways I would be the first name on the team sheet because I do the things that these other first teamers simply can't (or won't) do.

    I'm about to start managing people, so I think I may have to button my lip on here a bit in the near future, but my motivations for continuing to do what I do are fluctuating at the moment. I'm actually quite enjoying it at the moment, with a bit of added perspective. I also think that perspective has changed the way other people are seeing me too.


  4. That sounds a lot like the job I used to do (and enjoyed doing very much, including doing the stuff people couldn't and wouldn't do. By the way, I may have just misled you about the "new club" analogy: I'm working for the same company, but due to redundancy, I'm working in another part of the organisation where opportunities to do different work is very much lacking.

    Good luck with your new role, anyway.

  5. Same role, more or less, with added people. As long as I work here, who I am is almost more important than job description. Not that I labour under the misapprenhension I'm irreplaceable.... Just whilst I'm there, I'll probably do much the same kind off stuff. Anyway. Thanks!