Did I walk the plank or was I pushed off it? What matters is that I was on that plank along with a lot of other people. Whether we jump or are pushed is neither here nor there – a lot of us are going to end up in the water.
I took the view that there are more than enough people with commitments such as children, families and mortgages who needed the stability of a permanent job than I did. I also took the view that I did not have confidence in some of the key policies that ultimately I was likely to have ended up working on later on. With the carrot of a redundancy package being dangled in front of me at the same time, I felt that the best option for me was to take the package and go.
I’ve chosen to take time out of the jobs market for now – mainly to concentrate on improving health and fitness, and to spend some time trying out a number of new projects and getting back into the swing of some older activities – such as music. I’m lucky to have a supportive family to allow me to do this – others are not so lucky.
My bookshelf is full of lots of things that I want to have read (but don’t necessarily want to read – short attention span) and I’ve been on a hunt looking at a number of things far away from the world of politics and public administration. Being my own boss on these things means far more freedom to try stuff out (and far more freedom to mess things up and around) – far more than being in the civil service (or large organisations in general) would allow.
I still plan on remaining engaged in what happens in the world of Whitehall – paradoxically, leaving Whitehall means more time spent engaging with it. But it will be on my own terms – not on someone else’s.