Over the next few months my life changed quite a bit…I moved into my final year of studying, I found out what a toe rag my boyfriend was and by mutual decision we finished things. I didn’t think too much about coming back up North but I did make it clear to my line manager that if anyone was needed to go up there again, I’d want first refusal on going.
My return to the North eventually happened on 1st December 2009. The Bolton office was short on trainers for an induction course and needed someone to come and run a week one. I obviously jumped at the chance as I’d been hoping for a return since my trip 9 months earlier. During my time up there I fell back in love with the place and was as open as I was the last time about how I’d move here if I wasn’t still studying.
Halfway through my third day, two of my colleagues, Deb and Ste, sat me down and talked to me about seriously considering the move. Ste even went as far as to say he had a mate with a spare room going that I could rent out, although I think he was also trying to set me up with said mate!! The more I talked with them the more it seemed like a real possibility that I could make the move work. I was bubbling up with excitement and hope….I really could do this!
Fit to burst, I went to speak with Steph, one of the members of our management team, and now my line manager, about the possibilities of relocating. She asked me to seriously think about what I was doing. I think she was worried I was just a bit giddy about being up North and it was all just a novelty for me! I assured her it really wasn’t but at the time I was only young (just turned 23) and had a bit of a reputation for going on a whim. I guess she wanted me to be certain it was the right thing for me to do.
I returned home on the Friday and began to plan. Could I support myself on my wage? Living alone on my salary, although a good one, would have been impossible in Essex. Did I want to house share, rent a room or have my own place? I’d shared a room growing up so the appeal to living alone was huge. How would I tell mum and dad? When would I tell them? When could I go? I was due to finish studying in June and was happy to travel back to London for my final few classes and exams. I needed to get some savings behind me too – I didn’t have any money in the bank as anything spare was put into my course fees. Buying a property was out of the question for that reason but I didn’t want that sort of commitment yet anyway.
That week waiting for Steph to call was the longest week ever and when I still hadn’t heard from her I was a state! When I did eventually speak to her I confirmed that it was definitely something I wanted to do and she told me should would put the request into her manager. I didn’t have a great relationship with my own manager at the time, and I worried he would purposely try to block me off of what I wanted to do out of spite, so I wanted to keep it secret from him for the time being.
Paul, Steph’s manager, contacted me on the 15th December to ask me what my reasons were for wanting to move and to then stick it all in an email. Then all I could was wait…