Work Stories – Objectives?

Don’t you just hate the bullshit that you sometimes have to go through as an employee?

Six monthly appraisals and annual objectives,  what a pile of shit,  a tick-box exercise designed to show that the company are making an effort,  when in actual fact they don’t really care about you or your circumstances.

It’s bullshit … and I hate bullshit.

This is my first staff job in 20 years,   Prior to taking this job I’d been self employed,  IT Consultant with various banks.

Why did I go staff?

Two reasons – or personal objectives –

1 – Needed a change as was being pidgeon-holed in recent roles.

I.e.  You’re a xxxxx so you can only do xxxxx when I could do so much more.

2 – The real reason, to change mortgage provider as its exceptional difficult getting a mortgage in the current market when you are self employed and have no other household income from a partner.

Over the past year,   I’ve been placed by the consultancy at a bank in Glasgow designing their new customer management system.    It’s all live now,  job done and personal objective 1 above achieved in that I have a new title on my cv for the past year.

Personal objective 2 has also been achieved,  new mortgage in place, a 5 year deal which will see the house paid off completely.     Just in time for grandkids if I’m lucky.

With both of these in place,  it’s time to get back to being self employed and start earning a better rate in a more senior role.

Meantime,  my manager has been pushing me for my annual objectives for the past few weeks and I’ve been ignoring them until a few hours ago.

So I gave them the following –


Objective 1 – Make lots of money and live happily ever after.

Objective 2 – Not to get stressed about work and remember to keep it in perspective.

Objective 3 – Find a new role either within XXXXX or elsewhere where my skills, talent and desire to make a positive difference are fully appreciated.

Objective 4 – Find a way not to waste my life filling in tick-box exercises like this.

I mean really? What’s the point?

I’m 50+ with over 30 years experience and I know I’m good.

I don’t need training or “objectives” what ever they are .. I enjoy what I do for a living.

Do you remember that scene in The Shawshank Redemption where Red ( Morgan Freeman) is up for parole and he says to the parole officer ..”Just you keep ticking your little boxes sonny because quite frankly I don’t give a damn?”

That’s what appraisals feel like ..

So tick the box and lets all move along.

Thank you!


I then went into the separate HR page and tendered my resignation.

Don’t get me wrong,  don’t think I’ve not enjoyed my time at this job,   I genuinely enjoy what I do for a living.

It’s intellectually stimulating and pays well, even my current staff position.

But I’d much rather be on a beach.

I don’t have any hostility to this job,   It served a purpose,  but I may as well have been a contractor because for my 14 months with the consultancy, I’ve been on placement at a bank as a bum-on-a-seat,  making a difference but only working with bank employees and no one from the consultancy.

I might as well have been a contractor and earning a better day rate.

So I’m off to another position,  a more senior one than I would have gained previously.    It’s with another bank as a direct contractor, more than doubling my gross income overnight and effectively tripling my nett income by operating a more “tax efficient” scheme.

I.e. Not paying full PAYE at source,   Fully legitimate of course.

That’s the downside of being staff,  you don’t get a choice in your tax position,  it’s taken before you get it.

Meanwhile self employed “consultants” operate personal service limited companies,  pay themselves low salaries, minimising their tax and NI burden and take the majority of their income as dividends and expenses such as mileage, subsistence etc.

Not fair?

Yep the government think so too and have implemented changes in the tax year beginning April 2017 to ensure that any contractor working in the public sector pays full PAYE.

Obviously,  these contractors including some of my friends aren’t too happy about these changes as it will dramatically reduce their incomes.

They are bleating on about lack of training,  holiday pay, pension  etc.

And they have a point,   The govenment wants to tax people as if they are employees, completely disregarding the risks they are taking of beng self employed with none of the above benefits and no redundancy entitlement when your contract is suddenly terminated because of reasons outwith your control.

My friends have been saying that they will ask for a rate increase to compensate for their losses,  but that isn’t going to happen.  All that will do is price themselves out of an already falling market as the government continues to allow consultancy companies to bring in cheaper labour from abroad to fill the skills gap.

If they aren’t happy,  they can convert their contract job to permanent role and trade the increased stability for a lower take home pay.

Personally I think the best thing they can do is get out of the public sector into the private sector which is far more lucrative and day rates are increasing for the first time since the economic crisis around 2007.

Can I give you one piece of advice that maybe you already know,   I didn’t when I was young with little guidance and served as an apprentice in the glasgow shipyards.     But I know now and I’ve passed this to my kids.

If you want a decent and almost guaranteed income,   promotions, bonuses and then using your experience to become self employed and earn more money than you can spend.

Go into banking.    Go in as a banker, accountant, IT Developer or whatever you enjoy doing.   But get in there.

The best money is and always will be in the management of money.

4am and I better get some Zs.

Thanks for listening.

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