I’ve worked for the retailer John Lewis for over 30 years, almost all of it in IT: designing, building and supporting the many computer systems needed to keep a retailer of this size functioning smoothly and profitably.
For the last four years, I’ve effectively had two jobs – the IT one and the writing one. It’s been hard to fit writing around the day job, and I’m fed up with the juggling act. Time to drop one job and focus on the other.
Three weeks ago I handed in my notice, and I am due to leave in mid-February. Valentine’s Day, to be precise, will be my last day. I’m not old enough (quite) to take my pension so will live off savings, writing income and then in a couple of year’s time, my SIPP.
Today I told the team I work with about my decision. They’re pleased for me, some are shocked and sad I’m going, some are excited for my future, some are figuring out how to persuade me to stay (6 months paid holiday every year and a 100% pay rise might tempt me…)
It’s a big move. A big change. I’ve been a Partner, as JL employees are known, for well over half my life. I’ve been to an extent defined by my job. On applications for credit cards, mortgages etc under Occupation I’ve put ‘IT Professional’ or ‘IT Technical Analyst’ for so many years.
But next time, I’ll write ‘Novelist’, and I will so enjoy that moment. (Yeah yeah I get that it means I might not qualify for the credit card or loan or whatever due to the unpredictable income but hey.)
I’m planning to spend the next 30 years writing novels, to balance the time I spent in IT. Wish me luck!
Sally Jenkins said:
I am so jealous, Kath! I work in IT too and would gladly give it up to be a full time writer – if the income stream was there. And many moons ago I applied to JL on the graduate milk round – and wasn’t accepted, otherwise our paths might have crossed in a different way.
Wishing you the very best in this next phase of your life!
Oh that would have been odd! I started as a retail grad and transferred into IT after about a year. I’m close to being able to use my SIPP otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to leave now. Thanks for your good wishes!
Astonishingly good luck, Kath and you appear to have it all worked out, my dear x
Pam Lecky said:
Super – good for you girl!
Wishing you lots of good luck! (And who was it said: ‘the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get’?)
Not sure but it is very true!
carol warham said:
Go for it! You’ll not regret it for a moment I’m sure. You’re a wonderful author.
Thanks Carol. Blushing now.
SHEENA REEVES said:
Good for you hope you carry on excelling in what you do.
Wish you all the luck in the world you are very brave.
Helen Yendall said:
Good for you, Kath! All the best with your new life – I’m sure you’re going to love it.
Thanks Helen! Hoping to get time to write the occasional short story as well – back to my writing roots!
So pleased for you, Kath! Glad you’ve taken the leap. I love your idea of balancing the 30 years of IT with 30 years of writing. Perfect! Maybe we can help you celebrate if you can make it to the Jan lunch/meeting of the Dorset Chapter? I do love good news and something to celebrate, so thank you for sharing xx
I hope I can be at the January meeting but not sure. However I will definitely be at the March meeting, and that will be after I’ve finally left – so can celebrate then!
Alison Morton said:
Good for you! Now you can concentrate on your core work. 😉
John Jackson said:
Success!! Lots of it coming your way, I hope!! xx
Keith Havers said:
Good luck! Follow your dream.
Yep – that’s the plan!
Simon Clark said:
We will all miss you loads, but we are also super excited for this new opportunity. I’m sure you will enjoy continued success in the future and I look forward to seeing all of your work at the top of the book charts. Save me a first edition!
Aw – I’ll miss you too. Thank you!
Alison Runham said:
Funnily enough, I’m kind of taking that leap too. After Christmas, no more part-time job as a literacy coordinator; I will be cover staff when needed, which I’m expecting to be once in a blue moon, and will still maintain the website and write up the Preschool news column in the village mag, which won’t occupy me for more than a couple of hours a month.
Must be something in the air! 😁
The very best of luck with your new-but-not-so-new career!
Ooh good luck! We can cheer each other on!