Bit of an odd one this.

Many moons ago, when I was deputy MD at my advertising agency, I was having a heart-to-heart with one of the staff. I liked her. A lot. There was something going on there, we both knew it, but we never did anything about it. It was enough to let it simmer on the backburner. But it was going on, do not doubt me.

One day, she rocked into my office. ‘I need some help, sheriff. Now. Today. This very minute. Please.’

I kicked the door shut, sat down again. ‘Off you go. Shoot.’

A lot of it was work related, but there was a whole load of other stuff she wanted to unload. That was very flattering. I just sat back and listened. Strictly the career moves were her decisions, hers to make (though I didn’t want her to make the one she did.)

‘OK. Now tell me what is really on your mind. This isn’t about the job. What else is going on?’


Oh dear, I thought. Oh dear.

‘You. You’re in the wrong job.’

‘Really? I thought I was doing rather well.’

‘You’re really fucking good at what you do here. Really good. I love working with you. We all like working with you. You know how things work, and you make them work properly. We all get that.’

I held up a finger. ‘But…. There’s a big BUT coming here, isn’t there?’

‘You’re in the wrong job. You shouldn’t be doing this. You’re fucking brilliant at counselling. You never tell, you just sit back, listen, and let me make my own decisions. You’re in the wrong job here. You should be a counsellor, not the deputy MD of a poxy fucking advertising agency. You are really really fucking good at it, what you do here, you really are, but you’re a square peg in a round hole. Get a proper job as a counsellor, something you’re even better at.’

She may have been right.