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EditorialsUp Front 11/07

Up Front 11/07

Back in the days when nothing much else mattered, other than work and work colleagues, I remember how enjoyable it was to go out for a drink with my workmates and chat about the day’s events. Spending time with like-minded people, who know the business I spent 8 or 9 hours a day in, was fun. There was a camaraderie and security in knowing that we all understood one another. Eventually I, like many of my colleagues, had a family, and began to mix career with family life. Career became just one part of the life balance. However that isn’t so simple for everyone. Some careers aren’t so easy to move on from. A recent study by researchers at the University of Leeds has found that many former MPs struggled to cope with life outside their career after leaving office. Some could not find work and many earned less after leaving the House of Commons. Around half of those who did not retire voluntarily from the Commons said it had taken three to six months to find a new job. Just one fifth said they were able to find work immediately, or almost immediately, and one in seven took over a year to find employment. The one shocking finding, however, was that nobody wanted to listen to them anymore. Many former MPs missed not being at the centre of British politics. One said: “I would wake up in the morning, listen to the radio and form views on the issues of the day, and then I realised that no one wanted to know what I thought.” Now what career advisor could have predicted that?

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