The second big change I remember was all of a sudden the infrastructure I had taken for granted was not there anymore. The two things that hurt me most were firstly research and secondly legal.
Because of the nature of my former job I was heavily dependent on research; Deutsche Bank had more research than you could ever imagine, and so if I wanted information on a country, a company, an industry, or a peer group, somebody somewhere would have it and I would just go and get it. All of sudden now I had two choices: either do it myself or pay someone else to do it, and that hurts! The other, as I said, was legal. Again because of the job I used to review rafts of legal documentation; now all of a sudden I had to trust my paralegal skills or pay a lawyer to do it for me, and that hurts even more because lawyers are not cheap!
So you have to figure out how you plug all those gaps in your infrastructure that you have been so dependent on in your career so far. Nowhere is this more painful for somebody like me than in the world of IT. There is a well-known oxymoron – the IT help desk – which is up there with “military intelligence”, “customer service”, and “business ethics”. All of a sudden if you have a situation where your printer won’t listen to your computer, or it decides that today is the day it prints in Egyptian for fun, or it won’t print in a straight line, or your computer just hangs there and does nothing, who are you going to phone? If reliable IT is going to be important to you in your new role, then you may want to consider some form of maintenance agreement with a local service provider. It can get quite fraught if you need to print something off to take to a client or a prospect and you can’t do it!