I never thought redundancy would be something that could happen to me. I don’t know why, but I just felt kind of invincible. Redundancy is something that only happens when companies collapse, doesn’t it? It doesn’t happen to companies that are doing well. But no. I was made redundant, completely unexpectedly, when I was only nine months into my new job. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. But actually, it was the best thing that could have happened to my career and here is why.
What happened to me?
I was sat minding my own business one day, when a meeting request popped into my calendar with my line manager and the head of my department. Unusual, but I didn’t think too much of it. Then I noticed other members of my team getting called into a meeting room one by one. And coming out. And immediately packing up their desk. I felt a bit sick, surely this wasn’t going to happen to me, was it?
My time came, I was called into the meeting room and told that I was being made redundant. My line manager looked sheepish as I couldn’t help but start crying.
Leaving the office, I felt humiliated. My keys, work phone and laptop were taken off me and I packed up my desk while my line manager hovered around me to walk me out of the building. I called Andrew in tears and he came and picked me up. I was in complete shock.
I felt tiny, I felt stupid, I felt small. I was terrified about money – Andrew and I were renting a lovely flat that I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t really have any savings to speak of. It was the worst feeling.
What happened next?
The next day, I wanted to curl up and feel sorry for myself in the safety of my bed. But instead, I got up early, put on old Green Day, really really loudly and brushed up my CV. Then I hit the job boards and the recruitment agencies. I was pissed off so I was fired up.
Suddenly not having any job made me question whether I had even been enjoying what I was doing and honestly, the answer was no. I had itchy feet, I had thought about moving away from the North East, I had thought about totally changing careers, I had even cut all of my hair off – a sure sign that things weren’t right! But until something big happened, I hadn’t been able to see how unhappy I was. I was coasting along with nothing pushing me out of my comfort zone.
What did I decide?
Redundancy made me reevaluate my career and it also made me ask loads of questions and make loads of decisions. I decided I wanted a more creative job, so I applied for tonnes of them. Andrew and I decided we wanted to stay in Newcastle and that now was actually the perfect time to start saving for a house. So, after a few family conversations, we decided to move back in with my parents and start saving hard.
In less than a month, I had five or six job interviews lined up and a date set for moving out of our flat. And a few weeks later, I had a new job – the same job that I have now and still love.
How has redundancy been good for me?
Since getting made redundant I have bought a house, got married, been promoted, started my blog and got to travel the world. And I honestly don’t think those things would have happened in that way without losing my job three years ago.
At the time, it felt like the end of the world, but actually it was the best thing that could have happened to my career. I found a job that I am MUCH better at, that interests me and that gives me more opportunities than my last job ever could. I feel genuinely valued as an individual, rather than just another employee.
It spurred me on because it put a fire in my belly, it pissed me off and it made me question everything. It was a really tough time, but I came out so much stronger.
So THANK YOU for making me redundant, it helped make me who I am today.
I hope that if you’ve been made redundant, you can try to see the positives. It will take time, but you will get there!
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