Redundancy can feel like Divorce.. but
How many times have you heard of people making a career change, sea change or cracked that break through career change following a devastating redundancy.. It happens every day…
In today’s business environment, Companies are downsizing or restructuring.
No longer do employees stay in a job for half their life time.
A number of years ago I had this great “redundancy” opportunity fall into my lap. Although, I’ll admit it didn’t feel like it at the time. Following 15 years in a role that I loved, was incdredibly passionate about and working with the most incredible team where every employee was a joy to work with, not to mention some great projects I had successfully pulled off for the Company – I was made redundant, sacked, fired, don’t come Monday… oh yeah… and it was at Christmas time - the 27th December – yep… 2 days after Christmas Day! Via a telephone call. Well gee Merry Christmas to you too! In the preceding October, I was feeling that something wasn’t right…. Your gut instinct is always right! This feeling made me make a call to the boss on the 27th December to ask “so is everything ok?”. He simply said “I feel it is time we part ways” and by the way Merry Christmas!
BAM! My world just collapsed. My boss of 15 years had just divorced me – it was not performance based – I was great at my job – I and others were confident of that. It was just time. Even though my gut was telling me this was coming… it hit me like an atomic bomb.
I stealthy cleared my things out of my office during the Christmas break. Not only was I humiliated, I knew my colleagues would be devastated and upset for me. So I snuck out during the break – I had a month to wait for the boss to come back from his holiday break.
It was a long months’ wait. My emotions were all over the place. One day, I’d ball my eyes out like a child who had their favourite toy ripped away, to other days of feeling positive and free. Then I would experience feelings of “what if I can’t get another job? – I’m not the 28 year old I was when I started this job, I was now in my 40’s and it was now the year 2000, a new modern world, filled with enthusiastic confident Millennials. I’d been cocooned and consumed within the bubble of the one company for 15 years!”
I gave myself a period to feel sad, embarrassed and angry. [Then] I recognized this was not the end of my life. I was still by any measure one of the most fortunate people I have ever met. When you recognize how blessed you’ve been, dusting yourself off and getting back into the ring is no big deal.
What’s the worst that can happen? You get fired again.
Some divorces can be easy, others can be horrid. Mine was in between and just an utter shock. I had managed my boss’s personal and business life for 15 years. It ended meeting in the foyer of a hotel lobby asking to hand over my security passes, running through my redundancy (which I had to negotiate toughly). So, after 15 years, a 5 minute handover and shake of the hand, I walked out. He said he couldn’t talk about it as it was all too difficult for him! I never to this day have seen or spoken to him again.
It was the best things that could have ever have happened to me. Not only did I toughen the F*&^ up, I was free to dream and think big. I honestly felt as though I had burst out of a bubble and this corporate world was full of opportunity, excitement and advancement.
“Redundancy doesn’t mean you are redundant”
The most important thing that came out of my redundancy, was a burst of confidence. I networked and discovered I had a load of loyal supporters who mentored me and collaborated with me.
I soon felt mavric enough to launch my own business. Every day I love what I do and am humbled by the amazing diversity of clients I have the privilege to work with.
Through my experience, I have also been able to help and guide others who have gone through the trauma of redundancy and help them to see their potential opportunities too. This is something I feel extremely passionate about.
If there is one key message I want to communicate, it is - don’t ever feel like your career is over when your boss decides to divorce you… it is only the beginning of a new and exciting career path full of excitement, growth and opportunity.
The rich diversity and empowerment I now have to support others is amazing. I’m empowered each day to now be sharing my skills to help so many diverse and interesting businesses.
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