It’s not you, it’s me.
Very recently, I was made redundant from my job. It was the second redundancy I’d been through, but this time, it felt different.
The first time redundancy was announced to me, it was an office-wide situation where near to 700 of us lost our jobs. However the mood wasn’t as you might expect. Instead of tears and condolences, the auditorium was filled with smiles, laughs and a buzz of excitement as long-term employees started working out just how rich they were about to become. This was a telling sign of what the staff in my office thought about their employer, which quite frankly, was very little.
The second redundancy I experienced happened only 3 weeks ago(ish). If you’ve ever had a partner you were really keen on, and you spent all weekend planning your ideal holiday together, just to get dumped out of the blue on Monday morning; you might have an idea of how it feels to lose your job unexpectedly.
In this instance, it would be naive of me to say I had ‘no idea’ it was coming. My company had recently been bought out, and we all expected that a ‘cost cutting exercise’ might take place initially. But this time, I honestly didn’t think it would be me. So when the new General Manager informed me straight afterwards that “It was nothing personal”, I found it hard to swallow.
The worst part was that I knew the rest of the office was being told about my redundancy (along with 10 other unfortunate colleagues) at the very same time that I was. When you’ve just had bad news, you want to disappear quietly – hide until you’re ready to face the world again in your own time. My colleagues were very supportive, and they all expressed their surprise and disappointment in equal measures until I was able to head home and actually start dealing with it.
People deal with redundancy differently; some of the group had jobs again within the fortnight. Some of them were totally laid back, looking forward to the break, while others looked as shell-shocked as I did. It’s been suggested that only bereavement and divorce are as devastating as losing your job, and in many ways, we go through the same emotional process to deal with it: shock, disbelief, anger, denial, depression, guilt and then acceptance.
I’m not going to liken my redundancy to losing a relative, but I can certainly recognise how damaging it can be to your confidence to go through it. This post isn’t meant to be depressing, and I feel I could talk at length about positive ways to deal with redundancy. I’ve always lived by the old adage that “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”, so I’ve tried to remain positive in my hunt for a new job. The positive vibes seem to be working so far, as I spotted Super Hans from ‘Peep Show’ on the tube while attending an interview in London today, which pretty much made my week.
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