Three weeks ago, along with all my colleagues, I was made redundant from a job I’d been in for about eighteen months. The business went into liquidation, which along with the general issues of being jobless, adds a few more fun curveballs for us, former employees.
Anyone can guess that this is definitely not going to feel like the highlight of your career. If you’ve been made redundant or lost your job, then you can probably relate to the myriad of emotions that have been felt by most of us over the last few weeks. If you haven’t, then I’ll fill you in…
For me, the first thing I felt was shock.
We all knew the business itself wasn’t at its peak financially. There had been some cut-backs across the departments and a general feeling of uncertainty, however, the fact that the company was dissolving and we’d be out of a job that very day was definitely not something I expected at 9.30 on a Tuesday morning.
As someone who has a major life change coming my way in the new year, in the shape of a newborn baby, it only intensified the shock and I’m afraid I had a little cry at my desk. I’ll blame it on the hormones.
Slight inconveniences such as mortgages, bills and other responsibilities don’t go away if you’re not earning any money. (I know, crazy right?) So after I’d stopped having my desk cry, my thoughts turned to all the outgoings we still had that month and how they were going to get paid.
Now I’ll just put it out there, mental maths is not one of my strong points, so trying to add up my monthly bills, work out how much money I had left in my account (meanwhile locking myself out of my online banking - fun times) and trying and remember when my husband’s salary was due to be paid, was not a success. It left me in one big panic where I briefly considered putting all my possessions for sale on Ebay that very afternoon.
I thought I’d had my share of life admin. I’ve applied for mortgages, bought a house, got married and even applied for a job with the council (which let me tell you takes about 5 hours as you replicate the exact information from your CV). However, being made redundant and claiming what you’re owed takes the biscuit.
What with job seekers allowance, government forms, and all the other admin that comes with the joy of redundancy, before you even start on your job applications, you’re left feeling more than a little confused. Luckily I have a great set of (ex, sob!) teammates, and through Whatsapp, we’ve created our own little network of support, advice and reassurance.
It’s not surprising that the next stage in this little list is anger. Even if you’ve been made redundant and the business did everything exactly by the book, frustration and anger suddenly become your chums. Your old employer, your family, even the nice person at your local job centre, gets a little burst of your feelings from time to time. I won’t include some of the choice phrases from some of my colleagues, but I know it's a feeling many of us have in common.
I don’t have anything constructive to say about this stage, to be honest. I think it’s just a natural way to feel about the situation and you’ve just got to let it get out of your system. After all, who doesn’t get irritated by repeating the same info on countless job applications, or hearing the same questions in every interview?
It’s tough going back to being someone on a job hunt, especially when it wasn’t exactly your choice. Jumping back into applications and interviews is hard, whether you’re confident about your skills or not. There might be a few people out there who love writing cover letters and answering questions about themselves in a job interview, but I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t get at least a little nervous about it.
There’s no quick way to feel better about the situation, but after a few phone conversations with recruiters and a few face-to-face interviews, it does get easier to anticipate what’s coming up and show your skills and experience in their best light.
‘You are a strong independent woman and you can do whatever the **** you want to.’ (Or something to that effect.)
I don’t know about you, but having a sudden few weeks of sitting at home, trawling the internet for jobs, and reading countless articles about ways to improve your CV, certain thoughts enter your head. Massive career changes seem very attractive and having my new sassy attitude makes me feel like I can go and do cool things.
7. Expect the Unexpected
One thing’s for certain, being made redundant is going to stir up a lot of emotions, maybe a few of the ones I’ve mentioned above, however, there might also be a lot of unexpected positives that come out of the situation.
I think that as a team, us ex-employees have become closer. As we were all let go at the same time, it’s created a bond that we don’t have with anyone else and I’m very grateful to have their advice and support to fall back on.
Who knows what might come from job searching? I might find something amazing, or have the opportunity to go in a direction that’s not related to the role I was in previously.
It’s always easier to gain a salary boost when you’re moving to a different company, rather than moving internally. Who doesn’t like the opportunity to get a bit of a lift?
If nothing else, at least you can get in a few lie-ins and catch up on your sleep, before you’re back in the world of employment!
As my Mom said to me ‘this could be a massive blessing in disguise’. The disguise might seem very convincing at first, but like most Moms, mine is always right.