I haven’t been writing much recently. I’ll apologise now; I might not have a chapter to post this Friday. It will be the first time I miss a post, and the first unplanned deviation from schedule.
I promise to try harder.
Despite my best intentions and well thought out targets, events have been a bit much for me. I fell out of my rhythm when we moved house, and have struggled to get back into the swing of things.
Last week was a bad week. There aren’t really words to describe the kind of week it was. I won’t go into the worst event, but the runner up for my bad week was being made redundant.
Redundancy. To be redundant.
Exceeding what is necessary or natural; superfluous. No longer needed.
No matter the definition, the result is the same.
I was made redundant from a job I loved, out of the blue.
They told me there was no other job in the company, but that if I could think of a job for myself, something to benefit them, then they’d consider it. I knew that was a lie when they said we could reconvene the next day with the decision. Nothing in that company, with that manager, had ever taken just a day to decide.
After being on furlough for a while, I couldn’t even say goodbye to my treasured colleagues and customers. To them, I could have just disappeared. Like a leaf on the wind. A snowflake, melting into the gravel.
Redundancy is hard. It’s my third time now, and it isn’t any easier. That knowledge that the people you gave everything to just don’t value you anymore. That you aren’t needed anymore. That they chose someone else over you. It doesn’t get easier.
We spend more time at work than we do at home. I have a four year old daughter and, until Covid, I only saw her for a couple of hours every day. For the last two years, I poured all my time and energy into a company that, in the end, didn’t care. Why should they? No matter how good I am at my job, the business decided I wasn’t worth my salary anymore.
We are in unprecedented times. This isn’t personal. This is difficult for everyone.
The practical, reasonable, side of me is arguing their case. I do that. But the rest of me was left floundering. Wondering on the unfairness of the world. I have a house to pay for. A daughter to feed. Another knock to my fragile confidence was not something I needed. But under the insecurities and fears, I know I’ll be alright. There are other jobs. It might take a little time, I might need to tighten the belt a bit more, but we’ll find a way. We always do.
I can tentatively liken redundancy to the stages of grief.
Denial. They can’t be serious. This can’t be happening.
Anger. How could they do this to me?
Bargaining. If I just talk to them, maybe they’ll realise what a mistake they’re making. I’ll take a pay cut. I’ll somehow try harder.
Depression. I thought I was good at my job. I thought they needed me. I thought I have finally found a place I was worth something.
Acceptance. It’s over. Time to dust myself off, and pick myself up, and keep trucking on. Their loss, right?
It might sound dramatic, but I can’t be the only one that puts such a weight on my work. I don’t have a job, I have a career. At least, I try to. I don’t just clock in and clock out, I invest myself in my company and my team. I like to know what everyone does, so I can see how I fit into the whole machine.
I put a lot of myself into my work. It is one of the only things I do that defines me separately to my family. I am a different person out on my own than I am at home. I can step out of the shadows I created for myself to stand in. I don’t have to be my mother’s daughter, or my daughter’s mother. I can even be extroverted and lead people. I can step into the sunlight and push myself, and acknowledge that I actually am quite talented and intelligent and…maybe I’m even worth something in my own right.
Three redundancies in, that is getting more difficult. Imposter syndrome likes to interfere with the energy I try to get together to apply for more jobs.
I’m choosing to see this as an opportunity. Optimism has always been one of my strengths, even when I convince myself I’m a pessimist. The effort spent on my last roles has helped me grow on a personal and professional level. The time wasn’t wasted. I will find something better, and start the next chapter of my working life.
And I’ll do my best to keep writing.