On Thursday 26th March 2020 I issued myself a letter confirming my furloughed status. (see Doing the Furloughing and Being Furloughed) 96 days later I was issued a notice of redundancy. On July 31st the job that I had fought for, crafted into my own, and was passionate about came to an end.
I had spoken in length with my manager leading up to the actioning of the redundancy process, he had tried to fight for my role as best as he could but I knew that the decision was made and I was even in agreement. Earlier in the year, I had worked closely with him to look at restructuring the business to ensure a more sustainable growth trajectory and in those discussions, I had made it clear that although I knew it was the right direction for the company, it was not the right direction for me. Had the world not been bit by a pandemic I would have continued to work on these plans for the rest of the year and then, once I was confident that the new structure was stable, I would have handed in my notice with the knowledge that I had done everything in my power to help them on their road to success. But the world was hit by a pandemic and so those restructuring plans were brought forward and my role, alongside many others in the company, was made redundant.
Although I had known deep down what was coming, and although I knew that it was the right decision for the company, it still hurt. It hurt to be told that although I had been a core player in contributing to the success of the company over the last two years, there was no longer a place for me. It hurt to see the team members that I had hired and helped nurture to be told they were no longer ‘needed’. It hurt to say goodbye to the colleagues that I had spent many evenings recounting our stressful days over a bottle of wine, a pint of lager or a few cheeky G&T’s. It hurt to close the door on a company that I had poured my heart and soul into over the last two years. It just hurt.
Now I am a strong believer that you are allowed to feel sorry, it is okay to sit on the sofa in your comfiest pyjamas whilst you rewatch Gilmore Girls and stuff your face with Percy Pigs. It is okay to not be okay BUT I am also a strong believer that to achieve the success you want in life you have to work hard to get it, and you have to work even harder to keep it. So I pulled up my metaphorical ‘big boy pants’ and started to look for the good in this rubbish situation. I threw myself into my hobbies, taking up cross-stitch, bullet journaling and I even tried to teach myself how to draw (the keyword being tried – I am not an artist); when the gyms reopened I forced myself to go to make sure that I always end the week having achieved SOMETHING. I started researching into sustainability and made a conscious effort to cut down on my plastic consumption. I put 110% effort into my CIPD assignments to remind myself that I had still had some sense of purpose.
Even though I was filling my time with productive activities and fighting hard to keep myself motivated, my positivity was slipping. When the UK officially hit ‘recession’ status I was terrified. Each job application I sent out I knew at the back of my mind that there were hundreds of other applicants doing what I was doing and feeling how I was feeling. When I was proofreading my CV and cover letters I was constantly reminded of how much I missed my job, how much I missed collaborating with the leaders of a company, even if that collaboration brought about conflict and compromise. Each night I would go to bed feeling emotionally exhausted and yet would lie there wide awake as an endless stampede of anxious thoughts marched through my head. Then each morning I would drag myself out of bed, chug down a coffee, and do it all over again.
I’m not sharing all this so you can feel sorry for me. I’m not sharing this to make you feel uncomfortable. I’m sharing this as I think it’s important to talk about the uncomfortable subjects in life. It’s important to talk about your losses, as well as your gains, to share your disappointments alongside your achievements, to stand up and go ‘this f***ing sucks’ without being told other people have it worse, or to be thankful for what you have, or any of the other cliches we tell people when we ask how they are without wanting an honest answer. And to all my fellow redundancy folk, it sucks to lose your job but remember:
And above all else, stay positive.