Guest blog by James
Redundancy sucks, firstly you have to explain to your friends and family that you lost your job. I don’t enjoy this. Especially since mine worry and project their fears. I have always thought that when you are fully engaged and producing your best work redundancy never comes your way. Well those were famous last words, I got the call on a September morning and it was a professional embarrassment.
Being made redundant moved me from the career driving seat to being thrown out onto the curb, having to dust myself down and scanning up and down the road to see where the next ride is coming from. I had to explain this ‘change’ to my kids (who are both under ten and have their own wacky interpretation on the world…). I second guess how the kids make sense of this event. My seven year old daughter helps me out: “Daddy doesn’t have a job.” Is a pretty straight forward and to the point summary she shares with a friend. It’s difficult because I don’t want them to feel anxious about me. Kids can hang a whole stack of anxiety, worries and confusion on some simple words.
There were more uncomfortable redundancy chores I felt had to be done. Dealing with LinkedIn and ‘socially’ updating my “self`’ is like amputating a part of my socio-professional identity. Neither do I like dealing with recruitment guys who have never been the best path to finding great roles. Finally dancing with the employment lawyers are a necessary evil in today’s world when trying to get some fairness added into what is an unfair process.
But the redundancy dilemma isn’t all bad news…
While there was comfort in the security blanket of a regular job, it was always just a stepping stone, there had to be an exit some time. The redundancy is just a trigger for something new, it’s not my defining moment. It’s not like I can’t do great work some place else. At the age of forty four, I have plenty of mischief left in my soul to put to good use.
It’s a chance to make the most of the break in regular patterns of life. My chance to catch up with friends, go see some live music, travel overseas to catch up with family and even get the chance to complete on some my many ongoing projects around the home. I find time for yoga and more exercise. My shoulder which has been locked and stiff for a couple of years crunches itself open and I find a new flexibility, it’s a bit gnarly and uncomfortable still, but there is movement.
In truth speaking from my heart, redundancy is a liberation, but I need to really grab this opportunity. I have a friend who is counting his days down to retirement and I am determined not to do the same. I believe I have only one shot on this planet and time needs to be spent living a real passion (rather than a ‘job’), to work with people who inspire me and make me laugh and to create stuff and make change that I’m proud to talk about.
To get to this new place some things needed to change, I needed to shake off some distractions, I needed to focus. If redundancy had to be part of this then, to be fair, being made redundant really doesn’t suck. And lets not be the victim of the story the career driving seat is mine not my employers.
New choices, new goals, some new fears for sure but its time to ride and in the voice of Super Mario:
Many thanks to our guest blogger James
Guest blog by Adrian Evans
A client of mine was a loyal employee. He had a consistent track record of developing new customers and delivering above target revenue for a leading global technology company.
He was the type of individual who believed in conducting himself in line with company values and thought in return he would be appropriately rewarded. He was however keen for his next internal career move.
He took the time to understand his key motivations and who the best people within his organisation were to connect with. He met a number of prominent VP’s, the HR Director and the Managing Director EMEA. He felt he had extended his network and influence within the business.
Whilst he was making positive steps he was feeling some major frustrations on a day to day basis. His line manager had not reviewed his performance effectively or regularly, he had not had a pay review since joining the organisation and no career path was in place. He enjoyed large parts of the culture of the business but he was feeling undervalued from a financial and career development perspective.
After further research he discovered he was significantly underpaid compared to his peers, this was in terms of both basic salary and bonus payment.
He then received a call from a headhunter who had seen his profile on Linkedin and thought he would be a very good fit for a role with a direct competitor.
Being a loyal employee he normally ignored these approaches. This role however was offering a potential 45% increase in salary for doing the same job. So whilst feeling slightly disloyal, he decided to explore the opportunity.
He was successful at first interview and was invited back to give a presentation. He was able to stand out and the organization were keen to employ him.
He accepted their offer. His current business was surprised when he resigned. The company announced he was leaving. Naturally many of his colleagues were shocked - as a top performer they thought he would have been well rewarded and treated fairly.
Finally a senior director intervened. He apologized for the company mismanaging his career and remuneration and offered to match the other company’s offer and pay him a 30% retention bonus.
We calculated that he would earn £65,000 more over the next 12 months - this was for doing the same job and no additional responsibilities.
Had he not been advised to ask for his worth he would have missed out on over £250,000 of earnings over the next 5 years – is that fair?
Many thanks to our guest blogger Adrian Evans