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