Is it THAT time of year, already?

Well ladies and gents, here we are again.  The last day of the year and one that has been a bit of an adventure for me, as you well know, and as I look back at 2012, there are quite a few things to reflect upon.

I knew that it would be interesting back in January, even then events at my old work place were smacking me in the head loud and clear and telling me that there would be changes afoot for me.  And what changes they were!

What surprised me the most about the whole redundancy thing was how it made me feel and how much it effected me as a person.  I did not appreciate how low my confidence and self-esteem were and how I thought that even though I was happy with their decision, I was full of doubt about whether I would get another job, or that I had any talents of any description that are marketable and would make another company want to hire me.

That is where my outplacement consultant Sue, was an absolute godsend.  When I first met her I could not think of one positive thing to say about myself; I felt useless and really quite beaten and thought I was a waste of space.  I was scared of getting back out in the job market again after so long and was sure that no-one would hire me.  The only thing I did know is that I didn’t want a permanent job, I wanted and still want to do short-term contract/temp jobs and see how other places function.  I want to meet new people and go from place to place for a while until I make my decision about my future.

Sue gently steered me through my stupid maze of self-loathing and was the best thing that my old organisation did for me, well that and the redundancy money, of course!  With a revamped CV, a ton of hints and tips and always there at the end of the telephone or email, I was ready to face the world of the job seeker again and even though I was nervous when I went for my first interview, I had done my homework, was prepared and would have got the job, if there had been one to get in the first place!

I did get another job very soon afterwards and I am there until mid January.  The agency is pleased with the feedback they have been given and I know that my colleagues will be sad to see me go and wanted me to apply for the permanent position.  That is really good to hear and you cannot imagine how that has made me feel.  Finally knowing that I am good at my job and that people want me has been a real boost to my confidence.  Yes, I realise that it is my first job, but it is the start I needed and a good foundation for the future.

Usually I feel a little bit sad on this day and wish the outgoing year had been a better one, and yes, part of me was sad to have ended my career at an organisation that I once was so proud to work for.  However, not this time.  Today I am glad to see the back of 2012 and all that I went through, glad to see the back of that place where I had been unhappy for so long and curious and excited about my tomorrows and beyond.

It only remains for me to say that I wish you all a wonderful New Year, and I really hope that 2013 is a bright, brilliant and beautiful year for you all.



“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye…” *

Well, the last few days have been interesting to say the least!

My boss and I were told last Thursday that we are being made redundant.  The whole department that we are in is under review and since she joined in 2007, we have been pushed from pillar to post and our existence has never been safe.  She has never been allowed to do the job she was employed to do and under my last department’s review in 2006, I was dumped into my present role; a role I never wanted and have not enjoyed doing.  The organisation has never embraced the role that she does and have just paid lip service to it.  We have never had the backing of the majority of our managers and she has been treated rather appallingly since she joined.  I guess you could say that I benefited from an extra six years employment and that is a good thing but my time has now come to an end.

The fear of being without a job has always weighed heavy on my mind.  I guess partly because I was brought up hearing my Dad telling me never be unemployed, always have a job, be financially solvent etc.  And since 1983, when I moved to London, I have never been out of work – well, bar one week when I was between jobs.  So, of course, the prospect of being made redundant was something that I was not looking forward to.

To be told last week that I am no longer wanted came as a bit of a shock and I reacted as one would, and panicked and worried and everything else that happens to you when you get bad news.  The department manager wanted to tell boss and I before the main presentation last Friday; he said that he did not want us to find out in front of everyone else.  Which we appreciated.  I felt really sorry for the rest of the branch when the formal presentation was given to us and there were some very unhappy people there.  I am glad that I won’t be around to see what happens down the line.

I have worked at my present organisation for 21½ years and that is a long time to be at one place and I know that things have changed alot in the outside world, as it were, since I joined.  However, as part of the official consultation process, they have to go through the motions to see if they can find me a suitable position elsewhere, and I really hope that they don’t manage to do that!  I accept that you don’t want me anymore (I am always a bit cynical when they say that they are not getting rid of the person but are getting rid of the post), I accept that my face does not fit in your future vision, so let’s cut the crap and just pay me off and let me go.  I don’t want to stay there and I hope that they put me on gardening leave and tell me not to come back after I return from my holiday at the start of August.

I see this situation as a good thing, a positive thing and based on pretty good, albeit rough back of the envelope calculations, I should have enough to pay off the mortgage and still have a lump sum to play with.  Paying the mortgage was always a worry of mine if I found myself out of work and this should solve that for me.  I am happy about this happening to me now and excited about the future.  Don’t find me a suitable position elsewhere, don’t make me work my notice out, give me my money and let me go so that I can go off and find somewhere that will appreciate me and where I can put my talents, such as they are, to better use.  You may not want me anymore, but somewhere else will.  I am surplus to your requirements, but I won’t be to somewhere else.

To any of you who read this who are or might be facing the same fate, yes, it is perfectly normal to be scared and upset about being discarded by your present employer and your reaction and fear is totally justified.  I am the biggest scaredy cat about things like this!  However, I am now feeling so positive that I can’t quite believe that this is me talking!  So, try to see it as a good thing, see it as something that is to your advantage and an opportunity for you to find or do something that you really want to do.

Oh, I am not that naive to think that I will walk into another job immediately; it will take time and I will have to accept being turned down by many people in the process, but something will come along and it will be better and I will survive and that is the main thing.

And you will too.

*lyrics from The Sound of Music.