My thoughts on being made redundant
Meaning: not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
Synonyms: Unnecessary, not required, inessential, unessential, needless, unneeded, uncalled for, dispensable, disposable, expendable. unwanted, useless
Sitting and talking with my sister at her hospital bed last weekend was therapeutic for both of us. For one thing I got to sit still and to worry about her instead of myself for a change. She rested as much as one can in a noisy hospital full of sick people and we talked, on and off, about a range of things. One of our conversations dealt with life after redundancy – well my life after redundancy to be more precise. What would I put on my business card now that I wasn’t ‘anything‘?
Her question to me was ‘what are you going to do’? I’ve asked myself that question so many times over the past few months. Other people have also been asking me, in a somewhat incredulous tone of voice. I’m known as a ‘humming bird on speed’ and ‘WonderwomanDebz’ after all!!
For someone like me – an active 55 year old with over 20 years of going to the same workplace day in day out and enjoying my rewarding work – to be made redundant is an awful feeling. I have been through a range of emotions since finding out my fate in May of this year. I have fought the changes strongly and I am now at the ‘almost’ accepting it stage. I am starting to look forward to a new life but I find myself wondering at times just what I will ‘do’.
In an article I read recently it stated that death, divorce and moving house are the three most traumatic events of a person’s life…. being sacked is on par with the other three.
Why? Because we are often defined by what we do; with our sense of identity, how we function in our families and communities, it’s all bound up by what we do, what our career has made us. The article went on to discuss that in the eyes of the law despite the employment contract being just like any other contract, an employer breaking it doesn’t warrant compensation for the hurt and distress caused. In other areas like discrimination law the hurt and suffering of an individual is taken into account while the life changing effect of sudden unemployment isn’t at all.
Put simply: being sacked pummels a person’s self-confidence and their ability to function normally, yet the law specifically limits redress for those that are sacked.
Apparently losing a job can be the precursor to marriage breakups, substance abuse and other woes.
I am fortunate to be of an age to consider an early retirement and I should receive a decent redundancy but that’s not the point. I have made my job an important part of my life, to some extent, I am defined by my career and, until this year, I felt valued and secure. Since being told this news in May 2016 I have not felt ‘right’, I have lost a sense of ‘me’ and I haven’t even left the building yet. What will I be like when I don’t have to get up to go to work every day; will I manage to turn this to my benefit? I’m sure I will be fine and one day I will look back on this situation and think to myself, what was I so worried about?
This morning when I was out for my early morning walk I came across this arrow on the track and took it as a sign to move forward.
A line from a movie also struck me as being very appropriate and great advice in the form of Shakespeare’s famous quote, to be or not to be. I’m paraphrasing here – To be …. just absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally ‘be’.
So that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to just ‘be’….
I know there are others out there who have been through similar situations, I’m definitely not the first person to be made redundant – how do you cope? Will I eventually see the silver lining? Any thoughts and ideas would be most appreciated.
The good news is that I’m off now for a few weeks holiday, getting away from it all might be just what I need to clear my head.
Have a great weekend and thanks for listening!
Losing your job can cost more than the lost wage – article