My Truth About Redundancy
Redundancy can be a great catalyst to creating new and exciting beginnings – it often is – but it can also be a hugely painful, demotivating and truly terrifying experience…
I thought getting made redundant would be what I wanted. I had been feeling increasing alienated in my most recent job and a fellow colleague had taken several opportunities to try and throw me under the bus in front of both our boss and the MD (apparently he’s done this to others too, so it appears he’s basically a career cock). As a result, I didn’t want to leave, but I did kind of see it coming, so it really wasn’t a massive surprise when my boss told me during our monthly 1-2-1 session – that’s always great news as part of your personal development!
Being a Recruitment Manager / Head of Department by day, I figured that it would be easy to find something else similar relatively soon, so I wasn’t too worried, even if I still felt a bit crap hearing the news. I pretty much left with immediate effect, so as not to worry about having to explain the situation to the rest of the team – and my direct reports – causing even more feelings of crapness, with my boss stating that she’d tell the rest of the team later and also the business. She didn’t; I’ll explain more shortly…
Why was I made redundant then?
Well, I worked for a large recruitment company who specialise in providing on-site solutions to mainly large retail or manufacturing companies, and I was basically hired to come in and centralise all permanent hiring, create processes and metrics, design strategies, implement selection frameworks and improve candidate experience. Not too big a job then. Buuut, the wider market hasn’t been so great this year and consequently the company didn’t make as much profit as they expected. So after a huge restructure earlier in the year, they were then again faced with having to do another one and try to cut further costs. As I had pretty much done everything I was tasked with doing (yeah, I don’t fuck around) and the amount of volume recruitment internally had increased, it meant that I was having to step in more on the operational side and was basically acting as an overpaid recruiter who’s additional skills and ideas were surplus to requirement. I do therefore get why I was “let go”, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I was happy about it, or by the way it was handled…
What actually happened?
I was made to look shit, basically. I found out 2 weeks after I left, that my situation still hadn’t been communicated internally and essentially people both inside and outside the business who were asking after me were being told I’d left! Erm, no. I hadn’t. They made me redundant! When I contacted my old boss to ask what was happening, she tried to explain that it was still being managed internally and they didn’t want many people knowing’ - that doesn’t meant that she couldn’t at least tell the fucking team!!!
To be honest, I’m still not sure that people even know now, but that didn’t stop me from contacting a few colleagues and telling them the truth. If it really was a genuine redundancy then other people deserved to know and I deserved to have my reputation remain intact. One of the most disappointing things is that it doesn’t seem that many others have been let go either and that is making me feel like it’s been personal towards me. Working as part of a wider HR team that is extroverted, loud and predominately made up of either females or homosexual men (4/5!) and if I let my paranoia get the better of me, it has made me feel like they thought I didn’t fit in. #outsider
Getting on with shit
I've tried to move on and after navigating my way repeatedly around the 5 stages of grief, I think I've finally settled on Anger as my default stage. I am bitter and I am still pissed off. It’s not just the way it was handled, but also the fact that it was done 1 day before my 1st year anniversary at the company and also right before Christmas for fuck’s sake!
I’ve tried to remain positive in my job search, but I've sadly been knocked back, ignored, had roles pulled at the last minute and told I’d be better suited to project positons despite being able to do the roles standing on my head. I know in part that it is due to the time of year that there isn’t much suitable out there, but still, it’s not for a lack of me trying. The worst thing is that I’ve tried to go for some junior or administrative positions just to get some money coming in, but am getting dismissed for being too senior! Ha. I just want to work and add some value somewhere – surely if it’s a temp position, it really doesn’t matter who the job holder is as long as they are a) capable of doing the job; or b) willing to accept the going rate.
I've even met with some agencies who state they’ll do this that and the other to approach potential clients, but in the end you don’t hear anything back, or you do all the chasing yourself. To be fair to myself though, any “successes” I've had in my job search have been down to me and my own tenacity…
What have I learned?
That you cannot rely on anyone but yourself and if you want something done, just get your head down and do it. I’ve also learned that I don’t miss the day to day job of a Resourcer/Recruiter; I did a brief stint for a local agency to get a bit of cash in and although I found them some great CVs and generated a few new leads for their pipeline, I’m not that person anymore and don’t get joy from doing that side of recruitment.
I've learned to harness my creativity too. I’m naturally quite imaginative and love to write, so I've used this to put myself out there and showcase my talents – turns out I’m actually a pretty good rapper and video editor too! Haha.
I now want to focus on helping other businesses attract their best talent and I’m on my way to setting myself up to fail to provide advert writing services as a means of my own business venture. I've made a lot of new connections and hopefully some of these will prove valuable in the New Year.
Oh, the feelings!
To tell another truth, this has been probably the shittest couple of months I've had in a very long time. I've been constantly worried about money and we’ve even had to sell some things to make extra cash! I've put in a claim for Universal Credit, started using my overdraft again (after not doing so for years) and even had to borrow money from my dad; I mean, jesus, I'm not far off 40 years old and I've had to ask my dad for money – way to make someone feel good!
I am consistently afraid for the future and I've been drinking more (a lot more) than I did, feeling like I haven’t really enjoyed anything recently, except booze; but at least it helps with the numbness and emptiness I'm constantly experiencing. It is hard to not let things get you down, but I am trying to remain positive and know that things will get better in the New Year; it’s just that I want things better now. I need money now. I want a sense of belonging now. It’s tough with it being Christmas too; I’m usually like Buddy the Elf at this time of year, but sadly I just don’t feel it this time. I want to, but I'm not sure how I can.
Anyway, maudlin aside, I need to move on and I am moving on, but I will be holding a grudge against my last employer for a very long time I reckon…
My future is now
Well, I’m sat writing this during a bit of downtime at my desk where I am currently providing a weeks worth of Receptionist support to company in Loughborough, for £9.50 an hour. I've never been a Receptionist before, but day 2 on the job and I can really appreciate what work goes into a role like this. When it’s quiet it can be lonely (my preference anyway!) and when it’s busy it is literally all kicking off at the same time, but it’s money for me and my family. I’d rather be doing something than nothing and at least bringing in a bit of cash.
What annoys me though, is that to get this specific job, I’ve had to register with multiple temp agencies and literally explain in simple terms that pay rate isn’t a problem, the location isn’t a problem and the duties aren’t a problem; if they need someone immediately available and for a short stint or longer, just call me. It has taken almost 2 months for it to twig! FFS.
The upside of all of this, I guess, is that I have managed to spend a lot more time with the Little Man. I’ve gotten to know him better again and he’s finally starting to see me as a source of comfort as well as a source of mirth, which just melts my heart that bit more. I will make sure that I enjoy the Festive Period and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens his presents!