I`m highly likely going to be made redundant as per 31/12/15, and I have volunteered. This was a process rather than a decision, and I want to share it.
My parents have both instilled in me a big work ethic. Education, success and financial rewards were less important (although they would have been pleased), but you have to work, even when you`re ill, and when you`re on annual leave, you`ll have to work something else at home. Unemployment was unthinkeable for respectable people, unless you were a woman and chose to have a family instead.
I consider myself successful in my first job, and although I didn`t come to my current employer with promotion already in mind, I developed an, at times strong, hunger when people told me I could. I then fell out of favour, applied unsuccessfully six times, so I stopped applying and enjoyed having nice colleagues and easy work instead. Although I tried for a carefully selected few other jobs, I was never disappointed when those did not materialise – I had grown into a rather cosy comfort zone.
Every so often it occurred to me that I`d have to move eventually if I didn`t want to do the same thing until retirement, and it also occurred (and happened) that others moved on away from me, people who had held me back, because I was so attached to them. My work has always been dynamic and interesting in terms of the environment, and all those things distracted from the fact that it hasn`t added anything to my CV since 3 years or so.
We`ve known for a while that our employer needs to save a lot of money, and they`ve always been open about the fact that this would affect staffing and the way we work. For a while, I was wondering whether this was going to open up opportunities, but it then became clearer that the opposite will be the case.
I first started to think about the importance of work in general when a very beloved colleague resigned without a new job to go to. At the same time, my husband started to become serious about planning his retirement, and our financial advisor confirmed that we would be comfortable. Removing the need, the pressure, to earn a certain amount of money certainly opened up my mind before we were invited to apply for voluntary redundancy…
(to be continued)