I’ve been made redundant – now what?

I've been laid off - now what? Redundancy after maternity leaveI was meant to return to work in late May. I was never going to be one of those people who don’t come back after parental leave.

But I didn’t, because my job was eliminated. (Along with many others, BTW … no discrimination or anything here!)

Waiting for the axe

It definitely didn’t come as a surprise.

A conversation with my boss a couple of months ahead of my scheduled return about changes in the business set the scene. Restructuring was taking place at management level, and once that was confirmed, the writing was on the wall for the rest of us.

The various stages of processing

Eeek! Time to figure out Plans B through to Z.

But realistically … they still need someone to take care of this function. Maybe I’m worrying for no reason.

And yet … they might change it up. It doesn’t need to be this particular title/exact role. Plus, Political Reasons…

Hey, it might be nice to … get a redundancy payout. And no longer have to deal with Annoying Thing X (every job has its own Thing).

Trust that it will all work out. For the best.

While I know it’s 0% personal and have no issue with that, I  found myself randomly flashing back to 2015, when I resigned from a job that I really loved and didn’t quite feel ready to leave yet. However, a seriously made-for-me opportunity had come up, and I couldn’t say no.

I’d started crying as soon as I sat down in front of my manager and the entire meeting was a blubbery mess. I believe I came away having given the impression that I hadn’t 100% made up my mind, but in fact I had, which led to an awkward need to confirm where things stood a couple days later. *facepalm*

In this case, hearing the words “proposed disestablished” over the phone was a totally different experience. I wasn’t emotional; I just wanted to know the important facts … timelines, dates, and of course, $$$.

Sealing our fates

A few weeks ahead of my scheduled return, my fate was signed off. Our team was no more.

There was a bit of back and forth as the change wasn’t due to go into effect until almost a month after I came back, but in the end we decided it made little sense for me to be there for such a short time.

The only upside, really, would have been that it would be easier for me to interview for other jobs if I was back at work and already spending my days in the city … but all the other cons outweighed this.

This isn’t my first brush with redundancy – at literally every organisation I worked at prior to this, people around me lost their jobs due to restructuring at some point. But it’s still a shock when it finally happens to you.

The toughest thing is knowing that finding my feet as a working parent is now going to be extra difficult. The work-life balance I enjoyed was awesome and the environment of total flexibility and trust I knew I was originally going back to meant a lot. Working from home, working around daycare dropoff and pickup, or sick kids … all non-issues.

That just won’t be possible in a brand new role, those are privileges that need to be earned.

Taking redundancy, gaining time

The upside of getting laid off is obviously getting severance. It was a generous redundancy payout … I received a couple of months’ worth, plus some accrued leave I had banked.

It means I’ll probably get to be home with Spud for close to a year, after all. Even if not by designation or choice, I’m grateful to get this time. Especially as he had terrible separation anxiety right about the time I was originally scheduled to go back to work!

In the meantime, juggling job applications, freelance work, phone calls/Skypes, and in-person interviews has been a serious nightmare with a high needs baby. I’ve veered between serenity and intense fear/depression/anxiety/stress as various opportunities have cropped up, then fallen away. Taking it one day at a time, having faith that overall it will all come together … holding on to my goals and not succumbing to the panic, as I’ve always landed on my feet.

6 thoughts on “I’ve been made redundant – now what?

  • Reply Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life August 1, 2019 at 07:30

    Hugs and deep breaths together.

    I’m so glad that you have a severance and paid leave to help you through this period but UGH job searching with a deadline is never fun. Add in a new baby, and I’m sending you all the Zen I can muster. I really hope you land something that will let you start when you’re ready and pay what you need.

  • Reply Leigh August 1, 2019 at 11:35

    Hugs, friend. Layoffs are hard and I’m sorry you got hit with one while you were on maternity leave. I hope you land a new job you love but I’m glad that you got some severance to extend your leave a bit.

  • Reply Yet Another PF Blog August 1, 2019 at 23:49

    I am sorry you are going through such a tough time. Layoffs are never fun, and one on top of caring for a newborn is a lot to have on your shoulders. I hope you land on your feet soon and find time in the meanwhile to take care of yourself as well.

  • Reply SP August 2, 2019 at 04:02

    Sorry to hear this, but glad that you have some safety nets. Best of luck with the job searching!

  • Reply A Black Penny August 3, 2019 at 21:00

    Taking deep breathes in empathy for you with the Hatchling asleep in my lap – hugs and wishing you the best. I understand that it’s both a good and terrible thing for this to happen whilst you’re on maternity thing – hoping you get to resolve things as smoothly as possible!

  • Reply Funky chicken August 5, 2019 at 02:35

    I’m so sorry to hear. I’m in a similar situation but my redundancy coincides with the start of my maternity leave. I’m lucky I was able to negotiate to still get paid company parental leave along with what we receive from the redundancy policy but the return and flexibility is what I’m really sad to lose.

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