• 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.