The R Word

It’s November, so when I woke up on Monday morning with one of those horrendous colds that only November can induce and battled with my conscience about whether I should stay in bed and eat my weight in tea & toast or drag myself to work and put on my best grimacing-smile, it just seemed like a very to-be-expected Winter’s morning.  To say I was feeling pleased with myself an hour later whilst walking to work, wearing enough layers to hold off the inevitable fever to the point of a semi-acceptable facial shine, is an understatement. Now, when I arrived at work I couldn’t tell if it was the trending Super Moon (that was no where to be seen in Cornwall) creating some kind of otherworldly atmosphere, or if everyone was just feeling as similarly wretched as myself, but sometimes you just know that something is about to go down.

I am a huge advocate for embracing the concept of living a whole variety of different lives within the one you are gifted. No year should be the same as the one previously, and everything is in a constant state of flux. However, I usually like to consider myself to be the decision maker and life-grabber to encourage this momentum along. I was pretty shocked therefore when I found myself walking back along that windy coastal path in the direction of home on Monday morning, not because my consistent sniffling had got too much for my colleagues to deal with, but instead because I had been branded with the R word.

Redundant.

I’ve felt a lot of different feelings since the morning of the event that can only be compared to those brought on by the unexpected end of a romantic relationship. The kind of scenario however, where the relationship has been ended a bit too prematurely and deep down you feel that you were only really just starting to get to know one another.

Just to clarify, I had only been at this job for 7 weeks and 5 days.

So what happens when you are made redundant? How do you feel when your job is deemed as unnecessary in order to keep a company financially afloat?

Despite being relatively new, it still hurts. All of the adrenaline and effort that is associated with working for and attaining a new job has been replaced with a numbing sense of time (and emotions) wasted.

On the other hand, considering my current cold-ridden state, my overall reaction actually leans mostly towards a huge sense of relief, as any guilt about not being able to work has been kindly removed for me. Even so, as the week has gone on and as they say the dust has settled, a truer reflection would be that my emotions seem to flare from anywhere between crazed anger for other colleagues who had a lot of time and effort invested in their career to just be simply let go and pure euphoria about the prospect of that sometimes dreaded question, ‘What Next?’

I have no answer for what is next, and perhaps this is the first moment since selling my business at the end of May that I am genuinely examining that realisation, and it definitely isn’t a bad feeling. If anything, I feel more inquisitive than ever and am taking some time to carefully reflect on how these events are stirring me.

Realisation number one is that the job that has just been taken away from me was not, and realistically was nowhere near, my dream job. I knew that when I fought for and accepted the role, sacrificing both a financial & creative cut all because I loved what the company stood for and what they were trying to achieve. Did I really want to be an office assistant? Potentially not.

This brings me to realisation number two. I can’t help but feel the notion of ‘getting your foot in the door’ is somewhat shifting towards the status of being out-dated. Is it really worth getting a job at a company doing something that doesn’t light your fire, all in the hope that you might one day be doing what you do want to do in that same company? I’m still unsure about this one.

Amongst all of these questions however, realisation number three has been the biggest eye-opener. I had naively looked forward to the certainty of a salaried position, in contrast to the uncertainty of a self-employed lifestyle. You might not ever be in charge of your own life entirely, but oh boy, it certainly doesn’t feel good realising that someone else holds a bigger control.

Sometimes, the most cliché phrases are amusingly relevant when experiencing unplanned life upheaval and I’m holding it close to my heart that I can fling myself over this small hurdle by telling myself, ‘well, at least I learnt a lot.’