The Art of Redundancy 🤔

Life has a funny way of sorting itself out sometimes. I am delighted to report that I have a new job which I will be starting on 3rd June. I obviously have to squeeze in some more travel before then. Those of you that know me will not be surprised with the previous statement.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at Exclusively Housewares in my new role as Housewares Sector Manager for BHETA. How wonderful to be able to stay in an industry I genuinely love. I am hoping I can help and support others, going forward, in this role.

I thought I would pen a few words about my experiences over recent months. So let’s start from the beginning.

The definition of redundancy is given as:

“The state of being not or no longer needed or useful”, or

“The state of no longer being employed because there is no more work available”.

Don’t believe the above when it comes to being made redundant – take it from me. A human being is never “no longer useful”. Work does not define you or your life unless you are one of the lucky creative types. Of course, it helps to pay for the annoying things in life like mortgages and bills, but also the treats. There may be no more work available at your current employer but there has to be some somewhere! At this point I would also like to remind you to never forget your worth which is tested acutely at times. Good people cannot be kept down ( Kam Nash).

Many of you reading this will at some point have experienced redundancy personally, through colleagues, family or friends. In my career, I have survived redundancy once, have been part of the team that has made people redundant and stopped a redundancy. I did not truly appreciate how people felt and cannot turn back the clock to come up with the appropriate words. I just remember feeling great sadness when colleagues were no longer around. But I have also seen those that have been made redundant flourish elsewhere.

Over recent months I have experienced sadness, loneliness, worry, hurt and a sense of being lost. Why me? I’m good at my job….people have always said that. I had lost my anchor, which I believed to be work.

I hope I do not come across as preachy or gushy but here are some observations after being made redundant at the end of 2018 along with six of my colleagues.

– Try and remain positive. Don’t shoot the messenger 🙏🏽 I can’t tell you how and cannot convince anyone that it is easy.

– Think about what you want to do. Do you want to carry on doing what you did before? Do you have skills to do something else? Hmmm, I wish I’d taken my metalwork seriously. Can you afford to learn a new skill? I have spent many hours and had numerous conversations debating and trying to unravel these points.

– Surround yourself with kind but honest people. They will keep you on the right path. They will help keep it real 😬 You will have some dark days; let them come and pass. I’ll leave mindfulness and being in the now to those in the know.

– Do listen to people and try not to roll your eyes when you hear for the umpteenth time “everything happens for a reason”, “something better is out there for you”, “enjoy the paid holiday”, “it will give you a chance to decide what you really want to do”. Well, actually, I just want to work and do a good job. Jeez! Being positive for weeks on end sounds tough.

– Get your CV checked by a professional CV writing company; get recommendations. One of my darkest days was when one of these companies targeted me. I felt absolutely dejected and they left me wanting to curl up in a quiet corner. Let’s just say that was not a productive day. They did not know me and had pitched it wrong – they completely pulled my CV to shreds (which btw had been created by another company only a few months earlier and is pretty ok).

Redundancy is a painful experience. I am not trying to belittle and undermine the emotional upheaval. And for many it brings with it financial trauma. I have a daughter at university and my concern was how would I continue to support her. In addition, my husband had only recently started a new job himself. I was lucky enough to go through the process relatively smoothly and was treated well by my previous employer.

I read so many posts and the positive memes … but my personal favourites and ones I have tried to live by are as follows:

– Keep busy. I was lucky enough to go to India for six weeks as many of you know. I made sure I visited some new places, learnt more about The Hope Foundation in Kolkata and immersed myself in family. Back in the UK I got more involved with the charities and community group I support. My kitchen cupboards have never been so tidy and everything is within its use by date 😂 Who can claim that?? I’ve made sure that every day I do something. Walking is free so have been trying to do more of this in readiness for my 10 Peak Lake District Challenge – it seemed like a good idea at the time. 24 miles in 12 hours with a 5am start 🤦🏽‍♀

– Rediscover the things you used to enjoy before you became a workaholic. Well, my husband and friends can’t believe the amount of baking and cooking that’s going on in my kitchen. And all from scratch! Blimey, how times have changed. Be warned that this brings on extra calories.

– I’m also enjoying creating conversations through my blogs. I don’t claim to be a great writer but get great pleasure from connecting with readers.

– Don’t be embarrassed.

– Don’t be angry.

– Try something new – well why not! When will you get this time again? Why wait until you retire? Well, I am trying something new but it’s a secret for now 🤫

– Spend more time with your loved ones. I’ve spent so many nights away and on the road. Before you know it you will be back at work.

– Keep networking and enjoy it. Do it because you get a kick engaging with people.

– Remember that people genuinely want to help. Be gracious if nothing comes out of these conversations. It’s all about timing.

So many events overtake our lives on a continual basis and it is very rare that we are actually in control. We firefight and juggle all the commitments of modern life like true pros. These recent months have given me the opportunity to slow down and learn to wonder at my life more. I have always been grateful and will continue to be so.

I’m truly excited about my new job and accept I am one of the lucky ones. If you think I can help you just get in touch.

🙏🏽

Seema

And hoorah for me for not mentioning Brexit!!! Well, not until now!

15 thoughts on “The Art of Redundancy 🤔

  1. No one will ever suppress the spirit of adventure and ‘can-do’ approach you have to everything that comes your way. Your ability to embrace every opportunity, large and small, will always be an inspiration. No luck wished on you in your new job. You make your own luck, you always have. Love you like a sister. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seema, you are always so bubbly and jovial, that I didn’t realise how bad you have been feeling! I am so pleased that the pressure has now lessened and that you have made this time positive, by doing new and exciting things. Gx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You sum it up perfectly. It’s not till you’ve been there that you can understand the rejection and feeling of being worthless. I learnt a lot about me after my two redundancies – it certainly makes you think. And yes, like many, you’ve come out the other side enriched and with an exciting new opportunity ahead. Many congrats. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It takes courage to be candid about personal experiences, Hey! You certainly will encourage many who have felt dejected to cease the opportunity and search for something new .
    We start to believe the job we done for many years is critically important and “we” are indispensable.
    I’m very happy for you and wish you happiness in your new job

    Liked by 1 person

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