Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Where to begin...

... I lost my job. And there it is.

Everything has a beginning, but mine feels currently like an end.

Almost two weeks ago I lost my job. No, I didn't do something horrible, under-perform, or otherwise upset management. I was made redundant.

Now there is a word.

I have to keep reminding myself that it's not about me, I'm not redundant. My job is. But it gets kinda hard from time to time.

Australia, in general, has escaped the very worst of the GFC. We weathered it all quite well for the most part and certainly in comparison to other countries out there. But it appears we are still not immune.

A little bit of history might not go astray right about now. My hubbie and I have known a little bit of Struggle Street the past few years. P has been owner and director of his own successful company for pretty much his entire adult life. He's never really worked for anyone else, except for the typical teenage job at a fast food franchise who's name will not be spoken.

When the pain of the GFC started to be felt in Australia I was about to go off on maternity leave to have and care for M. At that time, about 2 years ago, P's business started to feel quite the proverbial pinch. It was a stressful time and hard to handle with a new baby in the house and no immediate return to work feasible or acceptable for me. But we struggled on, living off our savings, with P out there trying his darnedest to get things happening. But the work for him in his industry just... dried up.

It was a really awful time for him personally as he struggled with a misplaced sense of failure and tried desperately to save his business and generate an income. But he realised his heart just wasn't in it anymore. When the inevitable outcome reared its ugly head very recently, and we reached a decision that it was time to shut up shop and for P to look for work elsewhere, it followed a prolonged period of mourning and mounting financial burden. Miraculously, P was offered a job within one month of job-seeking, and the celebrations began. With his new, modest salary, and my part-time wage we might be able to breathe finally. Pay our expenses and mortgage and just get on with life after being on hold and flying by the seat of our pants for what felt like such a long time.

Except life had something else in store for us. It was a normal day like any other.

Except for one small thing... I turned up for work and a few hours later walked out clutching a letter of apology and my referral to a careers consultancy to help me get back on my feet. I was not alone. A quarter, yes a quarter, of staff in my office also got handed that letter and referral. "Shocked" doesn't begin to explain it.

I was floored, devastated, horrified, terrified, and initially at least, strangely energised.

I feel for those who were left behind, returning in the days following to that ghost town of an office. Seeing the empty desks of their former colleagues and being constantly reminded and perhaps even feeling a little guilty about why they were there and others weren't.

What I don't feel is any sense of resentment or bitterness. It's weird... I guess having managed businesses myself before I know that this was nothing but a business decision. It's not personal, in fact if the cuts hadn't been made the organisation would have folded completely very soon. And we are not talking about some corporate juggernaut. I worked for a wonderful Australian not-for-profit, non-government organisation whose work is without doubt incredibly valuable to the lives it touches.

I am left wondering where in the world to go next. I have limited options as I have limited childcare and no flexibility for expanding this at least in the short term. Accessing long daycare, in Sydney at least, is a battle of epic proportions. Wait lists are incredibly long and vocal chords are worn out with the begging to centre directors to find you a spot. Hah! Maybe I should go into childcare! I fear finding a job that slots right into those three days of care may be quite difficult. My careers counsellor tends to agree. But work I must...

I am a mother and a wife, but I am also me and my career is part of who I am.

In the meantime I have found that I am unable to focus, prone to weepiness and simply feeling a bit lost to put it mildly.

Can't sew... I can't focus long enough and the idea of picking up my half-completed project is too daunting a prospect. How odd, since some of my greatest peace is found with a project in hand. So I may not be posting for a little while whilst I ride this new challenge. I know there are many worse off than me and I am thankful for the love and the beauty and the joy in my life.

And lastly - Good Luck P! You start your new job today and I am so incredibly proud of you. You are a star, a shining beacon in my life and I love you...

Here's to new beginnings.

8 comments:

  1. Yeah, that's shitty. I'm so sorry, but it sounds like you've got your head around the situation. My husband and I are both looking for work (me in museums/non-profits), so I can commiserate. Best of luck finding something that fits your life - and please remember to be kind to yourself! And if you're at all like me, hopefully there is someone who can lend an ear to help relieve stress.

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    1. Thanks Amy. So sad to hear you are in the same boat - and both you and your husband! I'm so thankful P has a job. I wish you all the very, very best with your job search.

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  2. I am so sorry you are in this situation Jillian, and I am the feelings of depression you are experiencing I hope will lighten soon. But I am glad your husband has found a great position.
    My best wishes, and hoping you find something else soon to suit.
    Thanks so much for your kind comment on my dress :) You are sweet

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  3. Oh no! I've got my fingers crossed for you that something absolutely perfect turns up very, very soon. xx L

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    1. Thanks Liesl. Still looking, fingers crossed this end too. Have somewhat found my sewing mojo again, finishing my half-finished vintage Vogue blouse recently. Will blog soon :)

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  4. Sorry to hear that. I really feel for you both. Similarly, my boyfriend and I both lost our jobs within two months of each other. I totally relate to that sense of shock and panic. Good luck to your dude with his new job, and I promise the shock will wear off xx

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  5. The company I work for has gone through many layoffs including laying off my husband, but it was the push that made him go back to school. I think everything will turn out ok and hopefully for the best. Hoping things turn out for the best for you as well

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    1. Thanks for your support! Yes, hopefully things will work out. I am still looking, part-time work is really hard to find especially when you have no flexibility in availability, but that's just how it is with a young child :) We'll get there.

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