In July 2019 I took redundancy from a company that I’d worked at for 11 years. 11 years! I don’t really remember work before that. It was the company I’d worked at since I was 19 and it was the place where I grew, learnt new skills and made the most amazing friends. Throughout that 11 years I also realised what I enjoyed, what I was good at and what I wanted to do with my career.
If you’re reading this and you’re going through redundancy at the moment, then I have a message for you – try not freak out. Redundancy doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and that’s going to be the main message for this blog post. Life is what you make it, so don’t let it stress you out or get you down because everything will work out just how it’s supposed to.
I am now working as a Freelancer. Something that I would have never even considered when I was in my old job. I had been totally used to the corporate world!
I get to write, review food and work in PR while all supporting local businesses – literally my DREAM. 4 months ago I never would have thought this was possible. I didn’t realise there was life outside of my old company (I suppose that’s because I stayed there for 11 years!)
In June last year I had a decision to make. My role that I was currently in was being made redundant. I could either stay and do another role in a different team or, leave the company all together and start fresh.
I know that I was extremely lucky that I was given options. I know sometimes people are just told that they are losing their job and don’t have any choice but to leave. But, I had been at that company for such a long time and actually most of them were really good to me. And actually most places will do this, so if you’ve been told you’re being made redundant, make sure you have a chat and see if there’s anything else that’s available for you.
Even though I had technically lost my job, they did everything to ensure that I wasn’t about to be hauled out with nowhere to go and nothing to do. The teams that had offered me roles were great teams with brilliant people, I would have learnt a lot and they would have been great mentors. But I just had this feeling that it was time to spread my wings and dip into something new.
If you have been given a choice and aren’t sure whether to leave it not then there’s lots of things you can do to help you decide. I will write a separate post for that as it’ll make this post extremely long – but a pro’s and con’s list is definitely a MUST do! It’ll help you decide how you really feel.
Learning something new
I won’t lie, at the time I had a bit of a meltdown – after I left I cried a lot and spend a shit load of my redundancy money on beauty courses.
I had a little freak out and thought for some reason that I had to learn a new skill otherwise I’d never work again (stupid I know). I’d never done a beauty course before but I had always had an interest in it – I love making people feel good, so I thought if I could do brows, lashes, facials etc then it would be a perfect new career for me. I had all this time on my hands and honestly, I just felt like doing something completely different. Plus, working from home really appealed to me – I’m not a morning person and I really loved the thought of being able to choose my own hours.
I redecorated my basement and turned it into a beauty room (painted it, new floor down etc which again isn’t cheap), bought a massive load of equipment, ordered business cards and flyers, spent time setting up a website and social channels, for then to one day realise actually I don’t think this is going to be my career. That was a MASSIVE learning curve.
I am very much one of those people who has an idea and just has to do it there and then – I know I am super impatient but I just can’t help it. What I didn’t know back then, was that 3 months later my basement was going to flood and totally ruin my new “beauty room” anyway. (Which I am now taking as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be)
I did give beauty a chance, I did some lashes and facials and I did enjoy it. But I started to realise that I didn’t want people in and out of my house all day and I was nowhere near established enough to rent a beauty room somewhere (heads up – it’s a lot of money to rent a beauty room!)
So I am using it as my ‘uni’ excuse – a lot of people study subjects at uni and don’t actually go on to work in that sector, so I’m classing that little stint as mine! But, if you have to go and do something different for a while then that’s absolutely fine.
Even though I haven’t ended up in the beauty sector, I had a go at doing something completely different and it kept my brain busy whilst going through the redundancy process, and I now have a string to add to my bow. Plus, it’s pretty useful being able to do your own brows and give yourself a facial!
The universe has plans for you…
During my redundancy time I also started a food Instagram account. This was inspired by my friend who has a vegan account: Cooking It Vegan. I have had blogger Instagram accounts in the past, but they hadn’t really worked. I think I was just posting all kinds of crap to be honest, but this time I had a plan.
I won’t bore you and go into every detail as I’ve gone on long enough as it is, but I will say that I had absolutely no idea what kinds of opportunities an Instagram account could bring. Turns out it can bring A LOT. I mean, obviously I had to have skills. At my previous jobs I had worked in digital marketing, copywriting and PR and these have all given me the experience that I needed to get me where I am today.
Through my new Instagram account I met some totally inspiring people and it’s thanks to them that I have now have jobs that I love and feel inspired by.
Sometimes confidence plays a huge part, when I was at my previous job, I thought that I had to learn a new skill because I wasn’t good enough at what I was doing. If I was good enough then surely I wouldn’t have been made redundant, right? Wrong. If you’ve been made redundant please don’t let it make you think that you aren’t good enough, because you are. It just means that the universe has a bigger and better plan for you.
Tips and tricks
So, even though I did have a few strops, a bit of a career life-crisis and totally questioned my ability to ever work again, it did all work out. Here’s some top tips on how to get through to redundancy:
Go ahead and learn new things – even if you don’t end up making a career out of it, learn a new skill and keep it in your back pocket.
Write out what you’d like to do in the future, if you don’t know, then just write down what you enjoy doing and go and do more of what you enjoy, believe me, something will come of it.
Set some goals – where would you like to be in 3, 5 or 10 years? Make those goals happen.
Chat to people – go for a coffee with someone who inspires you, you never know where a catch up and coffee can lead to.
Read books about careers and redundancies. There will be careers about that you hadn’t even know existed! Books can help your mindset.
Chat to others who have been made redundant – they will have advice and tips that you won’t have even thought of.
Make the most of your time off – even if it’s just a week or so, enjoy time to yourself and do things that you don’t usually get time to do. I am sure I had a couple of days just lounging around on the sofa!
Do stuff around the house – I rearranged a few rooms and it made such a difference.
See friends and family – it can get a little lonely being by yourself, so make sure that you still spend time with people (unless you usually have kids running around you, in which case lap up the alone time!)
Put out positive vibes – I am a big fan of this one and a true believer that the universe will give back what you put out there, so stay positive and keep asking for your dream role.
I hope that this has helped, I know it’s long winded but I had a lot that I wanted to say. If you have any questions then please feel free to message me and ask away!