I remember the exact moment they told me ‘sorry, your position has been made redundant’. I remember their exact facial expressions. I remember the exact feeling as my face uncontrollably screwed up into the dreaded ugly crying face.
I knew as soon as I walked into that cold, wretched room that haunts my dreams (it doesn’t) that they were about to tell me I was a goner.
It was a few years ago now when I was working as a sub-editor for a newspaper in Australia. They had started the ole restructure bu’ness and had to boot about half of us out.
I have worked in newspapers for coming up 10 years and every job I’ve ever had has gone through some restructure, also known as ‘cull the subs!’ or ‘death to the English language/journalism/print publications’.
I’d survived though – until this time.
They made the announcement about five months before the doomsday date and immediately before I went on a six-week overseas trip. The months of nervous waiting – all part of your generous redundancy package.
The day they told us, four months later, I knew it was coming. I felt it in my bones. Probably because I knew there were other staff there much more worthy of sticking around than I. But it still came as a shock.
I honestly don’t recall the exact thoughts going through my head around that time, other than feeling like a loser, reject, idiot, and worthless, stupid and completely lost.
Although, I imagine my thoughts were probably like:
‘what? No more free morning teas?’
‘what the heck am I gonna do now, man?’
‘why doesn’t anybody love me anymooooore?’
‘can I live in my car? Like, how far do these seats even fold down?’
‘omg do I have to be a stripper now?’
‘how much would people even pay for this chocolate-laden body?’
‘my life is over! I’ll never correct spelling ever again!’
‘oh no, wait, people on Facebook are still illiterate idiots’
‘maybe I’ll become a gypsy’
‘wait, are gypsies allowed to shower?’
‘I don’t want to drink my own piss like Bear Grylls!’
I cried A LOT and I also had way-hey too much to drink (alcohol, not urine) – mostly courtesy of my fellow colleagues who took pity on me with their continuing pay cheques. Thanks, show-offs.
I applied for approximately a shiz-load of jobs. I had only worked in my job for about 12 months so my redundancy payment wasn’t big enough to live off for very long.
I started off applying for other newspapers, magazines, websites and media outlets. I actually had some pretty sweet interviews, including one for a major sports team media crew and at a super popular teen girl magazine.
None of those losers wanted me either, though.
I did apply and interview for one job selling phones in a shopping centre. They offered me the job and after almost two months of unemployment, you’d think I’d snap it up, right? Wrong. Lisa said no.
I like to think that I was still holding on to some faith that I would get a decent job eventually, but I actually just think it was pride.
Finally after an excruciating two months of bumming around I applied for one job and got it. I applied a week late for this and must note the only reason I got it was because I knew someone who knew someone and they put in a good word for me.
The job turned out to be great, I made lots of new friends, moved to the same town as my now-fiance and got paid a cheerful amount. Because of that job I now have an even sweeter job.
With this happy ending in mind, here are my tips for what to do if you’re made redundant and some lessons I learned from the experience:
❤ Let that shit out cos you’re allowed to be upset. Get drunk, cry, dance on tabletops, flash your knickers to old people, skateboard on the footpath, rob a few corner shops… no, wait. Not that last one. Just get drunk.
❤ Not at work though. Don’t be that guy.
❤ Also, don’t do drugs. You can’t afford them anymore.
❤ You’re not a failure and you’re not worthless and you do have value. Your employer/company may have just failed to see all that. And also, they probably have dumb hair, so nerrr.
❤ Don’t hold a grudge. Your anger at someone else literally only affects you by making you feel like crud. Your anger can’t hurt them. Also, don’t go saying nasty shit about your employer either because that makes you look like a douchebag. Nobody wants to hire a douchebag.
❤ Remember this is a great opportunity to do anything you want from here. You can start that knitting business you’ve always dreamed of, audition for X Factor, return to study or travel the world!
❤ I know not everyone’s circumstances allow for such wondrous things (I had no savings, I had bills to pay and lived in a country where I wasn’t entitled to welfare payments so had to get a job ay-sep) but it’s still a fresh start. Your career direction could change, a new company might have better perks, you’ll meet new people, you could move to a new town, start your own business or maybe you’ll join a travelling circus.
❤ If you’re job-hunting, apply for any job that takes your fancy and/or matches your skills. All interviews are good practice and you can think about it properly if you’re offered the role.
❤ The worst they can say is no. Or you don’t get a call back. But who currs? Next!
❤ Do not be afraid to call and follow up on jobs that you really want. It shows you’re keen etc etc blabla, but mostly it’s just good to know where things are at cos hiring peeps get too busy to update you.
❤ There is no shame in redundancy, so don’t be quiet about it. Talk to people, ask them if they know of any jobs or sweet companies and they may be able to hook a sister/brother up. I’ve got more than one job because people have put good words in for me. This means so much more than you think.
❤ Nobody wants to hear this kind of positive inspirational crap, but seriously it’s 100 per cent not the end of the world. Everything always works out if you keep trying. In my experience, my redundancy was one of the best things that ever happened to me because of everything that came after it.
Good luck, comrade. I believe in you. Mostly because you’re good looking, though.