Well, following the success of my January 1st posting, things on the blog front have been very quiet – but that doesn’t reflect my life in any way at all.
In mid January my role was put at risk of redundancy, meaning a 30 day consultation period that concluded last week. If I am honest, it wasn’t something that totally surprised me, as the tech organisation has been changing over the past 12 months, and the role I had didn’t really fit within the new framework.
So how did I feel? It was very odd, as I didn’t know how I should feel. What should I do? How should I be thinking? Where do I start?
There is no template, and not having been through this before, I used common sense to be honest. I decided to tackle this as a positive thing. My children are 18 & 21, my wife works, so its not as though I am the only breadwinner, and its not the end of the world. I have also worked full time without a break in employment since I left school over 30 years ago, so actually, I felt that I could do with one.
It also struck me that each job change has been to try to move onwards and upwards – and now the cycle has broken. It is really liberating to break out of that process! I had no idea how freeing it would feel.
I work for a great company who have really supported me through the process, putting me in touch with an organisation who support people in their job and career journey after redundancy.
My first task, literally 2 days after I was told, was to set about writing a list of things that I wanted to do:
- Update my LinkedIn profile
- Take advantage of the help offered by the company I was referred to for career guidance, and sign up for sessions/webinars etc
- Update my CV
- Speak to contacts
- Order business cards to give out at conferences/meetups etc
- Look into contracting (I have only ever been a permie)
- Sort out my shed
- Clean the greenhouse
- Fix the shower grouting
- Plan my radio shows in advance
And so on. It was a random mix of things that I wanted to do, including jobs I had put off and not done, so the idea was to keep busy.
I kept a list of what I did each day – job alerts, agency contacts, applications, webinars attended, shed tidying etc so I could see the journey, and it helped. Being productive and organised is important to me, and I made sure to get up around 7.30 each day so as not to get into the habit of sleeping in late!
So – why update now? Well – things don’t always go as planned. In my mind, I was all set to leave on the 14th Feb, I was fine with that, and had made plans for the 15th & 16th so I would not stop work and suddenly feel a bit adrift. And then the week before, I had a conversation which changed things.
I was asked to stay on until the end of June as an Interim Project Manager in the team I was with up until January 2017, as my domain knowledge would be beneficial. I said yes, and start on Monday 19th. I am looking forward to this – not only does it buy me some more time, but with stakeholder management, delivery and workshops a part of the role, these are things that will help boost my skills. It’s not strictly a Testing role, but there is a lot of crossover, as an increasing number of Test Manager/Head of Test roles are looking for these things, and I have the chance to be doing them now. It’s a win-win.
I feel very fortunate to have been asked, and glad that I approached the whole redundancy process with a positive mindset. Although the redundancy is deferred, I can pick up the search again in a month or two when I am ready, so nothing I have done or learned is wasted. If I hadn’t been through the process, my CV would not have received it’s overhaul, so at the very least, that’s been worthwhile!
Every experience is an opportunity to learn, and we all have the choice as to how we deal with whatever life throws at us. I can empathise first-hand with others who have gone through the same process rather than offering platitudes, with no idea of how that person may have felt.
It’ll be interesting to post again in 6 months and see where life has taken me. Who knows!