Losing My Job In Lockdown – Here Was My Response
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I’ve had some news.
My regular full-time employment has decided to make me redundant by the end of the August. This came as non-surprising expectant news to be honest – I had been preparing since the start of lock-down that this would be my fate, meeting shoulders with others across the country who have either already been given the kick or are future-bound to be.
“As much as I was prepared, I’m not actually somebody who would usually brush these things off lightly.”
In almost all the jobs I’ve had where the door had to be shut, whether for their reasons or mine, I’ve usually shed at least one tear or gulped a frog in my throat over. I care for my work, the relationships I’ve built and the comfortability that comes with years routinely working in the same place, around the same people. On the bottom level I’m a pretty emotional person. Some reasons for the better some for the worse. On this occasion I had no tears, guilt or regrets. It wasn’t like I had failed, could of done better (even though, you could technically always do better) or that I deserved it. It was simply “time”. The emotional side to me still felt the sting of what was to come from identifying a familiar style envelope from my employer, along with familiar hand writing in blue pen addressed to “Lachlan Rabbetts”. My nerves still heightened and my breath shortened for the seconds during the breach of the envelope, skimming to the part where I could only have two possible outcomes.
“Whatever I see on this letter doesn’t matter” I told myself while sliding the paper out.
“I am prepared for a new adventure, like all others God has lead me through. I got this“
And there it was a mere 14 words in…
“I am very sorry to confirm that you have been selected for redundancy”.
It sucked for that moment.
For men in particular we can let job titles become a giant part of our perceived worth. I had done that in the past and taken every performance review personally. I could of almost believed at the time it was some sort of perk to being a boss – to nitpick and belittle how crumby you were each year – to have free shots while you sat still to make up for all the times you frustrated them with your personality quirks, annoyinging them down to bits – but to cleverly articulate those thoughts within the more subtle corporate language of polish and professionalism, hiding what they really want to say. Dramatic? Perhaps so. I was deeply insecure about who I was in the past because I was protecting a fragile little boy inside who wanted wordly acceptance. A boy who perhaps didn’t know how to shrug off bumps and bruises that comes with professionally at least, growing-up.
“You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.”
1 Peter 2:18-19
But like all stings, they begin sharp then it soon fades away…
What used to take me weeks to get over from the ego hit and the self beatings I’d give myself about my lack of skill, preperation or ability to measure up was now over in a few moments. Everything I needed to know to officially move on was contained on a sliver of bleached white (once) tree that it was time. And that’s OK with me.
I even made a blog post about what you can do if you you suspect your position is up for redundancy called “Are You Headed for a Job Capsize?”. I knew I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to prepare somebody else, even if it were just one person, for a difficult conversation they might be due soon with their own boss. Maybe it’ll save their job, maybe it won’t.