Last week I was made redundant due to cuts in our department and having not really become unemployed before in the same way, I had no idea how to feel about it at the time. Initially, it came as a shock and as comforting as it was to know that I couldn’t have changed the result much, it also didn’t change the situation I found myself in. But the strangest experience was not having a clue what I was expected to feel?
I didn’t know the answer to that question at the time. It happened late in the afternoon and I had a holiday the next day so receiving that call was my last act of work for the company. I walked between friends places in the sun and tried to soak up this new information and I found that the first strange encounter I had emotionally was with: Shame.
Not because I felt shameful about myself, my work, or even about the situation. There is always a scary element to big decisions affecting you that are outwith your control. But for some reason the act of telling the first people I met about this information initially felt kind of shameful, yet at the same time relieving. Partially I believe because the natural reaction of people is sympathy and pity yet I had no desire for that, mostly I just wanted it off my chest and to begin to face the situation head on. The more I told others, the less of it I feel and the more I started to act.
I’m trying to embrace the new unemployment situation and freedom to find a new challenge but I also want to do it publicly. Mainly because I am sure others have been in similar situations and I see no reason to hide this process. Ultimately I will find something new and perspectives change again.
Its now a few weeks on, but I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and yet I still feel optimistic. I feel that naturally it will be more of a rollercoaster over time but I still found the most difficult feeling was the initial loneliness of the decision. Sat in the sun at Cafe Vinyl fresh off the call with this new information that I had no job anymore but leaving on good terms did help. But it was just me with this information and a head bursting trying to understand the practicalities and uncertainties. It is funny because physically nothing changes but the world feels completely different.
So I want to write one of these each week to see how the journey changes and to maybe help others who find themselves in a similar position one day. The journey of finding my first job in this field was an amazing one and I feel that if I do the right things, then I will find something exciting!