The post title is a lie… it’s actually been around 13 and a half months since I was taken into a room with two other juniors and told I no longer had a job, wasn’t entitled to a redundancy payout, and needed to leave pretty much there and then. Harsh.
I’d just finished paying off my student overdraft, just signed a new contract for my flat, and I had absolutely no savings or income apart from the ‘month in lieu of notice’ I received 30 days later. I was, as they say, a bit fucked. But what they also say, annoyingly, is that “everything happens for a reason” and “it’ll all work out in the end” and “it’ll be the best thing that ever happened to you”. I mean, cheers for trying to keep me in good spirits but are you FOR REAL going to tell me I’ll be grateful for this while making me redundant in the previous sentence?
But it was okay. It did work out in the end. Maybe it did happen for a reason, or maybe my life just went a bit off track for a while. My overdraft was eaten back into, I gave up the rented flat I couldn’t afford anymore to move in with my boyfriend’s parents, my mum paid my orthodontist bills, and I spent almost every day for 6 months believing I wasn’t good enough.
I let the redundancy define me, and for 6 months of 2017, I was Laura Wood, the girl who was made redundant and was now unemployable, unskilled, useless, unworthy. I started to believe I deserved it, that my old employers hated me because I was terrible at my job, that I’d never get a new job, that I was destined to be miserable forever.
It’s all very dramatic looking back as I type this from my work laptop, a week after receiving a shiny 6-month review – but if you’ve ever been in the same position you’ll know just how real the self-doubt, loneliness and toxic thoughts are.
I remember searching for stories of other redundancies. I found myself on blogs, forums, newspaper think pieces – desperately hoping to find something that didn’t just say ‘it will be okay’. When my day to day life was the opposite of okay, I couldn’t look far enough to the future to convince myself it gets better. All I could see was that right there, right then, tomorrow and probably the day after I was unhappy, skint, and generally having a pretty shitty time.
But it got better.
I waited for a role that suited me perfectly, and from that I saved money, I moved city, I bought a car, I spent money recklessly and had fun again and most importantly, I stopped questioning my self-worth on an hourly basis.
Redundancy is horrible. It’s bleak, and exhausting, and stressful. It’s tough, but it got better. Because everything always does.