My journey begins: redundancy and the toughest day of my life

9The hardest thing about being made redundant is the feeling of having absolutely no control over what is happening to you.

It’s not often you find yourself in that situation and when the thing you’ve lost control of is basically the most important thing in your life, your career, it’s really difficult to take in.

The day it happened to me is still so clear in my mind, despite it being a whole year ago. I still feel like I’m reliving the moment my boss called me to the little room in the far corner of the office.

He said to me, “please don’t worry Amy, it will all be okay”.

“You have no idea”, I wanted to scream at him. This was nothing short of a disaster for me.

He wasn’t to know that I was eleven weeks pregnant at the time and terrified about the effect the stress of that day would have on my unborn child.

Such was the shock of that experience; I had nightmares about it for many months afterwards.

I still think about it now, as I lay in bed at night, and each time I do my blood runs cold.

Redundancy affects people in so many different ways:

  • Some cut themselves off from the world while they face up to the huge changes in their life.
  • Some become angry with the company they worked for and the people they worked with.
  • Some see it as an opportunity to better their lives, a chance to take a step out of the rat-run, to find a job they really want to do.

I knew I would eventually become the latter, I just couldn’t work out how I was going to get to that point.

Things could have been far worse, I knew others who had mortgages to pay and children to feed, but that didn’t take away from the pain I was feeling. It was all so unfair.

You see, when I finished university nearly 10 years ago, my move into the working world sadly coincided with the country going into a recession.

After that, my career path went somewhat ‘off track’.

I took on various jobs, from supervising in a restaurant to looking through people’s bins (with their permission, obviously!), but none of the roles offered any opportunities to develop.

That was until I was successful in securing this latest role; I had joined the team three years before and, finally, felt like I was achieving something.

It was my first permanent job and the first that paid over £20,000 a year (for a graduate it seemed ludicrous that I had been on no more than £16,000 until I was almost thirty).

The position brought with it not only a chance to use my skills but also the peace of mind that I had a secure job that I could start using to plan long term.

Waiting to be in this position was the main reason I had waited so long to start a family and being so settled was the main reason I chose to go ahead with the pregnancy.

When I lost my job I didn’t just lose my income: I lost my plans for the future and all the pride I felt for the hard work I’d done.

All that effort seemed to count for nothing and I was terrified to face that uphill struggle for employment all over again.

The world was passing me by.

When I look back on that day now I always picture myself being thrown off a moving train: I’m safe at the side of the tracks, but watching the world continue to pass me by and I don’t really know how to get back on.

For a while that’s exactly how being made redundant felt: life was the blur of a fast moving train.

I couldn’t think coherently and, to be honest, I didn’t want to because there was so much to process.

For the first few days I just felt numb. I couldn’t do anything useful, I don’t think I even used social media (if you know me, you’ll know what a big deal that was!).

I couldn’t go back to my own flat which I’d moved into just six months before. It had been the start of a wonderful new life for me: a settled life where I was finally living in a place I loved, close to a job that was helping me develop.

My head was spinning and I just needed to be somewhere different, somewhere I could cut myself off from everyday life.

Luckily for me, I had an incredibly supportive partner who asked me to move in with him straight away.

But, while he was at work it was very lonely and as much as I tried to distract myself with chocolate and box-sets of my favourite TV series, no amount of Ross Poldark could take my mind off what happened

Armed with my favourite things, I headed back to my partner’s flat

Why me?

So many people have said to me, “it’s not personal, you mustn’t think it is something you did wrong”.

But I just can’t seem to agree with them, no matter how much I think about it.

I have always been a great believer in hard graft, often complimented on my ability to get my head down and just ‘do what needs to be done’.

I was never one to play games or boast about what I had achieved, I just got on with it.

For months I beat myself up about this, I was forced to question everything I had done and, worse, everything I believed in.

I hated that I had allowed myself to be walked over, for years I had watched people being tactical with the jobs they chose to do and the people they chose to work with, but I always shied away from that approach.

You spend quite a bit of time feeling resentful of the people that are left behind too, why me and not them? How had my approach to work been the one that was wrong?

It made me question huge parts of my own personality.

You see, when I was made redundant, something shifted in me.

A part of me will never be the same, the part that trusted people and tried to put the needs of others first.

I became used to ‘putting on a brave face’ at social events, we hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy or my job

With a little help from my friends…

There was one good thing to come from all of this: I was humbled by the way my closest friends rallied round to help me through the fallout. My lovely partner Luke is included in that.

My best friends told me to write a list of all the things I would be able to do now I didn’t have to trudge into the office every day.

And so I did: top of the list were ‘spend a week with my parents’, ‘find places to go for walks’ and ‘get back to writing’.

I looked around Luke’s flat with Captain Ross smiling toplessly at me from the television screen and literally felt my vision start to become less blurry, my head less fuzzy.

As things stood, I had no idea what was going to happen next but I did know it would all work out okay, it had to.

Having my list to focus on didn’t stop the hurt I was feeling, but it helped a little to clear the way to better times.

Without thinking about it, I felt myself reach down to my tummy, placing a protective hand on the bump that hadn’t yet started to show.

In the mess of all that was going on, there was only one thing that really mattered.

Five things that worked for me… when I was made redundant: 

1.       Don’t panic. As hard as it is to remember this, worrying too much about what will happen next piles on too much pressure. You’re already going through enough.

2.       Give yourself some space. There is so much to take in at the moment, you can’t expect yourself to think straight just yet. Chocolate and Netflix are your friends.

3.       Don’t tell everyone straight away. For a couple of weeks it was only my best friends and my partner who knew what had happened to me. Finding the words is too hard and it’s not necessary to put yourself through that.

4.       Write a list of things you want to do with the time you have now. It feels superficial at first and you’ll hate being positive, but it really does make you feel better once you get started.

5.       Surround yourself with people you love and trust. They’re the ones that are there through thick and thin and now is the time for them to do their job for you. Ask them to bring wine.

Have you experienced redundancy? Have you any words of advice for people who might be going through it right now? Please comment below, I’d love to hear how you overcame this nightmare.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, I hope you will join me in the rest of my journey. You can be the first to read my next post about how I began to move on from redundancy by clicking the ‘Follow’ button below.

And, if you’re feeling really kind, I’d really appreciate a share! You can join me on Twitter, like my Facebook page or see cute pictures of my now five month old baby on Instagram 

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  1. I’ve been made redundant a number of times. You are right to make a list and a plan, even if it’s just about how to cope with your feelings. My mistake was not making a list of possible things I could do next. I had one idea instead of a selection of options. Good luck and enjoy motherhood, the most important job in the world. #BloggerClubUK


    • Thank you, it is certainly the hardest I’ve ever had but I do love it really! Thank you for your comment, it means a lot to me to hear that others who have been through the same thing can relate to my posts. Would love to hear your thoughts on my future posts, please feel free to click follow if you’d like to hear more from me 🙂


  2. Good luck with the blog Amy! After being made redundant 3 times, I learned that one has to be very wary about the concept of company loyalty. Companies are not people, they are just financial entities. You just have to make the best you can of any given employment opportunity, knowing that – at any time – it could all come to an end.


    • Thank you Uncle Simon! I think you are absolutely right, I have always considered myself to be loyal, but I think I’ve learnt that I really need to be true to myself and my goals – that way I can be at my best for whoever I am working for. My next blog is about taking time out to focus on those goals actually!


  3. I am so sorry to hear about this. What crappy timing! I am so glad you had great support from friends, family and your partner. It really show who has your back when you are in crisis. I know haven’t been made redundant before but the last place I worked with had a major restructuring going on. I had the opportunity to take up a well paid job or take the redundant money and walked away. I took the later and went back to University. It was a choice I never regret. Money is not everything – even though it does help. I hope you’ll find happiness soon. Take care & Big hugs. #bestandworst


  4. I have never experienced this myself, but I think you have written a very honest post here. I like to read about things that have not necessary happened to me, because of course you never know you could find yourself in a situation or it is really useful to have a bit of advice for people in your life if this happens to them. good luck with your journey xxxx


  5. Great post – very honest and informative, and it sounds like you’ve been making the best of the situation! Best of luck with your journey, I look forwards to reading more posts from you! M x


  6. Such a well written and useful post. I too was made redundant when I pregnant with my oldest daughter. I did lock myself away for a bit as like you say I blamed myself. However, that was silly of me as they got rid of everyone. There were no jobs for anyone. I would say that if you can find out what your rights are and if you are entitled to anything. Don’t let anyone from your work bully you or tell you what you are entitled to, you should always check and get a second opinion. Also at first it feels like the world has ended but look on it as an opportunity, a chance for something positive to happen.Things will get better. #MarvMondays


  7. I went through Consultation last year, but was one of those kept on. It’s a horrible process whatever end you’re at. And even though you know it’s the job, not you, it feels very personal indeed! Good luck with your journey. #MarvMondays


  8. I really felt for you, I lost my job a few years ago and I felt sick to the stomach, it is not a nice feeling but it was a good thing in the way, I tried to take a positive out of it and move on but it is difficult. I hope you are lots happier now and in a better place. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst and please do stop by again!


  9. What a truly honest post. I can imagine it must be so hard to take it personally. I love your optimism about it all though and I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Thank you so much for linking up #MaternityMondays


  10. I lost my job when I told my boss is was pregnant. The whole situation was so stressful I actually ended up in hospital the next day with an unexplained large bleed. At 12weeks pregnant this was a really scary and horrible time. It sucks this happened to you but I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to move on even if it’s something you’ll never forget.xx #maternitymondays


  11. I am grateful and thankful that I have never had to experience redundancy to this extent – although a company I worked for on a freelance basis decided to get rid of me when I came back from my first round of IVF treatment (and what made it worse was that they knew!). I can completely understand the feeling of ‘why me’. Really good advice too. #MaternityMondays


  12. I’m really sorry this happened to you-I feel lucky that I’ve never been in this position, because I can imagine how devastating it must feel… It sounds like you are in a better place now, and having a plan in place, and an ability to see the positives, is a brilliant start in carving out a future for yourself. This must’ve been very therapeutic to write-I felt emotional for you, reading it x
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink


    • It was certainly a post written with a goal of ‘letting out my emotions’. I’ve kept the, very quiet for a year for one reason or another and I felt like this was the start of the next chapter for me. Thank you for commenting, it means an awful lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such an honest post – I agree with your Uncle Simon up there, no matter how loyal you are to them, us employees are just a number to the higher authority! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday


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