WORK CHRONICLES | I WORK THEREFORE I AM, PART 3

I dodged a bullet today. My semi-comfortable life was shaken in late February by news that my position was being made redundant – that the job I’ve had for two years and change was going to be phased out. The uncertainty was the worst part – what happens once the severance is gone? but I just bought a new phone!? will I have to move back to the States? – and having to find another job at this late stage in life was definitely not going to be a walk in the park. I still remember my first 10 months in The Netherlands, unable to find a job, trying hard to stay positive and motivated, and experiencing at least two emotional breakdowns along the way, certainly a time I’d be hard-pressed to forget. Fast forward to 8 weeks ago when they sat our entire team down in a large conference room to tell us in so many words that all the work we’d done was enough and it was time for the company to move to another direction. They gave us the chance ‘to apply’ for new positions that were in the process of being set-up – not enough for everyone in the team unfortunately – that was open not just to our division but the entire company, and that we’d be given priority in the selection process. It was hollow consolation for some, and somewhat of an insult for others, though at the time I felt hopeful for a positive outcome. I was by far the longest-serving manager in the team, that should count for something I thought, and I knew more about the company to be agile enough in the new position, though I’m also old enough to know that if a company doesn’t want someone, there’ll always find an excuse not to. After a round of interviews that included presenting a business case, on this cloudy day in March I was told they’d be happy to have me on the new team. To feel relieved is an understatement, deep down I was ecstatic even though I knew all this did was buy me time to see if there were other options out there. I’ve been living in this bubble I’ve created for myself, and need to wake up to the reality that there’s a whole world out there that I need to get acquainted with. Apart from the promise of Spring, let’s see what the rest of 2018 brings. Now time for a drink.

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