Category Archives: economic crisis
Can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written on here. I must have been busy, but here I am sitting down, renewing my relationship with my old friend… the BLOG… It’s literally been years.
It’s a great release though, so here I am.
Redundant again. My “job for life” didn’t really live up to the hype. Just like the “Never ending story” it came to an end. Sad, frustrating, scary, disappointed, helpless, angry, numb, thirsty, hungry, grateful, hopeful and resolute. All the emotions I felt after I had the conversation with my old business when I was informed via MS teams and a script that my position was redundant. (mental note… THE POSITION… must remember that Dan)
This won’t be a “woe is me” type blog, not will it be an uplifting “all the things you can do once laid off” blog. This will be a little more real.
Like everything challenging in life, you tend to think this won’t happen to you. Watching the news, reading all the reports, people getting sick, losing jobs, care packages, stimulus packages from the government, industries crippled, confusion about rules, risks of people our parents age, travel bans (from even your house). I mean how is this crap happening? Did I flip onto a movie channel?
How can you feel sorry for yourself when there is so much worse happening in the world than losing a job? Thousands are being killed by this invisible bitch. You’re above the grass (as my Dad would say) You’re stuck in lock down (or what ever it is officially called in Australia) with your wife and kids, there’s no wallowing. You need to be an example. Right?
“It’s business, not personal” I wonder how many times that little idiom has been said over the last few weeks. That’s BULLSHIT though. It’s personal to the person hearing it. The person who’s the primary bread winner, the provider, the protector. It’s earth shattering. I’ve been on both ends of this conversation, telling people their position isn’t required (in the business’ opinion) sucks, I know. BUT, I guarantee you that hearing it and facing that stark reality of being unemployed is WAY worse.
My process for this? Firstly, disbelief, I mean “what the f*$#”??? Looking the family in the eye and telling them, that their Dad and husband is a statistic now. He’s not the first or the last that this will happen too, but we need to adjust our life for a while whilst he gets his shit together. Reality check. No one is sure how long this will take. You could say I was a stoic mess. Worse case scenarios ran through my head all night, it was a long night. I hit solution mode. Man I scrambled over job boards, updated my LinkedIn, started doing my resume, looked at CentreLink (it was down at 2.30am ??? not a great sign), I was on fire.
I decided in those wee hours that the next day had to be one of action. Once I awoke, after falling asleep on the laptop in some weird angle on the couch. I showered, shaved, put product in my hair and decided to get back to work. This was BIG as I’d already been working from home for almost two weeks so I was a little scruffy and the hair on my face and top of my head had been sadly neglected. See, ACTION! SOLUTION MODE!
I was humbled and a little emotional from the response my LinkedIn change of status delivered. The messages and calls I received from our Recruitment community, and people I’ve worked with or dealt with over the years was amazing. Thanks to all those who did this. I truly am blessed.
That said, whilst uplifting and beautiful, the wind got sucked from my sails fairly quickly. The dark cloud resettled over me like they did in those cartoons we watched as kids.
It’s an interesting battle between the intellectual me and the feeling me (yes there is both). The intellectual me understands the global situation, knows it isn’t just me, and (something that is really hard for me to believe) knows it isn’t just about him. He will begrudgingly accept the umpires decision and will get on with life. Breathing in and out, one step after the other, watching the sun come up and go down as we know it will every single day. The feeling me however, plays a little different. He’s enjoying the time with the family, getting to spend time in the garden, happy to finally get to those little jobs which always get pushed to the bottom of the list in our busy lives. This is a fulfilling thing to do. But, he battles the darkness, those thoughts of “why me?”, those impostor voices that get a hearing in the quiet hours, and the black-hole of emptiness when there isn’t a job or purpose to really invest yourself in.
It’s a battle, daily. Don’t think it isn’t. Switching between positive and negative mindset, almost hourly at times. It’s exhausting. And yet, Nanna naps are not an option for me. They feel like they’re a sign of giving up. So that won’t happen.
It’s already been almost 2 weeks. I mean holy crap how did that happen? The world hasn’t stopped. Everyone has their own shit they’re dealing with. Kids are still on school holidays (god help us) and life goes on.
I’m pretty lucky I have a wonderful driven wife to give me focus (or to do lists, call it what you will), and keep the dark clouds at bay. Whilst the days are melting by we’re working through stuff. We’ve actioned the banks, the government, other creditors to ensure some breathing space. The resume is re written and we’ve registered on a range of different job boards and have begun working the network. I’m a realist. I’m not convinced this will change quickly, so I need to not focus purely on the job hunt. I’m not convinced this is a recipe for mental happiness.
There are jobs to do around the house, I’ve gardened, attacking long neglected areas, I’ve tried to fix a leak in the roof (ie I’ve tried, but need another downpour to really see if I succeeded or not), I’ve even washed windows. Desperate times people.
I’ve given myself time to think. I’ve always wanted to write something of substance, so I have given myself permission to have a crack at that. The allowance of thinking is a blessing, I’ve had other ideas which I’ll work on fleshing out. This is all really exciting.
I’m working on giving back and helping others in similar boats, more on that another time. However, it must be noted that the demons are fighting themselves in my head. How can I give advice and a sense of calm for people when I’m in the same boat? I know my experience can help others, fingers crossed it can.
There you go, Co-vid 19 sucks. A popular thought i’m sure. It’s tough on most people. I don’t think any one is immune to this.
You do you. What is best for you and your family, is best for you and your family. Help others if you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself, this is shit. But the sun will keep rising (yes even in Melbourne) and one day I know my kids will be able to use this time as a “when I was a kid story” . I was worried that their worse story would be the day in 2019 when the wifi went off for an entire day.
It’s amazing where you can find inspiration. For those of you who don’t know me I am the proud dad of 2 young children and live by the adage “sleep is overrated”. One of my favourite times of day is pre bed story time, it is genuine quality time I get to spend with my children after whatever my work day did to me.. or maybe it is because it’s just before the house finally falls into peaceful slumber, that parents around the world love.
MAYBE it’s because I REALLY enjoy these books, the morals, the learning and the style of writing appeals to me no end.
For the last few years I have been bringing these stories into my day to day life occasionally annoying my work with analogies and stories… but tonight reading an old favourite I thought.. why not!? And if it goes OK it could become a regular post of mine, sounds fun to me… we have heaps of books.
One of my favourites is “Platypus and the Lucky Day”. A few years ago I photocopied every page and gave a copy to my immediate team (if you are a copywriter reading this.. please blink over this bit).. I liked it that much. I got strange looks, but the message was received.
Platypus wakes up one morning in THE BEST mood, he knows today is his lucky day…. (see business globally start of 2008), then in his joyous mood he steps out into the world. It is here that things start to go wrong, the string on his kite breaks, the tree branch he is climbing snaps, the painting he is doing is rained upon and blows away… After a number of these negative events… Platypus wipes a tear from his eye, gives up and decides it best to go back to bed. (fair enough too! See business globally at the end of 2009).
When he gets back to bed, he finds a banana (or sandwich) he’d been looking for, a teddy he thought he’d lost forever, a billy cart he forgot he had, and found things in a closet to help him fix it…. and his lucky hat! His day is getting better!!!
He takes his newly fixed billy cart outside, with his lucky hat on, and takes it to the top of the closest hill… sets off down the hill….. all of the sudden he loses control and crashes his billy cart into a tree, and all looks bad with the day again…. then suddenly into his lap falls his kite from the tree. Ahhhh what a great ending.
OK my link… With the “War for talent” in full swing, Recruiting was one of THE professions to be in, it was exciting to get out of bed, you could tell you were going to make a huge difference and that your worth as a professional was getting increasingly valued… the it all turns…. the Economic crisis hits globally, downsizing is the word of the day, and the need for Recruiters decreases. Here’s the bit I love…. Do you give up and go back to bed and not try? Or do you keep your eyes open for opportunities? be flexible enough to capitalise on them and make your own fun again. Do you go out there again and have another go…. accepting that something else goes could go wrong, whilst also acknowledging that another piece of “luck” could come your way. What’s the old saying? “You gotta be in it to win it”
Be the Lucky Platypus people! All is not lost, there is always opportunity, you just have to be open enough to see it.