Being made redundant calls for constant psychological adjustments. You catch yourself planning for activities that will be happening when you are gone. You also become much more aware of language. In talking with colleagues who are not going you begin to say ‘you’ rather than ‘we’. It’s a kind of emotional divorce that feels weird.
But one of the weirdest experiences was going to see a recruitment consultant. Why? Well in the time it took for me to walk from my current office to the offices of the consultancy I went from being a senior beast in our corporate jungle to being a supplicant. For the first time in years I found myself having to fill out a form about me. All perfectly rational and to be expected but the process really brought home to me my imminent change in status.
During his trial Charles I was consistently referred to as Charles Stewart but nothing brought home to him the nature of his plight so much as when the top fell off his cane and he had to reach down and pick it up for himself. Well, the recruitment consultancy was my cane moment. It suddenly became clear to me that to survive this earthquake I was going to have to get used to shifting for myself and not relying on my former status and position.
The consultant was a pleasant young man who did not know anything about the organisation that was ‘letting me go’. So we talked about what I had done, my qualifications and achievements. All the time my coach’s Jiminy Cricket like presence was on my shoulder saying ‘achievements, achievements, achievements.’ It must have been a little distracting to witness but fortunately I didn’t start talking to my conscience.
The upshot of the meeting was – that they would get back to me. And this is another lesson that I am learning. Prospective employers are very wary at the minute about committing. I’m beginning to feel like a woman whose biological clock is ticking and whose partner still wants to be 20-something, footloose and fancy-free.
Anyway other aspects of my search for a livelihood have begun to blossom – a bit – and I’ll talk about that next.