Original Quote: Getting fired is nature’s way of telling you that you had
the wrong job in the first place.” – Hal Lancaster
Monday, 10 September 2018. This day will eternally be burned into my memory. We’ve just come from spending the weekend with my sister. And we had a lovely celebration of my mom’s 82nd birthday the Saturday (on the actual date of her birthday!)
This Monday started out the same as any other working day. Until I received the calendar request, titled “Discussion” with my boss and the HR representative. I felt ice-cold and this dark feeling of dread settled in my stomach.
Being retrenched after 17 years at the same company came as a huge shock! Even though I knew it was in the works, I never thought they will target their long-standing, loyal employees.
The sad thing is, they don’t look at you as a person but at your role! And if they feel you don’t add enough value for the money they pay you, you have to go. I definitely didn’t agree with this assessment, because even though my tasks on paper might not look like much, it was very time consuming and it did add value to the company.
But I think the thing that hurts the most, is that often it is their hard-working, dedicated staff that gets retrenched, while people that simply don’t care and couldn’t be bothered to do quality work, have been retained!
And so, 4 days before my 49th birthday, I find myself unemployed.
I always had this fear of losing my job. But through the many years of my working career, I slowly started building my confidence and putting this fear to rest. Just when I finally stopped doubting myself and feeling that I actually do add value and I am doing well, my worst fear came to pass!
You feel as if your whole world is falling apart, and everything you did for the past 17 years doesn’t mean anything. No matter what people say, you do take it personally, because after all, they chose me!
The hardest part of being retrenched is the emotional outfall! Because I was happy at work and enjoyed what I was doing, I’ve decided not to work my notice month. That last 3 weeks at work was pure hell. The first week I was a complete emotional wreck and just couldn’t stop crying.
Then I’ve just put my mind to finishing up what I’ve been working on and getting ready to hand over my tasks to the relevant staff. I was determined that no one will be able to point a finger to me about leaving with work undone!
In a time where you should be looking forward to your yearly break, instead you are now thinking about keeping your medical aid (or not); transferring your pension fund and finding ways to save on your budget. All this while you are in this emotional turmoil and you can’t even think straight!
For at least the first 2 months I felt as if it is all a dream, and I would just wake up one morning and all will be well again. How I wish it was so!
But eventually reality sets in, and you try to settle in some new routine. But it is hard to look towards the future if your heart is still yearning for the past.
You battle endless fears! Being an introvert, I find it very hard to make friends. I was scared that I will lose my friends at work. Relationships that took me many years to build. “Out of sight, out of mind” as the saying goes. Because what do we have in common besides work.
Retrenchment takes much more from you than just a job. And the package you get is little compensation for things that you can never get back.
You lose your financial security and the sense of belonging. Being part of something bigger. It steals your confidence and purpose. The biggest loss for me to accept was my long-service. I was looking forward to my 20 and 25-year awards, and hopefully even 30 years!
Being a type of person that perseveres, this is the hardest for me to deal with. This is something I will now never be able to accomplish. With only 15 years left to retirement, I won’t even be able to accomplish 15 years with another company!
So now my 10 year and 15-year awards are lying on a shelf gathering dust, because I simply don’t know what to do with it. I can’t display them in my house, because it now belongs to my past.
So I’ve learnt the hard way, in the workplace loyalty doesn’t exist. And you should first look out for yourself, because in a business it is all about the bottom-line and the profits, and loyalty doesn’t count!
Today, 5 months later, I look back and I can see how far I’ve came! I wouldn’t have been able to deal with it without the support of my husband, friends (yes, my work friends are still with me!) and family.
But most of all, my Heavenly Father carries me through every day. He gives me strength and wisdom and helps me to cope. When you start seeking him honestly and with an open heart, he sends the encouragement and promises you need every day.
I am still unemployed, looking for work and trying to start my own business. Looking to the future I still don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I know He is in control and at the right time, he will open the right door for me.
In the meantime, I seek his guidance. I feel as if I am standing at a crossroad in my life, and I want to make the right decision. I don’t want to just find another job and get caught up in the rat race again. I want to find my true purpose and follow the path that He has laid out for me. Because this is the only way that I will ever find true fulfilment!
Over to you: have you ever been retrenched or know someone that is in this situation at the moment. Please feel free to share with us in the comments or share on your social network.
Thanks for reading!