I’m 25 years old and I’ve just been made redundant. And let me tell you, I could not be happier or feel more free. I’m feeling all kinds of positive and I want to tell you why so you can find a little inspiration in this story as well. This article is written very differently from how we usually do things here at AJ. But I am not afraid to share my story on redundancy in case it helps just one person out there.
You Probably Won’t Get Your Dream Job Fresh Out Of Uni
I graduated one year ago with my Masters in Financial Management and the job I went into wasn’t my dream job. It was hard to come to terms with that at first. I probably then struggled my way through for the first 6 months of it (actually, maybe more), asking myself “why am I here” – too many times to count. Despite the fact I was not working purely in a financial role, I’ve gained more skills I could have ever hoped for in just 1 year. I’m sure many millennials can relate to this.
The company I worked for was probably around 50 employees total. Enough people to know everyone by name. Unfortunately, the original directors resigned and the company has gone through some major restructuring – a common reason for why redundancies occur.
I had an inclination a week before it happened what my fate would be. I was frantically giving my resume and cover letter a cosmetic makeover and applying to every finance job I could see myself working in. I’m probably up to job application #15 and only 1 interview, and 3 rejections. On Monday the 13th, we were called in for an 8am meeting and advised of the ‘bad’ news. An environment where numerous people are being made redundant is surreal and confronting, but this experience alone has made me even tougher than before.
So Why Am I So Happy?
A redundancy is effing stressful, I’m not going to lie. It’s a massive punch in the face and you can probably sometimes catch me just staring off into space. I’ve had the longest week of my life and involuntarily hopped on an emotional rollercoaster. At first I felt incredibly heartbroken partly because my family created the company (but I won’t go into that). I now know that heartbreak is not just a result of losing someone you love, but can be felt under so many circumstances, and it’s a real thing. I then felt angry. But then I felt free. I’ve had time to grieve and accept the situation and there’s no point wallowing in misery because you’ve lost your job. For some people I understand this is incredibly difficult but you should remain grateful you have a roof over your head, food in your cupboard, and a hell of a redundancy package to see you through.
Life-changing experiences like this also make you realize who is part of your support network and who you can trust. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of my family, closest friends, my former colleagues and the professional networks I made through my job. Don’t get me wrong though, I actually loved my job and was incredibly sad to leave. Now, I look at it as a chance to start afresh, something new and exciting. Suddenly, opportunities are limitless to me and I’ve never felt more inspired or free.
What I’ve Learned Financially
I’ve always been an expert in managing my personal finances and I’ve got my dad to thank for that. Even though I find myself being extremely tight on the budget for now, these are the lessons I’ve learned which every single person reading this should start to do or at least consider:
- ALWAYS have an emergency fund. Yes, your redundancy is nice, but it won’t last forever. Calculate your expenses for 3 months, open up a separate bank account, and top it up until you can cover yourself.
- STOP eating out so much. This has been a weakness of mine, but I’m officially limiting myself to once a week. The experience of dining out is lovely, but if eating out everyday is your forte, you may want to re-think your lifestyle if you haven’t budgeted for it.
- DON’T live beyond your means. Living in a house or apartment where rent money takes up half you weekly paycheck? I’m sorry to tell you but you’ve made a sh*t decision on that one and it’s time to move out. Bought a nice car but are making huge repayments? It’s time to sell it and settle for something less flashy. I’ve met so many people who live beyond their means, and eventually they are FORCED to make a change.
- ALWAYS save 10% of your paycheck. I was super excited when I received a pay rise and I could up this to 15%. This will be the best thing you ever do for yourself – but you’re not allowed to touch it.
One Final Note
If I could offer one more piece of advice it would be this…
Build positive, HONEST, and long-lasting relationships with your colleagues and external stakeholders. You never know when you will need them and I’m thankful that I took the time to do this. I called one of my suppliers and broke the news and he has gone completely out of his way to help me. This is very much now a world of who you know and not what you know. I’ve worked with the most amazing, quirkiest team, and I’m grateful to now call each of them my friend.
I’m now planning bigger and better things.