Redundancy can be an ugly word. With connotations of negative emotions from despair to anger via uncertainty, it is something that most people want to avoid. Yet with the global economy the way it is, it is becoming more common. I know, because I joined the voluntary redundancy ranks just over two months ago.
I have decided to try and take a proactive approach towards it; to embrace and make it as positive as it can possibly be. So far, no regrets. Here’s why…
1. It broke me free from drifting through corporate life.
On one hand, not having a job is scary. On the other hand, having a job that I’m not passionate about for the next 15 years is worse. Voluntary redundancy offered me an escape. Is it easy to make this escape? No, but it does feel as though I’m doing the ‘right’ thing.
(Though it may be different if you ask me again in 6 months, if I still don’t have an income…!)
2. Redundancy has encouraged me to embrace new opportunities
Since taking redundancy, I have passed an exam as a ski instructor, begun to set up my own business, I’m about to cycle from Canada to Mexico and hopefully (if you could please vote for me here) I may be sailing in a yacht race from Australia to China. I am attending events (thanks to Escape the City and General Assembly), meeting new people and opening my mind to many new possibilities.
3. Redundancy has made me think about how I want to spend my time
If I hadn’t have taken redundancy, in the last 60 days I’d have worked on 56 spreadsheets, made 8 financial forecasts and would have spent over 120 hours commuting. Instead, I am now pursuing my dreams, even if it means I have little disposable income for drinking/eating out.
4. Taking redundancy is a big risk. But this guy thinks taking risks is a key to succeeding and he’s managing.
5. It’s released me from searching only for corporate jobs
Like many others, after university I focused solely on getting a ‘solid’ corporate job. I have no regrets having done this and thoroughly enjoyed my time at P&G. However, I am now ready to look at other options as well. With help from sites such as Escape the City, I am looking at totally new roles. For example, in a couple of weeks time I am meeting a Canadian about starting a tea importing business?!
6. I can get out of bed at 9am if I want to
And I do want to.
7. I will have more than 25 days ‘holiday’ this year
I love adventures. Unfortunately, many of the adventures I’ve always wanted to complete require more time off than my entire previous annual holiday allowance. Try telling your girlfriend you can’t go on holiday with her because you’ve decided to cycle across America. Redundancy has created this ‘natural’ break to complete longer adventures before returning to full time work/my girlfriend.
8. It has given me the time to pursue my out of work interests
I’ve read more books than I had in the last few years and I’ve learnt how to make my own website (a long held ambition): www.theendofthebeginning.co.uk
9. It enabled me to enter a competition of a lifetime…
I have come across several incredible travelling competitions online (mostly through the Escape the City twitter / email updates) including one to win a place on the Clipper Race from Australia to China. I am currently in 7th place out of 207 applicants to win. Please help make my dream come true by voting here! Fortunately, I am now available for the three months off it requires…
10. I won’t regret taking a chance. If it all fails, at least I will have tried.
Yes, taking redundancy is a risk. Yes, it may turn out to be an awful decision. But if I didn’t take this chance now to follow my ambitions, to try and achieve something beyond another promotion, then I think I would have regretted it forever. If pursuing my travel and business goals fail, then I will be able to return to work in the knowledge that I tried.
I’ve made my escape, now I’m on the run.
PLEASE VOTE FOR MARK – it takes 10 seconds – click here.