Becoming invisible…

As a part-timer, I’ve felt invisible at work for many years. I love to be busy, love to be challenged and, yes, I love to be appreciated too.

That doesn’t always happen as a part-timer. It doesn’t happen when you get older either, when you’re not as pretty as you once were. When you have responsibilities and you can’t join in the Friday night fun.

There are good times, for sure, lots of them. Being busy at work and chatting and having fun with your colleagues is pretty much the best thing there is. But the dynamic in our office has shifted and I don’t fit as well as I once did. Two of my favourite people have left and two of them are leaving to take voluntary redundancy at the same time as me.

There’s no place for me any more.

I’ve slipped so far. The boss of the whole team is someone I recruited five years ago. My line manager is someone I turned down in the same round of interviews.

As they and others have thrived, I have withered.

Deep down inside, I’m the same person I always was, but nobody is really interested in that person any more.

Leaving somewhere you’ve worked for 15 years isn’t easy, even though it’s not the place it once was. The last few weeks have been strange. On the whole I have less work than I would usually. I still want to work and will still work as quickly and efficiently as I did. But sometimes it dries up. There’s no point starting anything big. I’m not going to be there to see it through. They have to manage without me. I guess they think they can, because I’m pretty much invisible. I don’t know if anybody knows what I do any more.

I wonder if they’ll notice that less tweets are being posted and less papers are being monitored. I wonder if they’ll realise how time consuming promoting adoption and fostering is.  I wonder if they’ll miss my local knowledge and my memories of how things used to be, my knowledge of who to ask when the right person isn’t there because this person did the job five years ago and will still know the answer.

It makes me sad to sit in the office and see people doing the job I love – and struggling with it and not enjoying it. It seems pointless that I’m doing some admin task to keep me busy for my last weeks while they’re hating the job I love.

If I’d been allowed to keep that job, I never would have left.

But, although these last weeks have been hard, I know I had to do it. I know I had to become visible again.

Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On

30 Comments

  1. I left my job where I’d worked a similar number of years when H was born. It was very strange. I still dream about work quite often. Generally, I was happy to go because the job had long since ceased to be fun and every week some new plot from the management would make it less rewarding. I was sad to leave behind the people though. Must be a frustrating experience at the moment to still be there.

    Post a Reply
  2. Must be a strange rubbish kind of time at the moment as it sounds like you’ve pretty much wrapped up but you’re having to sit around and twiddle your thumbs a bit.

    I don’t think you’ve withered at all. Over time you made decisions as other things become a lot more important like your family and you. It’s allowed to thrive in your writing worked and let you make an exciting step in your new career. And you have 3 amazing talented and intelligent children. I think you’ve done quite well 😉

    Post a Reply
  3. Really feel for you – so frustrating that work is still organised in a way that it can’t make use of our talents. It’s not as if we all suddenly forget everything just because we became mums. Thinking of you and good luck in whatever’s next – Alice @ Mums Make Lists #pocolo

    Post a Reply
  4. I’m being made redundant from my job – I found out in November and leave in July. This makes me feel like I’m on a drawn out notice period, I can really imagine how you feel! I enjoy my job but being part time term time I’m in in a similar situation where I don’t get to work on high profile projects any more. That’s my decision in one way, with the hours I work, but I do know I’m easily capable of them.

    Post a Reply
  5. I only ever worked part time, where every one else was part time too. Its hard when you do so much good work and, for such a good cause, then go unrecognised. I hope they do miss you, and that your new venture goes so well, you won’t care xx
    #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  6. I worked at the same place for 26 years until I could take no more and felt the need to move on & just be me. This is a beautifully written post and after you’ve left, you will realise that there’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. Good luck x

    Post a Reply
  7. I am so sorry you have not received the recognition you deserve. It sounds like the right time to move on. Good luck!

    Post a Reply
  8. This is a very hard position to find yourself in and I totally understand where you’re coming from. It’s tough to watch other people come up through the ranks and take on roles/jobs that actually you know you could do better! Sadly, none of us are indispensable but I am certain, in time, your legacy would have been enough to make people realise what they are missing. Onwards and upwards!

    Post a Reply
  9. Great post.
    You’re not as invisible as you think…as Izzie says, a whole new world waits for you. x

    Post a Reply
  10. awww Sarah this is so sad, although i know this pain too from taking the redundancy while on mat leave. It still hurts a little that they thrived.

    I am hoping you find your new path and i wish you every success as i know you deserve it xx

    Post a Reply
  11. So sorry you’re feeling this way. I am sure that your efforts are appreciated in many little ways that no doubt go unmentioned. It is so hard to watch others do something you used to love and I will never forget that feeling as I got close to leaving the job I loved most. But life moves on and new things are around the corner for you with new passions to discover. Good luck! #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  12. I do sympathise, just before I found out I was pregnant with Syd I was really on the up at work, my manager had been talking to me about a promotion, and I was in the thick of everything. Then I announced my pregnancy, and it all changed. I stopped being given any new responsibilty because I was going to be off on Mat leave soon enough, and wasnt involved in any long term planning etc. Those last few weeks were really hard, because I couldn’t do the job the way I liked too, everyone, including me, was just watching the clock tick down until I left.

    You have made the right decision, sometimes you just know when to move on, and I hear your new boss is awesome! 😉

    Post a Reply
  13. Thanks very much, everyone, really appreciate your lovely, supportive comments.
    It is a weird time and it’s good to read that others understand and have been through this and are still thriving doing something different! 26 years is an incredible amount of time in one place, Izzie!
    Tracy – really appreciate you saying I’m not invisible! It’s like I lead a double life – I know I’m not invisible in the blogosphere and having people read and enjoy my blog is what has given me the confidence to walk away. I may not be appreciated at work, but I’m confident I can and will be appreciated elsewhere!

    Post a Reply
  14. I recognise much of what you’re saying here. Judging from everyone else’s comments, it’s a common situation. Hopefully you’ll find it liberating and exciting once you’ve left it all behind-change is sometimes the thing that makes you look at things differently I think.

    Post a Reply
  15. Sounds like a difficult time, thanks for writing about it so honestly. I bet that lots of your readers will empathise. Very best of luck with the next chapter. #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  16. Keep your head down, focus on your plans for the future, and leave with happiness as you are a new person and you will have a brilliant time once you are out of there. No matter how hard your last few days are, you are doing the right thing and will do it brilliantly. Remember how it was when you were leaving school, exams were over and you were waiting for the next big thing – it was exciting and scary-making at the same time, I bet…

    Post a Reply
  17. I felt how heavy it is your feeling when you are writing this while I am reading. Can I just say that I haven’t met you personally but you are not invisible to me. Your tweets and blog made a lot of sense especially when it is about motherhood where I am a novice. I am so in awe of how you handle your kids well and they are all doing great in their respective fields this early. I can only wish that my son would grow up to be as busy and dedicated as them.

    The problem is not with you obvs but with them. Though it is hard to ignore their actions .. maybe you can try to use it to like fire you up in your life and getting your new goals. Haha.. I should probably use my own advice too =P

    Post a Reply
  18. Going through this must be really tough, but ultimately you will be so much happier in the long run. All the best for getting through the next few weeks hon #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  19. 15 years is SUCH a long time to work any where. This is such a melancholy post but at the same time I am certain that you will find success in your new venture. To stay somewhere that long shows that you have commitment and will put your all into whatever you do. I wish you all the very best. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

    Post a Reply
  20. It’s a strange feeling leaving a company after putting in so many years of hard work but my impressions is that you actually might be leaving at the right time if they’re making you feel that way. Enjoy your freedom from what sounds like poor management. #pocolo

    Post a Reply
  21. Oh hun – I am heart sore for you. I know how important it is to have a job you love and that you’re good at, and I am so sorry that you’ve been made to feel this way. It DOES get better – I am proof of that. Huge hugs xx #pocolo

    Post a Reply
  22. So sorry you are feeling so bad atm – look to the future and you lovely family xoxo

    Post a Reply
  23. So sorry you are feeling this way….It’s so sad that you are not appreciated!!
    Good luck for the future x

    Post a Reply
  24. This just proves that you have made the right decision to leave. If not, you would be feeling like this, working full time and I think you would be really miserable. It still must be really hard though and I can’t imagine how you must feel, but I think bigger and better things are just around the corner.

    Post a Reply
  25. This is so sad! I’m sorry you’re having to leave your job in this way. I wish you all the best in recovering your visibility again.

    Post a Reply
  26. I work part-time and it’s such strange feeling to be on the edge rather than at the centre, as I was before I had kids. I hope to see a post from you in the future doing something you love. When I was feeling sad about my role in life, my older (and wiser) sister pointed out that we may have to work until we’re 65, so this is just a blip in the grand scheme of things and gives us time to work out what we really want to do? One way of looking at it anyway. I’m sure colleagues appreciate you more than you realise too x

    Post a Reply
  27. Wow, what an emotional post. It’s so hard being on the fringes as a PT worker, I feel your pain. But it’s also good to be removed from the politics and know you’re moving on. Keep looking forwards, I’m sure they’ll be wishing you back soon enough! #pocolo

    Post a Reply
  28. I’m so sorry you haven’t received the recognition you deserve. I have a few part time posts and know exactly how you feel – you just aren’t held in as high regard when you’re part time. Good luck with everything #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  29. Thank you all for your lovely, supportive comments, everyone. I especially appreciate your kind words, Pixie Dusk!
    Your sister’s words are very wise, Steph!
    Well I’m going to be working freelance and hopefully enjoying being my own boss and having more control. No doubt I’ll blog about that in the not too distant future!

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: