A rock and a hard place

I am officially at risk of redundancy. Long-term readers will know this isn’t the first time We’ve been there before. Only two years ago. I took the whole thing quite badly then – the stress, the pressure, the uncertainty… Frankly, I was a mess. Looking back on that time upsets me. I can hardly recognise the person I was then. I’ve moved on and cheered up so much in the last two years.

I was desperate to get a job and incredibly happy when I did. It turned out in the end everyone else did too (because sufficient people had taken voluntary redundancy or early retirement). All that worry for nothing.

When I worry like that it doesn’t just affect me. It affects my whole family. That’s not fair on them. They’ve done nothing wrong. They don’t deserve it.

I work in the public sector. The public sector is being squeezed massively by reductions in government grants, council tax freezes (for the good of the people who’ve been hit by the recession over the last goodness-knows-how-many years) and by increased demand for services from a rapidly ageing population. Something has to give. Money has to be saved. Right now that money is being saved by restructuring the area I work in (and lots of other areas too) and reducing the numbers of staff.

I don’t want to go through that again. I don’t want to put myself and my family under that pressure. I don’t want to read the job descriptions, choose a job, tailor an application to suit and go through a soul-destroying interview with people I know, to potentially come out with nothing but a big gaping wound inside. A feeling that I’m worthless, not good enough, my face doesn’t fit, I’m old hat…

This time redundancies will definitely happen. The cuts are much bigger, the restructuring more dramatic.

There are few jobs in the new structure I could do.

Actually, that’s not true, there are few jobs in the structure I WOULD BE PERCEIVED AS BEING ABLE TO DO. Those are two different things. We’ve already been told, jobs will go to people who have the experience, not to people who show potential and willingness to learn and take on something different.

There’s voluntary redundancy on the table. Maybe I should just take the money and run?

But I’m between a rock and a hard place. I’m just about to move into a bigger house with a bigger mortgage. Now is not the time to be without a salary. Let’s be honest, the terms of the mortgage probably mean I CAN’T be without a salary.

So I do the application, I do the interview, I don’t get the job. What then? Compulsory redundancy?

Not necessarily. For me, this is the worst bit. If I don’t get a job I face the prospect of redeployment to a job deemed suitable for me elsewhere in the council. Where could I end up? Doing  admin in a team of people who don’t talk and don’t have a laugh like we do (whilst also working very hard I might hasten to add). And if I don’t like it? No prospect of redundancy. It’s take it or leave it. And if you leave it, you come out with nothing.

A rock and a hard place.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh Sarah, that is really rubbish and I’m so sorry. It really is a rock and a hard place and I can’t give you any advice as I don’t know what I would do if I were you. All I know is that you are a very clever and talented lady and if this job isn’t for you, you will find something else.

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  2. Sorry to read this, what a worry for you and your family, as an ex public sector worker I know exactly the pressure your under as been through it myself and its an awful situation to be in.

    I have no words of advice I’m afraid, but I’m here if you ever need a sounding board ((((hugs))))


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  3. Difficult times. I can’t say an awful lot without getting upset as we are in a tough situation ourselves following my OH’s redundancy. It is so stressful.
    All I can do is with you all the best.
    My late Mum used to say things happen for a reason – right now that keeps me going … just!

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  4. So sorry you’re in this situation, it is tough, there’s no two ways about it. But the one thing you can’t do is put blame on yourself or talk negatively to yourself about the reasons why. From reading this post, the reason why is very clear…. governmental budget cuts. Good luck, I hope things work out as you would like them too xx

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  5. Oooh this is tough. I really feel for you. What I think is that you are a smart intelligent, hard-working woman, who will be able to make a success of herself post redundancy. I did a similar thing years ago and can honestly say it’s been really good for me. Much harder when you’re on the other side of the decision though. Good luck making it x

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  6. Oh that is so rubbish. There is so much restructuring going on everywhere at the moment – it was the best thing that ever happened to hubby last year and he now does a job he (sometimes ;0) enjoys. I hope everything works out for the best xxx

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  7. That is rubbish, and awful timing with the stress of the move too. Will keep my fingers crossed that you get the outcome you want xx

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  8. I’m so sorry to hear this Sarah. In my opinion (it would probably take someone else telling me to do this though as I would probably be just as unsure and stressed as you) I would take the redundancy, take Christmas to regroup and then go for something I enjoyed doing in the new year. Try thinking of things that might even involve self employment, what you can offer to others in return for other services e.g. decorating your new house etc. this will all go to saving money rather than necessarily having to rush back out there and take any old job. I feel that making yourself stressed which in turn affects your whole family would be your worst nightmare and in turn make you even worse to the point any interviews you did do, you may not perform at your best. If there is anything that I can do to help with either staying where you are, interviews or new job suggestions then please let me know. A good place to start might be GCHQ or the Gloucestershire school website, they often have admin type jobs (not quite sure what your preferred profession would be so please don’t take offence). I really wish you all the best, I’m around for support, chat, cup of tea, whenever. Take Care Jx

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  9. Oh no Sarah I am sorry to hear what you are going through, just at the time when your moving too 🙁 I hope everything works out good for you x

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  10. Oh hon, I feel for you, the stress of redundancy is horrendous. Unfortunately as all options appear bleak right now, the best thing you can do is try not to worry unnecessarily. If you are actually told you’ll be made redundant then seriously look at your options. I know it’s easier said than done, but you never know, your job might be safe.

    BTW, I didn’t steal your post title I promise, mine had been scheduled for days xx

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  11. Thank you very much, ladies, really appreciate your comments.
    It’s funny that we had the same title, Mummy Tries! I nearly posted this one in PoCoLo, but decided not to since we had the same title.
    I’m going to try not to worry and try to stay positive and try to think about alternatives.
    Thank you for your lovely comment, Jane. You are so right that me being stressed affects my family and I really want to avoid that. I love your idea of offering work in return for others working for us. I’d be very happy for someone to decorate my new house! 😉 x

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  12. Right my lovely. Now is the time for you to start interviewing ‘them’. A new role has to be right for you – and if it isn’t take voluntary redundancy. And then find the new role that is right for you. Change if so unsettling – but it isn’t bad – it can be really, really good. Good luck. xxx

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  13. Gosh – I’m sorry to read that 🙁 I really don’t know what the answer is but hope things start looking up for you. xxx

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  14. Sorry to hear about that Sarah. I know it’s hard but try not to worry and have a good think about the alternatives. There are lots of options out there even if you can’t see them now. Don’t forget things always happen for a reason and the chances are its because there’s something better around the corner 🙂

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  15. Oh Sarah, I am sorry to read this. And what rotten timing. I wish I had the perfect advice to offer, but others have made very sensible suggestions. Will be thinking of you xx

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  16. Thanks very much, everyone.
    Really appreciate your comments, Sam. Really reassuring!
    The timing is terrible, but I need to make the best of it!

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  17. Just realised I completely missed this. I’m so sorry everything seems to be happening at once at the moment doesn’t it? I hope you find out soon as I guess the limbo is the worst. Your blog is excellent and your writing skills are so good. You could start freelancing for companies if it comes to that.

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