A tough decision. Again

Regular readers will know things are being restructured at my work (again – it was only done two years ago). This time there will be no Mr Nice Council. Some people will end up redundant. For a blissful few weeks I saw a way out, a way to a better life for the whole family – me taking redundancy and working for myself at home. Taking the kids to school myself and picking them up again. I was looking forward to it.

But then reality hit. It just wasn’t a good time to quit work – there were too many uncertainties over the house move. And, to be honest, my head was being pretty much ruled by my need for new bathrooms. Once I’d taken the decision, I was happy with it. I knew where I was going.

Nothing was certain of course. I still had to get the job, but a few people were taking redundancy which helped matters. You’re not supposed to work out whose job is whose, because it’s all a fair process based on interviews etc etc. But I did. And so did everybody else. There were two posts of ‘my’ job and I would get one and I knew which colleague would get the other. Simple.

Until the goalposts moved.

The first few weeks we were in ‘consultation’. We’d been told the situation, shown the draft structure and job profiles and we had to have our say on it. So did other people in the council.

They had their say and they agreed it all. Apart from one TEENY-WEENY little detail. So teeny that most people wouldn’t have noticed it. So teeny that it only affected one teeny weeny little part-timer.


‘My’ job was to be full-time. That’s what the consultation concluded. There was no room for manoeuvre.

I felt numb. What was I going to do? I couldn’t think straight. I should have taken the redundancy and now it was too late! I was going to have no job.

My boss advised there was another job I could do. I knew I COULD do it. But I didn’t have a track record. I couldn’t prove I could do it – and there were other people who could prove it.

For the rest of the day I felt numb. And then I went to Young Voices which was absolutely brilliant and felt way more important than a mere job. Then I did what I always do when something upsets me – I pushed it to the back of my mind and didn’t think about it. I was way too busy sorting out the house anyway.

But things you’ve pushed to the back of your mind don’t go away. Eventually you have to address them.

I established that as these circumstances were unique to me and the goalposts had been significantly shifted for me, I could ask for voluntary redundancy.

The details of the application and interview process came out. I immediately felt sick. And I realised I really didn’t want that alternative job. It didn’t excite me, it wouldn’t challenge me. I suspected it would just bore me. I had a unique chance – to take a risk and maybe fail, but most likely not fail, or get stuck in a job I didn’t want to do.

I’m not a believer in fate in general, but it felt like a sign. It felt like I was being told that this time I had to go for it.

So I’ve taken the plunge. I’ve asked for voluntary redundancy. I handed that slip of paper in and I couldn’t stop smiling. Couldn’t stop smiling all day. My boss said it was the most she’d seen me smile in months. Until that moment, I wasn’t sure it was the right decision. But it absolutely was.


I’m going to be a freelance writer, freelance blogger, proof-reader, copywriter, social media consultant… This time I’ve made the right choice.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh my god what a few weeks its been, I know it’s been all up and down for you but I’m so glad it feels right and you’ve been smiling!!! That definitely makes it right doesn’t it? 🙂

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  2. Goodness; you have been on SUCH a roller-coaster haven’t you?! Wishing you all the best. xxx

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  3. I’m really pleased and very jealous! I think it is the right decision for you and I wish you lots and lots of luck

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  4. Gosh what a nightmare this sounds. BUT wow!! What a fantastic decision you’ve made :)) I wish you all the luck in the world and reckon you’ll be fab! I quit my part time job after having Baby A and it felt very scary at the time. I am now a childminder (just starting out) and it was the best decision I ever made! X

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  5. Sounds like its the right thing for you. Hope it brings all the happiness you deserves.

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  6. Hoorah! SO glad that it felt so good to do it! And we can hold hands and do it together, I just took the plunge and declared myself self employed to the tax man, but I am coming from the other end- building up from no work to some work! Go us!! 🙂

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  7. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve made the right decision. It still won’t be easy because you’ll be having to tout for work all the time, but it will be right for YOU. Anyway a woman with your skills will have no trouble finding another part time job if you absolutely need to.

    I took VR from ‘corporate world’ back in 2006. Had 6 months off and eventually found a job so radically different from the PA role I’d done for years. It was the challenge I needed and I’ve loved my job ever since.

    Good luck in this exciting new venture. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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  8. Best of luck with your new venture…how exciting!! x

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  9. Best move I ever made was going self-employed. Coming up for two years and no looking back. Good luck, you’ve got a great network for success x.

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  10. Eek how exciting!! The best decision I ever made was leaving my job in September. I was terrified and almost had a meltdown the first week I didn’t go to my old job but it has proved itself the right choice over and over again. Good luck!!

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  11. The world is your oyster! Go out there and follow your dreams. As a wise man once said “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs!”

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  12. Thank you for your lovely comments, everyone. I really appreciate your support.
    It’s reassuring to know that it’s working out for you so soon, Jess! Just as reassuring to know that you still have no regrets after two years, Lesley. x
    The smiles definitely make it right, Tas!
    It has been a rollercoaster, MG, and no doubt a few ups and downs still to come.
    Great to know you have no regrets, Penguins Waddle!

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  13. Well done you. It’s a tough decision to make but when you smile more than you have in months, it’s always a good sign! All the very best of luck on your freelance journey! I am sure you will be snowed under in no time. And here’s to being skint and happy! x

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  14. Oh wow how exciting, you will be your own boss, take tea breaks when you want and work at times to suit you 🙂 all the best Sarah ,you will be great x

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  15. Sneaky little buggers…having been effectively manoeuvred out of a council job whilst on maternity leave I am not surprised they were underhanded. What a horrible time they’ve put you through. I really hope your plans work out, you deserve it!

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  16. Thanks very much, ladies 🙂 Really appreciate your comments.
    Sorry they put you through that, Sarah Anne 🙁

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  17. Annoying that they moved the goalposts, but can’t say I’m surprised from what I’ve heard about council restructures from other friends. Well done for taking the plunge and welcome to the band of full time bloggers.

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  18. Having a major catch up, and I already knew this, but still wanted to comment here! So sorry that they moved the goal posts on you, but you know sometimes ‘fate’ does take a hand and I think we need to grab those moments. Lots and lots of luck with this, you’ll be great – and a huge well done for being brave and grabbing the opportunity xx

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  19. Thanks very much, ladies! I’m not going to be a full-time blogger, Erica, that’s just going to be one string to my bow. I’m going for PR, copywriting, proofreading and social media as well as blogging – all my skills combined! Hopefully that will pay the bills!
    Thanks very much, Sara. I’m feeling confident and happy with my decision at the moment. I just need to find some work now! x

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  1. The Gallery: Morning 2014 - Mum of Three World | Mum of Three World - […] having moved house twice and done lots of DIY and having taken the difficult decision to take voluntary redundancy, I…

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