It’s been a few days now since the deadline passed to apply for voluntary redundancy at work. After thinking about it long and hard, I didn’t go for it.
When we heard back in November that we were being restructured again and there would be redundancies, I felt that familiar dread setting in. Fear of losing my job, fear of doing an application and an interview, fear of being considered to be not good enough.
But I went home and talked to my husband and he said I didn’t have to do it. I could go freelance – write articles and blogposts for other people, manage social media for a small company or two, do some proof reading, make a little bit more money from my blog…
And it was like a cloud had lifted. I felt inspired, I felt positive. I could do it, I could really do it!
He’d suggested it to me a number of times before in the past, but I never felt brave enough. He’s got his own business and I know the hours he puts in. I didn’t think our family could sustain two people with their own businesses. But I realised I didn’t need to do something big. I only needed to break even on my salary (or even earn slightly less). I had the not-as-much-as-I-would-hope-for-after-14-years’-service redundancy money to give me a cushion. I would be able to take my kids to school and pick them up and be there for them. And blogging had given me the confidence to know I could write.
I got in touch with some people I know for advice, I signed up for a couple of useful websites. I was brimming with ideas and inspiration.
But it was never going to be straightforward. With the move imminent, the timing couldn’t be worse. There’s the bigger mortgage of course, but, worse than that, we’d signed up for a new mortgage based on my salary and I’d be putting in for redundancy before the mortgage had even started. Maybe it was a small risk, but I would potentially be putting the mortgage and therefore the house move in jeopardy. Needless to say this wouldn’t have been an issue if we’d have just moved on 22nd November like we were supposed to. Then there was the fact that the house is stuck firmly in the 1980s. If I left my job and had no salary, how could we get a new bathroom? What’s more important? Freedom and happiness or a nice bathroom? The sad fact is, a nice bathroom will contribute significantly to my freedom and happiness.
On a good day, I love my job. On a bad day, I hate it.
We changed our minds almost daily. So many pros and cons. Should I stay or should I go?
Two weeks before deadline day, my husband took the final decision. I should stay. I felt down for a couple of days, but then I pushed it to the back of my mind and forgot about it. In many ways, it was like a weight being lifted from my shoulders. It had been a dream. Like when you look at an exotic holiday on the internet and for a few days you really believe you’re going to go, but then reality hits. You will never go on that holiday.
(If you’re wondering why I ‘let’ my husband take the final decision it’s because he’s the one with the financial brain. We’re a partnership and a family. Decisions have to be right for all of us. Much as I liked the idea of sitting on my arse writing nice stuff at home with the radio on, my priority has to be what will keep a roof over our heads. My husband understands far better than me how much money we need to live on, so I trust him to take the right decision for the family.)
So I’ve shelved the dream for now, but I will come back to it when the time is right.
And of course there’s no guarantee I’ll get a job. I still have to apply, be interviewed and be better in interview than other people going for the jobs.
The decision about whether I stay or go isn’t my own to make any more.