This week Money Shed member Cathy tells us how she was forced into looking into working at home when the dreaded Redundancy word gets mentioned to you.
I had worked for the same company for virtually as long as I have known my husband: almost nineteen years. But this week I became redundant, and while I’m sure my (old) company have known about it for a while it came as a shock to me, no doubt partly because I work from home and most of my company is in another country. I have to admit, I’ve been very lucky. Somewhere along the line I had babies, started working part-time, moved to another city when my husband’s job got transferred and started to do the same job from home. It was highly flexible and so convenient for bringing up children, particularly when my husband is out of the house for at least 13 hours of the day. We don’t have family nearby so we have no readily available childcare, but we rarely needed it.
Now I look at the job alerts I’ve signed up for on Rightmove, and for every job I think I can do (and let’s face it, confidence is pretty low after 19 years in the same job) there are multiple reasons why I can’t, mostly revolving around working hours and school holidays.
We needed my salary to pay the bills, and this is a scary place to be. So scary in fact that we have put our house on the market and are planning to downsize so that we can eliminate most of that all-important mortgage payment every month.
Reading The Money Shed blog post on being ‘forced’ to work from home after redundancy definitely made me feel better about the situation. The world isn’t going to end, although somebody buying our house would be a nice reassurance of that fact!
Your first port of call in this situation is surely reaching out to business contacts to see what other work is out there; in my case this doesn’t really work because I was highly unusual in my industry to work from home, and generally all jobs are in London where I no longer live. I will need to start again, and finding The Money Shed has made me feel ever so slightly more positive about that. My husband has already gone through redundancy twice so I’m all too depressingly familiar with the prospect of applying for hundreds of jobs and hearing from almost none of them. Friends are sympathetic but I am out of practice with networking; 19 years in the same job makes you too complacent. My most useful tool? Undoubtedly the internet. Social networking didn’t exist when I was last looking for jobs but I intend to make full use of it this time.
I am well-used to spending full days scouring the internet and writing, and it makes sense to try and make that skill pay my bills again. Ideally I would like a term-time part-time job too, for financial security, but this may be stretching too far into Dream Land. Still, we can all dream. Perhaps not the best use of my Masters degree but I made an unconscious decision some years ago that my children came first and my career, indeed my whole life, needed to fit in around them. In the meantime I am filling in surveys as if my life depended on it, researching my niche, writing and (my constant fall back) baking. Redundancy will undoubtedly change my life but I’m hopeful it will be a change for the better.