A little over 3 years ago, my life fell apart. I was terminated, suddenly and unfairly from a government job where I had introduced some very innovative programs and policies with the whole-hearted support of the elected officials. The programs and policies I introduced have actually received a great deal of praise and applause from other organizations since I left.
My job termination shook me to the core. I felt betrayed by a Commissioner who had me terminated while he was on holidays after I spent three years trying to make his vision a reality. I felt abandoned by former co-workers who were flippant about the enormity of what had happened to me. I felt betrayed by former staff who have claimed credit for the work I did. I felt shocked by former staff who failed to acknowledge my contribution to their work. While I was out of work collecting employment insurance, all of the people I hired and supervised were riding high on work that I initiated, directed and/or supported. For the last three years, I have sat in the audience at conferences, meetings, workshops and webinars while my former Commissioner or staff have presented the work that I initiated, coordinated and managed without acknowledging me.
During these three years, I have been struggling to find a job, to land contracts, to find funding for projects. I have been doing so alone without the support of an organization, without a base income, without the support of colleagues. It has been exhausting, terrifying and lonely. After 25 years of working, I found myself with no income, a question mark over my professional reputation, no credit for the great work I did for the organization that terminated me, and no defenders. I am not sure I will ever feel the same about the people I worked with. I am not sure that I will ever give as much to an organization again. But some things have changed.
I am back working again for an organization that I left many years ago. I am in a more junior position than the one I left 10 years ago. I am working for about $20,000 less than my last job. But I am working with like-minded people again; people who want to change the world; people who know how to shift public policy; people who appreciate the skills and talents I have. I am not sure that I will stay long-term. I am not sure that there is room for me to express my full potential in this job, but it is a good place for now. A place to rebuild my confidence; a place to repair my reputation; a place to recuperate from my betrayal. I am feeling appreciated once more. I am feeling like I am part of a team again. And there are sometimes in life when that means a lot more than money or title.
if there is one thing i hate more than anything else in this world, it’s injustice! i’m so sorry that happened to you and i hope one day it comes back round in your favour! i’m really happy for you where you found a job that you can feel appreciated again. congrats!
I can understand your issue with injustice…and thank you. I am starting to feel like things are going to be okay again. Kim
that’s so good to hear. xo
You know I so relate to this post Kim having been made redundent several time after giving your all. We see to huge compainies we are just numbers and cogs in the works. Haveing served our usefulness etc.
I saved my own firm a lot of money by introductIon of various cost cutting methods. That didn’t cut people just made them more efficient. As a training officer in textiles.
I went back to basics and started from the bottom again until I changed carreer paths all together.
I have found more job satisfaction since. Less pressure.
A team of like minded individuals much better than that big pay cheque of empty loneliness at the top!
Sorry if mistakes but commenting from phone on sick bed at moment flu.
Take care. Sue xxx
Thanks Sue…it is true that employers just don’t care the way they used to. It is also true that it can be more satisfying to work with people with common values. Take care of yourself. And thanks for dropping by despite being sick!!! Kim
Kim, I’m so glad you’re beginning to feel as though you’re back on your feet again. It sounds like you’ve been through some difficult times, and times that might leave you doubting your faith in people. I’m pleased for you that you’ve found a measure of peace and that you’re seeing the good in your situation.
Hi there Kim, I can see how this would shake your world, and leave you wondering if it is possible to trust anyone again. Working with likeminded people sounds like just what you need right now…wherever it might lead. Wish you the very best.
This story is very true, especially about the stigma of being out of work for more than a few months. It is presumed companies “vet” their employees before a layoff, and let the “weaker” ones go. It is significantly easier to get a NEW job if you are already employed, than to wait till you lose one and become “unemployed”. On a parallel note, if you lose a job and take an extended vacation with your severance pay, you also will not be considered for a position. I know more than a few people who made this mistake. I have lost jobs and found new and equivalent positions twice in three years, at age 58 and 60. But I pursued positions while I was still working, colored my hair, lost 15-20 pounds, and took best advantage of my college diploma date, which I completed at age 39. The trick was to look 15 years younger than I was and present myself as an aggressive “job hopper”, which carries less stigma than being out of work for months.
Thanks for sharing your experience…It sounds like you know where I have been…and that you have come out “butter side up”. Good tips, but disturbing that we feel like we have to deny our age, all of the experience that comes with it, in order to get new jobs. That is a sad statement itself. Kim
Good look – you spend too much time at work to be in an environment which is stressful or unappreciative.