A week ago today I was made redundant. Two days back from my holidays and one day before my birthday, I was told my services are no longer needed. “You’re off the bus,” my CEO confirmed for me as I helped her pack up her office; she had just been made redundant five hours earlier and had managed to find out for me so I didn’t have to wait out the night for the group presentation.
It was swift and severe. Half of our small organization were let go upon the instruction of the new owners and given 15 minutes to pack up their belongings. They were not allowed to say good-bye to their colleagues whose services were being retained and who had been rounded up at the new owner’s offices in another building. They were not allowed to return until everyone made redundant had left the building.
A story can be told in many ways. I could tell you that it was unfair to be treated as a label and not a person, to not have a chance to show them who I am or what I am capable of, to be made redundant the day before my birthday. But that’s not my real story.
I wanted to be made redundant.
The takeover was announced three days before I started my holidays. Having been part of many mergers and acquisitions, I was able to quickly surmise the situation. It was unlikely they would need my role in their structure. My job was at risk although there was a chance they could offer me something else. Good people are valuable and often retained.
I watched and listened as the new management team commenced their due diligence and interacted with our team. I was highly unimpressed and in many instances appalled with statements that were made. It was evident very quickly that they did not share our values. Our people-oriented, cooperative, compassionate and progressive culture would soon be shattered by an old school, dictatorial, money and power-driven, masculine-dominated one.
This change was inevitable. Unless a significant issue was identified during the due diligence process our business would be sold and we would be changed forever. In the face of this change, I had two choices. I could decide I wanted to stay or that I wanted to go.
I didn't want to work for the new organisation. The values clash was too great. The opportunity to grow non-existent.I wanted to go.
So I started my holidays and as the topic of work came up with people that I met along the way I told them all, “I’m hoping to be made redundant. It’s better to be paid to go than have to resign.” I said it often. The more I said it, the more I believed it and welcomed it into my life. I felt peaceful and believed it would happen.
I received what I asked for. I am happy and grateful. I am swimming in a world of possibilities. I have time and space to dream the future. I have a back-catalogue of experiences that remind me; anything is possible if I desire it to be so and that there is nothing that I cannot do if I put my mind and heart to it.
I am fiercely proud of what we created over the last twelve months, of the magnificent team of diverse, vibrant, positive people we pulled together who wanted to do good things in life, who wanted to help others, who wanted to learn and grow.
I am fiercely proud of our (now ex) CEO who lead the company back from the brink of combustion and negativity with zero budget, short reins and involuntarily blind-folded. It was sinking. She made it float with sheer magic. She lead with her heart, compassion, belief and trust. She is more brilliant than I think she yet fully comprehends or judges herself to be.
Life is full of beginnings and endings. Impermanence. Our human hearts often struggle with that concept. The endings can be painful when we cling to what has been and refuse to let go when it is time to let go.
And so when change comes and you can’t change the change, what choice will you make?
Reeling against the past only causes you angst and dis-ease. Once you accept the present moment, you will see your choices more clearly and that you always, always have a choice.