Feeling Redundant

31 Aug 2023

I've read somewhere that the average person is made redundant twice across their career.

My first came in my first tech job. I'd been working for NPA Solutions for over twelve years when we were told that our biggest client had decided to outsource all the work we did for them to India, and would cause the company to fold as a result. After getting over the shock - I was perhaps naive to believe that I'd somehow found a job for life - I was the last person out of the door, disappointed at recent events but aware that I'd been lucky...

Because I bounced from that job to another immediately - I finished at NPA on Friday afternoon and started my new job at BLM Interaction on Monday morning.

BLM was a startup and I was gutted to find after six months there that my second redundancy had come; the company had failed to secure further funding, was folding, and as such we were all out of jobs.

I was 32 when BLM collapsed and believed that having two redundancies within 137 days of each other was my complete set of bad luck, and so that was it. It was absolutely mortifying at the time, but I look back and realise that those events got me to where I am now.

So imagine how shocked I was to recently hear that SGS were taking most of the UK developer jobs offshore to India, and that once again, redundancy had come around.

This one hurt, for lots of reasons:

  1. I never saw it coming. Knowing what was happening with offshoring at our main client whilst at NPA allowed me to see the writing on the wall, and working for a startup at BLM also made me acutely aware of the funding challenges being faced. But the announcement in July at SGS was a complete surprise for everybody.
  2. I was really happy at SGS. We'd managed to build a really good team where everyone had a varied skillset, we all bounced off one another and the boss (shoutout to Carl!) was brilliant; we were productive and building a high-quality replacement for the old system, and I wanted to see it through.
  3. The first two redundancies were inevitable - the companies involved were collapsing and 100% of the workforce was being laid off. This is different - some people are being left behind and it hurts to be leaving before I feel my time is done.
  4. I'm older now. I don't feel like I have time on my side the way I did in my thirties.
  5. I've already done this dance twice, does the universe have it in for me?

However, with all that said, I'm once again going to be fortunate enough to have found employment, and will finish at SGS on a Thursday and start my new role on Monday morning. And: it's somewhere I've wanted to work for a long time, having initially being rebuffed seven years ago (post-BLM), this time I got the job!

I have to hope that my above-average redundancy count means that I won't face this process in the future, and go into my new role hopeful to fit in and hit the ground running as a more experienced developer than I've ever been elsewhere.

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