It's been a very strange week.
After nearly 22 years, I was made redundant last week. I first knew that I was under threat at the end of February, but once the decision was made, it all happened very quickly: I found out that I was definitely going a couple of weeks ago, and ten days later I was gone. It was only officially announced to most people the day before I left the building for the last time. Typically, I was the last person to leave on my last day and I had to hand my pass and locker key and things in to the out of hours team.
The last couple of years of my career there have been by far the most satisfying. Given the way that things have turned out, I suppose that's a touch ironic. Still, it's true. I've been generally been getting to my desk by 07:15 most mornings and not walking back through my own front door until gone 18:00. When you factor in out-of-hours and weekend cover, that's a pretty significant chunk of my life.
Suddenly, all that time has been returned to me.
It's quite a change of pace and I think it's going to take some getting used to.
Inevitably, I don't miss the work at all. I worked hard because it was something that I wanted to do well, but I think I've always been pretty good at leaving it behind me when I left the office. It's just a job. This attitude has stood me in pretty good stead to deal with redundancy. I'm also arrogant enough to believe that the whole selection process for redundancy has not been a reflection on my abilities so much as an indictment of my management's ability to understand my worth.
It's a cliche, but I do miss the people. For far too long in my career, I thought that I was a self-contained island and that the only thing that mattered was the quality of my own work. It was only latterly that I realised that the only reason I came to work at all was because of the people. I don't miss the work at all, but I am missing spending my days surrounded by many of those people who filled my days with laughter amidst all the nonsense.
So what's next? I don't know. It would probably be easy to fall back onto my skills and experience and to go contracting or something like that. I'm hoping I'll be able to resist that. I've spent a long time making a billionaire slightly richer and I'd like to think I could do something more worthwhile. The redundancy has given me the gift of time by liquidating my golden handcuffs. They're even paying 12 weeks' notice, so there's no particular rush to jump into something quickly.
Could I write? Maybe. Now seems like a pretty good opportunity to find out. I'd also like to do something a bit more community based. I'm lucky enough that we're pretty financially secure, so this has gifted me the opportunity to find something constructive to do with the next step.
This week has mostly been spent sleeping. I seem to have a lot of sleep to catch-up on. Working those hours, perhaps that's not too surprising. Next week? Who knows?
One thing is for sure: my brilliant career is entering a new phase.