I am today, sat here typing as an unemployed man.
Yes, it’s out. I am now and for the foreseeable future, out of work. The reason that separates me from the many hard luck stories is this: I walked away from a paying position. I chose to leave a job when many are out of work due to recession, bad health or other unfortunate and unavoidable reasons.
Now, I may be dancing with the devil and asking for nothing but trouble for saying it but, I made the decision which may turn out to be the bravest move I ever made or the dumbest. Time will tell. But why did I walk?
Well, I am somewhat limited by contract to just what I can reveal but I had become stale, stilted or even fed up with the status quo. I was becoming more jaded by the day and it was beginning to creep in and affect my work. After a career pushing forward, climbing the ladders and stretching myself with new challenges I had come to a halt. I have achieved a lot, without any sense of self promotion. I took the job to new areas and new heights while I was there but we came to an end. We reached a brick wall put up by the employers themselves. I had built up and developed the business to new levels neither of us had expected but they didn’t want or couldn’t handle any more growth. I am not the sort of person to sit back and say, “That’s enough.”
I am not the sort to take work place politics and an absence of support from above as acceptable either but, as I said, I am limited in just how much I can disclose.
So, I took the long walk and we said goodbye with legal and binding contracts of non disclosure and I now face my biggest challenge.
I must add, my former employer gave me as much support as possible in the situation but I can’t help but feel he too had his hands tied. We left on good terms and the door is closed but not slammed in my face. I won’t look back on my entire time with them as a nightmare but the last two years will be hard to forgive.
O.K. I’ve faced unemployment before, a couple or three times but they were not self imposed. I was out of work for six months once. That was the longest time and I made good use of that time but it ended. I was younger and I had valid reasons for my situation. Job loss through the usual reasons. This time is different. I’m older. Hell, I’m old! Forty seven isn’t retirement age by any means but a lot of potential employers will still see that as a hindrance even if they don’t voice it. I can claim experience is a qualification you can’t buy with a pile of books and certificates but the simple fact is, employers like young people with no commitments that they can pay a tiny wage.
Anyway, there it is. It’s been cathartic and it will take some time to accept but I am at this crossroads and which way I turn is yet to be discovered but when I take that step you can bet your savings it will be a colourful and fast ride!
Do I think I did the right thing?
I have no idea and I don’t know that I ever will. Suffice it to say, I persuaded the bosses to give me the option of jumping before I was pushed. I firmly believe I would have been in the same position in had they not accepted my suggestion but my C.V. would have read differently. I made the decision to take things into my own hands and take control of my destiny. That, I still believe leaves me with some dignity.
Dignity may not be enough to pay the bills in a few months time but we shall have to wait and see.