Sunday, 16 February 2014

Redundancy. Not always a bad word...

Well I've pretty much been a professional athlete the last 3 months... It's been fantastic as well as scary. But one thing is for sure, it's given me a good chance to think about my life and what I want out of it.
A hard life being a pro... Bondi in all it's glory

It's been three months now since the company I worked for since completing my degree had to make me redundant. Sure, at first I was upset, angry, confused... I had given almost 7 years of my life to this company including spending countless hours/days/weeks away from my friends and family with projects trips all around the state as well as months spent in Melbourne and finally culminating in a move to Sydney with the uncertainty of whether Aimee would follow me or if we would spend even more months or years living apart...

But. The day after I was given the news I was lucky enough to be able to get on a plane and head north to Noosa for the Noosa Triathlon festival. After a great weekend away in Noosa I started to realise that it might not be such a bad thing. I only really told a few people that are really close to me what had happened, and it made me realise exactly why those people are really close to me. Such amazing support and full of positivity no matter what they were going through in their own lives. They made me realise that I had been in the same company for so long that it was going to be a good thing for me to be able to have a change in my life! You all know who you are, so thank you :)

Absolutely loving Noosa National Park!
So with that change in attitude I decided that I wasn't even going to entertain the idea of looking for a job until the New Year, giving me almost 2 months to try and enjoy a summer in Sydney. A big part of that was being able to focus on my training and really get some solid sessions in.

Two of the best training buddies you could ask for
Hence the life of the pro athlete... there were lazy coffee sessions after the morning training, double swim sessions, midday core sessions... it was great. I rediscovered a love of the sport again.
I had all this time to relax and sleep on the couch, although I don't think I ever really did... it's amazing how the day gets away from you so quickly... I did manage to complete some great tasks while I had the time, including setting up a new website for one of my best friends as well as taking our coffee addiction to another level by starting a blog to voice our untrained and totally biased opinion. I was resident chef and dishwasher in our household which (hopefully) made life a little nicer for everyone, and took to baking pretty heavily! The no-sugar “diet” (I use that word loosely as I don’t like the word) had officially ended, although it had caused a permanent shift in our mentality and now we still follow it, although allowing a few more exceptions ;)

The 9am Mug
So this pro life was always going to come to an end. And this week was that time. I have now started with a new company and the role is really exciting and something that is outside of my comfort zone. Something that if I was still with that same company I would never have looked at. But given my time and my assessment of my life this new role fit the mould perfectly and would allow me to explore the industry from a different light and add another feather to the cap so to speak which is never a bad thing I don’t believe.
I discovered that my life, although needing challenges, needs to be supported by my working world rather than the other way around. My old company had (past tense) some great perks, although they soon became further and further apart until to be honest they almost disappeared... it was never a bad company and I learnt a lot, but the culture started to change... My new company has a sensational culture and attitude towards the work life balance. One that promotes a great flexible work environment, in which people are comfortable, which in turn promotes hard work and loyalty. That's a good thing and I’m very excited to be able to be a part of it.

Not all doom and gloom
Now that I have started a new role I have had some time to think about the old company a bit. One of the things that I never really thought about at the time I was made redundant was the customers I dealt with and how the news of my redundancy was treated? The word 'redundancy' is generally a cuss word, so I wonder what they were told when I didn't show up again? Did they get told 'Shane is no longer with us'? Which seems like a generic and harmless statement. But is it? If someone told you that the person that you have been dealing with was 'no longer with the company' what would you think? Me, I would probably think that they were fired or they had found a new job (although if they had a new role would I not have been told and had a handover with the replacement?). So no matter what they think when told, you can be almost guaranteed that they think it was my decision or my action that has caused me to not be 'with the company anymore', where in actual fact I was made redundant, which means that it was neither my decision nor my action that caused the result. It was in fact in part the company’s action and decision that has caused the result as well as the market, including potentially the customer, which would no doubt change the perception of me in their eyes, which might seem trivial, until your paths cross once again in business...

So I hope that the people and customers that I was lucky enough to work with during my time that were delivered the news of my departure were told the truth. There's nothing I could do about my redundancy, so I hope that my previous company and the people in it didn't (unintentionally) harm my image in the eyes of those that I dealt with. Next time you have to deliver the news to a company that a former colleague is 'no longer with the company', do them a favour and tell the truth.

Now, please excuse me, I have a new challenge in my life and I want to get out there and attack it.

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