Redundancy Day One

Welcome to my new life. Today is day one of my redundancy life. Technically, I was made redundant on Thursday. However, Friday is my non-work day so it didn’t feel different. Today it’s Monday, it’s after 9 am, I’m at home and alone. The beginning.

Right now, I am pleased to have a bit of space, I have a huge list of projects to tackle. As a working mother, 4 days a week often left little or no time for catch up, I’m seeing this as an opportunity to get ahead of myself, rather than the usual chasing my tail. The last few weeks have been bewildering and at times toxic, since Thursday my shoulders have slowly unknotted. Today, I feel relaxed and positive. I do have significant concerns about getting another job in the voluntary sector in the current climate, but now it’s about some ‘stepping off’ time. I’m going to let the world whizz pass for a bit and spend more time with my small boy, because that makes life good.

This blog has been a great space of retreat over the last few weeks, a rock in choppy seas. But I don’t feel massively happy with it, I can’t put my finger on why but that may reveal itself or it may not and I may just continuing venting in my usual style.

This is as far as I’ve got with a plan, any further tips, gratefully received.

1. I cannot enter Waitrose
2. Shopping is basics only, anything else is strictly off limits
3. I cannot enter shopping malls or large shopping areas (I may tag myself to prevent this)
4. Walk don’t drive
5. This is an opportunity for exercise (apart from ‘walk don’t drive’)
6. Learn to make curry (see no. 1)
7. Ebay is, once again, my new BF
8. Do not get distracted by day-time jollies (lunches/cupas/cakes)
9. Create a job search plan
10.Redundancy isn’t personal

To be honest, I’m having no issues with no. 10, I was one of a group of 7, other’s will follow, but it’s a good reminder, especially if the job search does not bear fresh fruit. ‘Basics’ is something that I may end up having lengthy conversations with myself as to what constitutes ‘basics’, it’s a goal and a bank statement is a sobering reminder of the relevance of ‘basics’.

Now for some tea, toast and unload the washing machine, ring the job centre. Life goes on.

Behind the clouds is always blue sky.


  1. mothersalwaysright

    Enjoy the “stepping out time” because, I expect, before you know it you’ll be rushing around trying to fit 10 million things into the space of 5 minutes again. I wish I’d made the most of the extra time I had a few months back instead of fretting over work stuff.

    Oh – and is great – it’s saved us a fortune! x

  2. Boat Wife

    Hi Gemma. You should try Erica and Antonia’s Mumpreneur in a Month course – it’s free and gives you loads of ideas to create income streams alongside your daily life. Peggy xx

  3. ali

    Totally agree with Boat wife, I joined Bam in January now on their ace inspire. It really does make you think about earning in a totally different way. I have yet to look back 🙂

    As well everyone else is right, enjoy your time and good timing with weather (yes my therory too behind every cloud….) and basics really are not that bad and it’s amazing what you can do with a chickpea 🙂 !!! xxx

  4. Midlife Singlemum

    Hi Gemma – your ten point plan is excellent. I’ve also parred down to the bare essentials and I’ve found that buying basic foods and making everything from scratch is an amazing money saver. Obviously there will be some processed foods (cheese, pasta, etc…) but ready-made foods cost far more than home-made. And time in the kitchen will keep you out of the shops. Good luck.

  5. Tara Bradford

    Hi Gemma. Well I hadn’t heard the news until now, but I’m sure you’ll make the most of your time and new opportunities will come your way! Meanwhile, perhaps a wee break is in order, after all the stress of work. x

  6. Multiple Mummy

    I think you should see this as a long deserved break, a chance to stop, sit, reflect and work out how you really want things to be. In no time you will be employed again and wishing you had 5 minutes peace. Remember a strong and happy Mummy, a strong and happy household – try to to set yourself to many rules, redundancy is not a prison sentence, you have not been naughty! So actually I am all for the cake! x

    1. helloitsgemma

      thanks Kerry. I know that I am easily distracted and enjoy being at home, I also know that I need to focus on getting another job – its a balance, cake could topple it the wrong way and the mortgage company will be cross with me…. X

  7. Emma

    Number 11. Relax, and enjoy the time that you have off! Look on it as a well deserved break before you start that new job, which is quite probably just around the corner! Behind every grey cloud is blue sky indeed! Emma xx

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  9. Alex

    Bizarrely (even though I’m on BMB and the Tots 100 myself), I clicked through on a link from a journalists blog.

    Good luck with it, and definitely focus on number 6- home made currys are brilliant!

  10. Flora Jenkins

    I’m stunned. So sorry to hear about your job. You must be feeling very shocked. Just try not to lose your nerve or your confidence. I’m hunting for work at the moment and finding it really hard to get my confidence back after 3 years looking after the kids at home. Do you know – sadly they only do London, wish it was across the country. Good luck x

    1. helloitsgemma

      Thanks Flora, it was coming, so not a shock, the voluntary sector has been a different place since the change of Government, I expected cuts. They are worse than I imagined. We have know for sometime that we would be losing funding, someone has to go, you kind of hope it isn’t you but it has to be someone.

  11. SAHMlovingit

    Big hugs to you Gemma. Having been there before back in 2007 I know how you feel. No matter how much you repeat number 10 over and over in your head it doesn’t stop you feeling that way. I took it very personally even though a few of us went and I actually ended up better off in life because of it in the end.
    Why don’t you maybe look at some freelancing whilst you try to find yourself something more permanent?
    I won’t go on but just didn’t want to read and run x

  12. Callum Saunders

    Came to your blog since it was tweeted by a mutual friend – wish you absolutely the best of luck with your plan and hope that this blog is a short one!

  13. Honest Mum

    Sorry to hear about this and it’s definitely a sign of the times. As a freelancer I’m used to periods in between work and although I always say I must enjoy this ‘time off’ it’s always tarnished with where and when the next jobs coming in. I understand your predicament and am inspired to relish in toast and the little one. Good luck with the job hunt and enjoy the in-between phase x

  14. Mummy and the Beastie

    I am sorry to hear what has happened to you Gemma and it must feel a really uncertain time for you. I wish you lots of luck finding more work, remember when one door closes, another opens. Things have a funny way of working out 🙂 xx

  15. Him Up North

    Interesting stuff about being unhappy with your blog. Maybe your newly-found free time will give you the freedom to expand your ideas a bit? Who knows, it may take you and your blog into hitherto undiscovered territory.

    Good luck with the plan and the job hunting too 🙂

  16. Pooky Hesmondhalgh

    Sounds like a difficult time but I love the positive spin you’re putting on it. I wouldn’t mind betting that in ten years time you’ll look back at this as a blessing in disguise that made you reevaluate what you wanted and helped you to follow the path that your ten year into the future self loves…

    time will tell…

    in the meantime, good luck. And if all else fails, beans on toast is highly nutritious!

  17. @HelenW71

    Sorry to read about your redundancy. I very much admire your attitude on the situation.
    My OH has been made redundant twice & both times has gone onto to bigger & better things, but I won’t deny the not-knowing-the-future in the meantime is insomnia inducing.
    I think you’re right to view it as an opportunity to spend time with your boy. And learn how to make curry 😉
    Good luck. Hxx

  18. Blue Sky

    I remember the feeling so well…but it is a chance to take stock and look at everything. We all lead such busy lives and for the first couple of months after my job finished it was great to have so much spare time (that’s gone now!). Of course I totally get the blue sky behind the clouds thing as well….

  19. claire at crumbs

    Hello Gemma,
    Sorry to hear your news. But you definitely have your priorities in the right place, although maybe curry should come in a bit higher? On another note, of all the people I know who have been made redundant, I don’t know one who isn’t happier with their life now. I’m sure this period of reflection will have the same affect on you.

  20. Kate

    Tip for saving money – plan your meals, and make your shopping list from that. Makes a huge difference to your budget only to buy what you actually need and not waste food. Curries are dead easy too. There’s at least one recipe on my blog.

    And do allow yourself a few distractions. If you’re going to have a break, catching up with people is lovely. Maybe bake your own cakes rather than trips to Starbucks/Costa or the like.

    Oh and put the word out that you’re looking. Often it is often about WHO you know rather than what you know and things come up. You’ll be surprised how effective that can be.

    Good luck!

  21. Muddling Along

    Sounds like you’re doing brilliantly and grasping it as an opportunity – good luck with the job hunt (but not before you’ve had some nice time at home)

  22. Anna

    Gemma you’re so philosophical and so ‘level’ about it all, (although you’ve probably had private moments of being not very level) it’s really amazing and admirable. I’m sure that the right thing will come along at the right time, as these things often do, and in the meantime I hope you just enjoy your time with your family x

  23. Alexander Residence

    Hello I now have so many ways to contact you I keep forgetting to come to your blog. Dur!
    Mr A is trying to do same with his garden leave and it’s so hard. Make the most of it sooner rather than later I say, easier to fend off the annoying niggles that you’ve already anticipated will try and get a look in!
    Have another brew xxx

  24. e1aine

    Just had my letter of notification that my job will be redundant soon. I might get another in the ‘restructure’ but it is an uncertain time. It was nice to see such a positive ‘take’ on redundancy. And it would be nice to spend some more time with my son!


  25. kerryonliving

    Hey Gemma – I know exactly how you feel as I went through redundancy earlier this year and had 5 glorious weeks of self indulgence which I couldn’t really enjoy as I was too focused on worrying about never getting another job again! Best of luck to you and do try to enjoy some leisurely afternoons on the couch with a rubbish tv movie! xx

  26. Lucy (theprojectlab)

    Only just read this but they sound like a good 10 things to focus on. I craved something to focus on when i’d finished. Enjoy the time as much as you can. Redundancy really can be an opportunity, as long as you make it one which I’m sure you will, Lucy x

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