This video explores the concept of redundancy and how people get pushed from one career to another. Chris shares an anecdote about his career path.
- I want to say a little bit about redundancy because a long time ago, redundancy was the worst thing ever. If you'd been made redundant, it was a blot on your CV, there must be something wrong with you, but nowadays it happens all the time. And in fact, you could almost say, if you haven't been made redundant, you haven't been pushing your envelope enough. You haven't been really going for those difficult jobs. And that we live in such unstable times, it's going to happen, it's no fault of the individual if it happens to them. And in fact, it's happened three times to me. So I can't be that bad a person, can I? But also I want to say that all three times it's happened to me, it's been the best thing. So I want to quickly tell you about the three times I was made redundant. So the first time, I was running a factory in Wales and they decided to close down the whole factory, it wasn't cost effective, we had done everything we could to try to make it profitable and it just wasn't and they closed the whole place. And I was left stranded with a house, a mortgage, a wife, a young baby in South Wales, where there was no employment. And I remember thinking this is a total disaster. But by contacting various people I knew and desperately looking around, I found a job in Poole which is on the South Coast of England, right by the beach. It's a lovely place. And that was how I moved from Wales to Poole. And if I hadn't been made redundant, I would have carried on working in South Wales and I'd still be stuck there now running a high stress factory. So that was absolutely great, I moved to Poole, I still live in Poole today. I wouldn't like to live anywhere else in the country. So it's my favorite place, I love it and I'm glad I was made redundant in Wales. The second thing that happened was that my job in Poole came to an end and this was much more my fault, really, because I had a boss who I didn't like, who I argued with. He was wrong about lots of things, I'm sure he was wrong. And I fought him every step of the way whenever he wants you to do yet another of his plans that were either stupid or bad, almost evil actually. And I haven't got time to tell you about him now, but suffice to say that I disagreed with him all the way. And eventually he said to me, Chris, do you want to just have six months pay and go? And I went, yeah. And I just took the redundancy and I left. And he was really the final straw for manufacturing for me. So I did a series of manufacturing jobs and he was such a horrible boss. And the experience I had there was so horrible. I just thought I'm going to find something different, I'm sick of running factories. And that was what made me move to the university. So during that six months of pay that I had, I was looking for another job and I ended up finding this job as a university lecturer. And it was perfect for me. So thank goodness he made me redundant 'cause otherwise I would still be running that factory, but it allowed me to discover the world of teaching and training. So that was the second redundancy that did me a huge favor. I got into training and I loved it. It was like discovering what I was born to do. And then the third redundancy was when I was working at the university and we were doing courses mainly for students, but also for local businesses. And they decided to close down our department because it wasn't profitable, which I find bizarre because it must have been reasonably profitable. I would have thought. But anyway, they decided to close down just the department that I was in, there were only about five of us in this little unit. And we were asked and they said, we're going to make you redundant, I'm only going to give you four weeks pay 'cause you've only been here four years. So that's the minimum, but you can keep the customers 'cause we don't want them. We're getting out of the whole idea of running one day courses for local businesses, we're getting out of that, so you can have the customers. So it was like, here's the golden goose and you can have all the golden eggs forever. And that was fantastic. I certainly became self employed with a load of customers and I never looked back. I've still got some of those customers from 20 years ago. That gave me a really good start. So that was what made me self-employed and if they hadn't made me redundant, I probably still would be at the university now, happily working as a university lecturer, but struggling to get by on the pay. So I love it, I love being self-employed. I'm eternally grateful to the university for setting me free. So that was my third redundancy. So I came from Wales to Poole, from manufacturing to the university and from university employment to being self-employed. And those three steps were all redundancies. And I probably wouldn't have taken any of those three steps if I hadn't been pushed. So if you are made redundant, I would say don't lose hope because it might be the best thing that ever happened to you. And it certainly is an opportunity of some sort, but also don't fear redundancy. Don't think, oh, I'm not going to do that because what if I got made redundant, don't have it as a fear, don't let it affect your career choice because if it does happen, it will be fine. There's always something else around the corner. But of course it's better to have a lifeboat before you jump or before you get pushed. So if you do have a feeling that your job might be coming to an end, it's probably a good idea to start thinking about what you're going to do. And at the university I was considering leaving and going self-employed. I was already starting to think about it, but would I have ever taken that step? I don't know. Would I have had the courage to actually do it? I don't know. And certainly I wouldn't have left with a load of customers, which is what happened. But I think always have in the back of your mind, the thought of, what would happen if it did suddenly end? What would be my life boat? So I'm going to come back to the idea of irons in the fire later. But my point here is don't fear redundancy. And if it does happen to you, it's really not the end of the world.