I was made redundant days before Christmas and I'm a single mum
At some point in our lives around 28% of us will face a redundancy.
For most people, a redundancy is a pretty scary feeling. Our first reactions are usually a mixture of shock, fear, and worry. Redundancy can be a blessing in disguise though, it was for me, at least the first time.
Walking into that meeting room in 2018, sitting opposite my manager, was the beginning of a big change for me.
"Unfortunately, we no longer require your position" were the dreaded words I heard and later that same day I walked out of the job that I had been doing for almost seven years. It was three long months before I found a new role.
The biggest blessing that came from losing my job was that I received a redundancy payout that helped to tide me over and kick-start my savings. It also allowed me to pivot my career slightly and gain experience in a different area and a different industry.
At the end of 2023, I heard those dreaded words again. My role was made redundant for the second time in only five years.
Being a solo mum by choice (SMBC), and the only income earner for my family, a redundancy was the worst of my fears.
Losing a job can be an emotionally challenging time.
There are feelings of loneliness and worry. Feelings of not being good enough, even though that was not the reason that I was made redundant.
Redundancy is about the company's changing needs or changing structures.
Sometimes it can be hard not to take it personally though. If I wasn't in a good financial situation, I can imagine the stress would be even more overwhelming. Take the time that you need to grieve the loss, just don't wallow in it.
Taking the first steps
After a good cry and letting myself just 'feel', I launched into applying for jobs, perusing all the job sites I could think of and naturally, starting a spreadsheet for my job search so that I wouldn't lose track of what I'd applied for.
In the meantime, I looked at what I could do about my finances to make the loss of my main income less severe and prevent me from digging into my savings.
I reviewed my budget and have been making small changes to try and spend less, such as cooking at home more and embracing leftovers.
I've cut back on spending at the shops and am making sure I stick to only the necessities. I've opened a new bank account with its own card just for food spending so that I can give myself a set amount and stick to it better.
I'm looking in op shops for clothes for my potential new role and cutting back on any sort of unnecessary frivolous spending.
Being a single parent, I do receive some payments from Services Australia. These payments will help me while I'm looking for work and if needed, I can supplement with my savings.
If I wasn't already looped into Services Australia, this would be the first place I would contact to see what help would be available to me.
Taking payments shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, they are there for us when we need them. Even if you don't think you're eligible for anything, it's worth a look to make sure.
I've also amped up my side hustles and am doing surveys, pet sitting, freelance writing, selling un-needed goods on Facebook Marketplace and looking into other methods of earning income.
Many of these are things that can be done from home while applying for jobs. Being a single parent, I can't get a weekend job when daycare isn't open.
Some of the ways that you could earn extra money could include:
- Market research
- Selling items
- Pet sitting
- Retail work
- Mowing lawns
- Retail work
- Amazon flex
- Meal delivery
- Uber driving
- Rent out items
Redundancy is always a challenging time, but within challenge there is opportunity. Opportunity to learn, pivot, gain new experience or even change careers entirely.
Looking at my redundancy as a chance at a new beginning has given me renewed strength that I can start fresh. Whilst it's not how I wanted to start 2024, I know that everything is going to be ok.
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