Impending redundancy. Moral support and advice needed


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Binky
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Hey chaps, as mentioned briefly in one of the other threads, I'm facing a bit of trouble at work.
14 jobs being made redundant in my department, and we're being merged with another team, creating a super position. Of which there will only be 8.

Of those 8, 3 positions are already filled with people on maternity leave. Did you know an employer legal has to offer the job to maternity leavers first, then YOU have to interview for it if they don't want it... sigh.

So my stress comes not from whether I will get the job, or for having to interview for what I already do, but more from not knowing what I should do.

The offer on the table (money wise) would be enough to see me through for 4-5 months. Pay the mortgage, car loan etc. If (and I will be) frugal, it might even stretch 5-6 months. Most of you know my commute. Let me remind you; 105 miles round trip a day along the M25. Or, if on the train, 2 hours door to door. My commute also costs me in the region of £300 a week.

If it were not for the fact that there is a mini-me on the way in July, I think I would have already taken the money and run. I've been here 8 years and know in my heart that I need out and here is an open door.

So tempted to leave, but I think wifey wants me to be sensible and do well in the interview and get the job so we have a steady wage incoming for when the baby gets here.
I've tried looking for work before, but when you're actually IN work, its all a bit... passive.

I'm in Dartford, so quite close to that there London, but I still don't know whats out there having been in a "comfy" job for 8 years.

Pop quiz asshole... what d'ya do?

(help!)
#1 at 12:07:36 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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20 views and not 1 comment? You heartless fuckers :(


;)
#2 at 12:31:08 - 09/03/2010
strangeed
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Crikey. On the one hand I'm sorry hear that your position is currently uncertain, such stress is in my experience the last thing you want, especially when you're someone who has certain long-term commitments. On the other it does sound like it is nearly the kick up the rump that might enable you to change tack.

To fear that you might compromise the financial certainty of your family is definitely a big thing. Since I have little experience with such situations I can only offer limited advice.

I suppose I would look at it in terms of your relationship and your family. Is there any danger that the boredom (I assume?) of your current job, if you felt compelled to keep it, would at any point spill over into resentment of those you may feel are responsible for keeping you from change? No idea if that's even remotely something that could happen but it's certainly not healthy if it were.

The most straightforward suggestion would be to pull your finger out and do some serious job hunting on the side, whilst also going for the interview. I'm currently trying to do the same since after 4 years here I have the feeling that my brain is leaking from my ears. I find it nearly impossible set aside time to seriously think about the next potential job, what my priorities are in terms of what I want out of that job, let alone find the motivation to actually write applications.

It sounds like your back might hit a wall at some point though, so I would strongly suggest starting to put out some feelers, get your CV up-to-date, maybe send it round some people you know for advice on how to enhance it (the stage I am at at the moment). With your commute I assume you don't have much down time during the week, any chance you could set aside a whole day on the weekend to go through the CV, include the Mrs., don't leave it with a "feeling" that potentially maybe she wants you to keep the job. Communication, people! Lack thereof may be about to break mine (my fault).

Sorry, that's all a bit of a jumble.
#3 at 12:33:31 - 09/03/2010
Ace Grace
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If it was me, I would interview for the job. You really do have to think of your family first.

If you hate your job then make it a matter of priority to start looking aggresively for another but take the current job.



#4 at 12:37:57 - 09/03/2010
Sillothian
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I agree with your wife, the sensible thing to do is nail the interview, get the job and have a steady income for when the nipper arrives.
#5 at 12:38:56 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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As of NOW I'm aggressively looking. However I've always found it hard to look with passion whilst employed. I think the added fear pushes you on more. That said, I certainly have that fear at the moment!

To be honest though, job satisfaction is low on my priority list. Reducing commute is number 1. If I could work in town, doing something I wasn't that fussed about, but only being 20mins away from my wife and newborn, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

#6 at 12:47:14 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Sillothian said:I agree with your wife, the sensible thing to do is nail the interview, get the job and have a steady income for when the nipper arrives.


Dammit.
#7 at 12:47:50 - 09/03/2010
peej
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I'd agree with that too. I think the only other option is to sign up with an agency and at least make sure there's something coming in to top up the redundancy payment. But yeah, definitely have a crack at the interview first.

BTW don't you get the same paternity rights as the maternity leave types? If not, why the fuck not, you're in the same boat!
#8 at 12:50:28 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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You don't, no.
#9 at 12:59:03 - 09/03/2010
strangeed
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Isn't that what Batman and Superman always protest about?

I've got a colleague who just went onto half time for 6 months to spend more time with his family. He could have taken 3 months completely out. That's Belgium though.
#10 at 13:02:22 - 09/03/2010
JimJam
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Sorry to hear about your predicament Binky. In my experience it's easier to get a job if you have one. I'd contact an agent and get an idea what the market's like before making a definite decision. If he says it's dead, I'd bite the bullet and do the interview.

If you get offered a position, take it short-term, and carry on looking in the meantime. I ought to check with the wife (employment solicitor) as I can't remember for sure, but I think your employer has to make resources available to you to search for other jobs too.

If you have any specific questions about your situation, let me know and I'll see if the wife can answer them.

BTW, Peej might be onto something there with the paternity thing. I know the law changed last year so that you can split 'baby leave' any way you want nowadays. I will ask the missus that question.
#11 at 13:35:30 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Thanks Jim Jam.
#12 at 13:39:16 - 09/03/2010
Kay
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Binky said:Did you know an employer legal has to offer the job to maternity leavers first, then YOU have to interview for it if they don't want it... sigh.


O_o

I never knew this. So pregnant women essentially get first pick for any jobs without having to interview? A bit ridiculous, no?
#13 at 14:00:30 - 09/03/2010
Flying_Pig
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I was in a very similar situation last summer - wife was 5 months pregnant, and I (along with about 80 other people) were given notice of possible compulsory redundancy.

We were given 2 choices - go voluntarily or find a job within the company. The money probably would have kept me going for about 8 months, but I think I would have struggled to find something else with similar pay...

Anyway, my advice: You need to prioritise your family - especially as your wife will be on maternity leave soon - and focus on ensuring you continue to have enough money coming in to pay the bills etc. If you're made redundant anyway then the decision is made for you. Also agree that you should check out the job market regardless.

Once the nipper arrives that commute will feel less and less appealing, so something closer to home would be a decent opbjective.
#14 at 14:07:23 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Basically the commute is crippling me financially and mentally. To be given a doorway out of the company is so bloody tempting.

I get what you all are saying though. Family does come first, but with that in mind surely my being a part of that family is just as important. Something that will be extremely hard if I'm 50 odd miles away round the m25. I'd basically be gone in the morning before he/she wakes, and home after he/she is put to bed :(

Even if I was up town in London I'd be back before then! Dartford to Guildford on the train = Into London first then back out to Guildford. GRR!
#15 at 14:27:25 - 09/03/2010
peej
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Putting it like that mate, get while the gettin's good. You will want to savour and cherish every single moment with your nipper. Every moment. I feel like I miss out on mine from time to time but this place gives me a day off a week as well as the weekends (I have to start at 7 in the morning and leave at 5.15 though but that's a small price to pay for an entire dad day with my daughter).

Weekends never seem enough mainly because you will spend every weekend doing all the things you missed out on during the week.

Start chasing another job a LOT closer to home you really will want every moment with Mini-binks
#16 at 14:30:40 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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I think that the fact I'd take anything right now if it was local SHOULD stand me some chance, should it not?

I know you bang on about hating retail, but fuckit I'll take that if the pay was enough to pay the bills and it meant I could be home more.

Christ, I applied for a manager position at Pizza Hut last night, as its on my freaking doorstep.


Interestingly the numbers have just been cut dramatically. I've heard on the grapevine that several people HAVE taken the Vol-Red, which means as long as I don't royally fuckup the interview, I'll probably get the job. That said, it will be TWICE as much work as I'm doing now, same pay, same shitty journey, and LESS chance of working from home opportunities.

The other thing I keep pointing out to myself is that with travel, I've basically been doing 12 hour days for the last 8 years.

Oh and another "fun" stat I figured out at the weekend... With petrol and parking (oh yes, we have to PAY to park on site at EA now) I basically work one day a week, every week, for free.

No wonder I'm always skint.
Grim.
#17 at 14:43:02 - 09/03/2010
peej
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Not retail per se, just games retail. In the words of Obi Wan "A more wretched hive of scum and villainy you'll never encounter" (or something like that).

My bro is happy in his retail career at assistant manager level and the reason he likes it is because it isn't taxing, and you don't tend to take your work home with you - so you can switch it off at the end of the day.

Games retail will bring you into contact on a daily basis with people who like to take the piss, and will lie to your face in order to get a free game or an exchange. Working at EB just made me want to punch people.
#18 at 14:48:19 - 09/03/2010
billdoor
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Kay said:
Binky said:Did you know an employer legal has to offer the job to maternity leavers first, then YOU have to interview for it if they don't want it... sigh.


O_o

I never knew this. So pregnant women essentially get first pick for any jobs without having to interview? A bit ridiculous, no?


By brother works in accounts for a large pharma company. He said looking at the budgets, 2010 was going to have the largest number of people off on maternity the co had ever known. Basically, everyone saw how bad it was in 2009 and got up the duff in 2010.

Binks, if you're paying £300 a week in travel costs, that means if you worked locally you could take roughly an £18,000 pay cut and be no worse off.

I work a 20 minute walk from my office. I could get paid £10-15k more for working in London but don't for pretty much the same reasons. Get a local job. But only after you've abused your staff discount to its very core.
#19 at 15:18:36 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Did I say week? I meant month! But still, you're right and my maths says around £4000 pay cut.

I'd honestly and truthfully jack everything in for a job I could walk to.
#20 at 15:29:24 - 09/03/2010
Whizzo
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As appealing as giving your work the finger and taking the cash the economic environment at the moment is fucking awful in all sectors.

You could easily be out of work for a lot longer than your redundancy cash can keep you going and then things get rather awkward.

Go for the job and if you get it use it as a kick up the arse to get another closer to home and away from your horrible commute and as JimJam says it really is easier to get another job if you already have one. You do end up having lots more "visits to the dentist" or "doctors appointments" though... :-)

If you don't get it you've lost nothing.
#21 at 15:34:22 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Where does this "easier to get one if you have one" thing come from? I've heard a few people say that now, but wah??
#22 at 15:43:36 - 09/03/2010
JimJam
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Binky said:Where does this "easier to get one if you have one" thing come from? I've heard a few people say that now, but wah??


I'm not sure whether it's psychological, and people without jobs give off some subconscious hint of desperation - like when you've been single for a while and are looking for luurve - or whether a company just assumes that since you're employed at the moment, you must be employable.

I would guess that the theory holds more water in a buoyant job market. If there's loads of jobs about in your sector and someone you interview hasn't been able to get one (without a decent excuse), there's often a very good reason. However, in the current market there's lots of mitigating factors.
#23 at 16:10:18 - 09/03/2010
Binky
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Just been sitting working out figures from my approx lump sum IF I took redundancy.

If I figure in the amount spent not travelling (I honestly don't use the car much other than work) then I think I've worked it out to 9 months approx. with a spend of what I currently have in my pay after tax/travel.

hhmmm...
#24 at 17:04:43 - 09/03/2010
billdoor
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If you didn't commute, would you actually need the car? That would save you insurance, RFL and servicing every year.
#25 at 17:13:53 - 09/03/2010
Lovemoose
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Peej is right about the commute. Every hour you spend on the motorway is an hour you can't spend with the nipper and it will drive you mental sooner than you'll believe once the baby arrives.

She'll not understand it now I bet, but the other half will be dying for you to spend more time with them once the baby comes - and there's more to being a dad than providing the cash.

Sensible way out of this is to try and get the job, (keeps her happy for the mo with the knowledge that should it go awry you've got a few months backup and the relief of losing the commute) all the while trying to sort out something else.

Or you could look at it this way - they're about to pay you to live fairly comfortably whilst hunting for a job full time...

Good luck with it, anyway, From my lurking here and at EG, you're an eminently sensible chap, and I'm sure it'll all work out.
#26 at 22:02:29 - 09/03/2010
Micro_Explosion
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What sector are you in and do you have skills that are the sort that would be useful as a consultant in that, or any other, sector?

It's down to how confident you are that you could find another job in that time and that's dependant on what skills you have.

What happens if you interview and they don't give it to you? Do you still get the redundancy money? If so then I would suggest interviewing but at the same time looking elsewhere. I would imagine that with a child then that commute is not going to be something you want long term anyway.

8 years is a long time to be doing it for anything other than the money.

Binky said:
I've tried looking for work before, but when you're actually IN work, its all a bit... passive.


It's hard to argue with this though. It's natural to take the safer route even if it isn't the one that makes us happy.
#27 at 22:04:50 - 09/03/2010
JimJam
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Binky said:Thanks Jim Jam.


Checked with the missus - sounds like your initial thoughts were correct. You don't have the same rights as the women on maternity leave. Dirty preggoes....
#28 at 02:18:33 - 10/03/2010
Furbs
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If you leave Binky, whats going to happen to EA manuals? You owe it to the gaming community to go for the interview.

Agree with what everyone else here has said, go whole hearted for it, but then use this as the motivation for getting out of there. As I keep telling my other half who is looking to get out of a job she hates, its much easier and better to look for a new job on your own terms than when you're in a position of having to take whatever you can get.
#29 at 09:41:20 - 10/03/2010
Binky
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm still dithering. I thought I'd made my mind up to take the redundancy, until a proggy on BBC last night showing the state of unemployment... Gah!

Have been to the job centre this morning to what the crack is there, and also to see someone I know that works in an agency. Scary.
#30 at 13:36:25 - 10/03/2010

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