Great guest post by Marie-Clare Byard about her experiences of moving from redundancy to retraining with the Digital Skills Academy and then moving into the digital world.

The journey so far….

I have not yet arrived at my destination, but
I now know how to get there….so when I arrive,
it will have been worth the wait !

Some people within a few months of their redundancy find a similar job to the one they just left, hey presto back to normality, but for the rest of us, normality and routine have just gone out the window!

Okay so you got a bit of cash from your redundancy (Yipeee !) that has given you an amazing opportunity to take some time out from your career, priceless time for those that have young families or elderly relatives they can spend this precious time with, or take time to travel and experience the world if you are free from commitments to do so!

But all good things inevitably come to an end and after well-spent time out, I’m not denying it was great to have two summers off with the kids !!!

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ???

When the “ON HOLIDAYS” feeling fades, a few months down the line, when you start to feel that “loss of identity” because you are not in “PAID” employment, you are missing the routine in your life, slipping into bad habits, the snide comments and remarks from well intended family and friends (who are still in full-time well employment!) that while harmless at the time, keep ringing in your head, undermining your sense of self worth and identity, such as:

Isn’t it well for you!
Sure you have a great life!
What another course, what are you doing that for ?
You’ll never get going !
Sure you are loaded after your redundancy
Sure your husband is brilliant

During my career break after the redundancy, I went back to college one week after finishing up in work, I started a part-time degree, a few months later found a part-time job two mornings a week to keep me focused and in touch with the working world. I juggled 3 primary school children and their activities, so to say I was never busier was an under-statement.

Some times it was hard to keep smiling through the crude comments and digs, but I was so passionate about what I was studying and where I wanted to go, it kept me going.

What redundancy ?  Where did it go ?

It doesn’t take long for the money to run out..…Replaced one car engine, then had to replace the car that I replaced the engine in, now have to replace the car that replaced the car I put a new engine in, plus a new boiler/hot-water system, new dishwasher and endless car repairs…these are just some of the sink-wells that have absorbed the redundancy payout, It was great to have it to cover these unforeseen expenses.

Confidence

After two years out studying and working in casual part-time roles, I went back to the jobs market, I had honed my interview skills and got the first job I went for – a contract role, but my confidence was shattered, it took me a full 12 months to build it back up again, is this some thing inherently Irish ?
Did any one else experience this?

We are creatures of habit – change is challenging

In conclusion, I ask you to CUT SOME SLACK to your friends and colleague if they have taken some time out after redundancy, it is a challenging road to get back into employment, with out the digs and slags, why not adopt the American attitude, I call it the

“YOU CAN BE AN ASTRONAUT” type up-bringing and encourage our friends and colleagues along their journey.

Reach out and network with them, open the doors of opportunity !

I am now well on the road of my new career path into the DIGITAL WORLD, learning every day.
I know the right job is out there for me, I am excited and nervous at the same time, but looking forward to when I reach my destination and land my dream job.

Watch out Millennials/Generation-Y’s, this generation-X kid is back in town with plenty new skills and qualifications and working harder then ever, getting the right experience to get her dream job!


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