Snippets #2 – Life Changing Meetings

“It’s not a normal catch up this week I’m afraid”. It was obvious that something was going on – for the first time in twenty years service there was an HR representative attending my regular review with my line manager.

A carefully prepared script confirmed the details. Challenging 2015 ahead. Costs in the business too high. Requirement to cut our cloth accordingly. It was the third time in five years that I’d gone through a consultation process. This time however I had a unique job title and position – it wasn’t the wider team under consultation it was me.

I had twenty years continuous service due to numerous company acquisitions I’d gone through – I hadn’t had a job interview for over five years. The initial reaction once the shock had subsided was one of panic. I immediately registered for all the job search websites and started to update my CV. I made a call to a few friends who’s employers I knew employed Lean 6Sigma. I even registered with Job Centre Plus and made an appointment to speak to their advisors.

A week passed and my redundancy was confirmed on April 1st – of course I asked at the time if it was all a big joke!? The suggestions and alternatives put forward were rejected. I expected as much – I think it’s fairly obvious to see when minds have been made up and decisions already reached – no matter what the process says. I handed my phone and laptop over and left the office for the final time.

A few days later I had my first ‘pre-interview’ about a prospective job in Chester. It went extremely well and I was granted an interview the following week. I had to prepare a presentation about Lean 6Sigma deployment and start revising for a post-interview exam. The weather at the time was amazing – cold but extremely sunny and dry – it was the perfect opportunity to spend some time exploring and riding the motorbike. My best friend had also just passed his bike license to we headed out at every opportunity that we had. It was the perfect distraction to everything that was going on.

The view from the office.

The view from the office.

Before I knew it the day of the interview arrived. It went extremely well – though I think the attending HR lady was a bit bemused with the talk of Value Stream Transformations and Takt Time/Cycle Time charts! I could have done better on the test – cramming six weeks worth of training (the majority of it stats) in to six days was always going to be a big ask. I just hoped I’d done enough. A decision was expected within a week.

The first week passed with no response. I distracted myself with the motorbike at every opportunity, whilst also jumping through the hoops set out by the Job Centre. I started to wonder what I’d do if I didn’t get the position. It was the perfect job for me and I believed I’d be the perfect candidate for them. I contemplated renting the house, loading up the bike and setting off across Europe. I’d recently met a guy who was riding his BMW GS to Mongolia – sure he wouldn’t mind some company?

Two weeks after the interview I got the call – I’d got the position! I started the following week – almost a month to the day after I was made redundant.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next twelve months. I will be working much closer to home than I was – I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with friends and family and completing some of the projects I’ve had on hold. Who knows – I might even find myself with enough time to keep my blog updated!?

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