Avoiding it doesn’t make it go away….

So, while I was in Yemen, the final restructure paper was released and people started having their impact meetings. I read the paper, and sure enough my role was cut as I had expected, and as predicted the new adviser roles were a grade above mine in terms of pay. However, my counter-proposal was accepted and in my impact meeting, they explained that I could be included inside the ring-fence for the role, alongside the other advisers at risk of redundancy. So I was able to interview for the new role, and based on the outcome of that, would either be offered a permanent job with a pay rise, or be made redundant.

I was feeling very hopeful that I have a strong skill-set and would be a good candidate for the role, and felt reasonably confident it was going to be ok. My bigger concern previously was that I wouldn’t be allowed to apply for the role at all due to my pay grade, so once that hurdle was overcome I was feeling calmer and more reassured that it will all work out.

There were some delays in the announcements and the interviews, as some people higher up the chain either resigned or didn’t get roles, and they wanted to announce the team leaders and managers before recruiting further down. So far around 10 people in my department have either resigned or been made redundant, so it’s quite a big shake-up. It was all a bit tense, knowing you have an important interview coming up, but don’t know when it will be! They finally informed me 2 days beforehand, not giving me much time to prepare, but in the end I thought it went ok. I was as open and honest as possible about my skills and areas I think I might need support in.

Of course then I didn’t hear back from them until Tuesday, so I left work on Friday feeling that it had gone ok, by Saturday was starting to have some doubts, by Sunday was replaying all the things I said wrong or should have said differently, and by Monday I tossed and turned and basically didn’t sleep (which is very bad news, cos I am a GREAT sleeper, I can sleep through almost anything, and I need a good 8 hours in order to function like a human).

So by Tuesday I was tired and wrung-out and finally got an ominous meeting invitation with no indication of what the result was, and went into the room with a little trepidation (although my kind manager had told me in advance not to be too worried about the meeting). They said that I was being offered the role, on condition of having a development plan to “upskill” me into the role. They explained some of the areas they would want to develop, and laid out a plan for me to work on. None of that was a shock to me, as I had explicitly stated in the interview that if selected I would like support to develop into the role. So I accepted the job, and they will be sending an official letter in a few weeks, with details of salary being offered etc and final contract stuff.

During the call, I was a bit blank – struggled to be excited about it, and I think they thought maybe I sounded upset. In fact it was nothing like that – I am THRILLED that I still have a job, it’s a permanent contract to boot, AND I will get a bit of a pay bump – all fabulous things that I have been hoping for.

However, after the call ended, I realised I was physically shaking, and then started to cry. I felt weak and shaky with relief – after so many months of not know what will happen, of hoping for the best and fearing the worst, it was finally OVER.

I know I will be happy and thrilled and excited soon, but first need to take some time to properly absorb everything. After my brief pre-emptive panic spiral a few months ago, when I peered over the abyss of “what if everything goes wrong”, I carefully put all of the fear and worry and panic into a box, buried it into my subconscious and decided not to worry about it until I have to – assume things will be ok, and don’t panic until it is required. However, doing that for all these months didn’t mean all that the fear and panic had just disappeared – it was there the whole time, in the back of my mind, lurking in my sub-conscious just below the surface, and I hadn’t fully been aware of how much stress I was building up by not thinking about it (sometimes avoiding the issue is really not the best way forward). So when it was finally over I felt physically ill for a moment – all that fear and panic and worry just gushed all over me and left me geniunely weak with relief.

It was hard to explain to everyone later, when it was announced, why I wasn’t bouncing around with joy, because I just felt emptied out and exhausted from the strain of holding it all together for so bloody long.

However, after finally getting a well-deserved proper night’s sleep, I am feeling much better and calmer about it all.

In other words, it’s good news, I remain employed and will soon have a permanent contract and a slightly higher salary as well.


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