The Shock of Job Loss with Bills to Pay…….Help!

by Richard , updated on May 20, 2016

photo (79)Many, many years ago I was in a job working for an organisation that I really liked.

I was a contract employee working as a Team Leader in a call centre and was well paid with great benefits.

I had been there for almost 12 months and was being given every indication that my future with the company was secure with a permanent job offer just around the corner.

Then out of nowhere I was called into the General Manager’s office on a Tuesday morning, informed that the company had unexpectedly lost a client contract and that I would be finishing up within the next 2-3 weeks.

I had left a well paid job to take on this new role and had rent, car, utility and credit card payments to service.

I did appreciate that there are never any guarantees in these situations but it didn’t stop me from feeling angry, a bit let down and increasingly anxious about my finances!

I then had to go back and support my team of 15 staff and our customers.

But I also had to immediately start thinking about my next job.  And although I didn’t want to be too desperate in my search, I couldn’t afford to be too choosy either.  I needed a new job and I needed it now!

So in my morning break I grabbed the Saturday paper from the lunch room to see what work was around (this was the era before online employment searching).

I found an advertisement for call centre operators with a large, well respected company in the city.  The job was a step down from my present job but it was a large call centre with potential.  I decided to call them in my lunch break.

The conversation went well.

They were interested to see more so I updated my resume that night and faxed it off to the Human Resources staff the following morning.  By mid-afternoon I had an interview arranged for Thursday morning before my shift started.

I was nervous and anxious in the interview with the Human Resources staff and the Call Centre Manager but it went well.

Their main concern was that I seemed to be taking a step backwards with this job move. I agreed that initially this was true however I could see great potential for career development with such a large and dynamic market leader.

The Call Centre Manager explained that they were employing 10 new staff and that the training program was commencing the following Monday.  This had not been outlined in the advertisement and I informed them that I did not feel that I could start that soon.

I felt obligated to give at least a week’s notice with my current employer ( even though I was a casual it didn’t sit well with me to just walk out).  The mood definitely changed in the interview.

On my way back to my car I got a call from the Call Centre Manager to say that they were very interested however all the roles had been filled so they could not offer me a job at the moment.

I was flattered but also upset at the news and could not help but think that my inability to start on the Monday had influenced the decision.

During the drive to work I started to reconsider my depth of loyalty to my current employer.

Was it misplaced considering they had decided to terminate my employment?  They had found it necessary to make a tough business decision.

Was I now not in a similar position?  Should my loyalty primarily be to myself and my potential new employer?

I was concerned at the impact a sudden move would have on my team.  But I knew they would cope and that the bottom line was that ultimately any negative impact on them was a responsibility that lay with the company, not me.

I had two years previous experience as a recruitment consultant working with call centres and their bulk recruitment processes so I had some insight into my potential new employer’s needs.

I decided to give the Call Centre Manager a call back ASAP.

Within an hour I found some time to give her a call.  I had a very open discussion with her about the likelihood (from my personal experience) that one or more of her 10 new recruits would within weeks of commencement drop out.

This would leave her again short of staff.  I reinforced how keen I was to work with her organisation and that upon reflection of my circumstances I was now able to start first thing on Monday.

I asked her was there any way that she could arrange to take on an extra staff member (even as a casual) so that I could come and work for her?  There was a long pause.

She said that she would go and speak to the Director and would get back to me. Within an hour I had a call to say that she had gained approval for me to start! I asked her to email me a letter of offer which I had within a couple of hours.

I went straight to my Manager and advised him that I would be finishing tomorrow.

The sense of relief and excitement was palpable!   My employment with this new organisation lasted 10 years and took my career in some very unexpected and fulfilling directions.

The last few days had started off so negatively but had ended on a very positive note.  It had taught me a very valuable lesson about the importance of being focussed and persistent.

It also reminded me how true the old saying is “If you don’t ask you don’t get.”

Good luck to everyone who is in job search mode especially those of you for whom it has come as a bolt out of the blue!

Footnote: within the first week of my training one of my fellow new starters resigned.  Two weeks later another person left. I was the last person from that intake to leave the company.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Undercover Recruiter (@UndercoverRec) (@UndercoverRec) June 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm

New @InterviewIQ The Shock of Job Loss with Bills to Pay…….Help!

Renan June 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

This is a great lesson. I truly believe when it happens even out of blue you need to keep calm, re-thinking and dont be in panic.

All the best

Carmela Gaines (@carmeladenise) June 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The Shock of Job Loss with Bills to Pay…….Help!

JacPoindexter (@ValueIntoWords) (@ValueIntoWords) July 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

via @InterviewIQ: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” – <- inspiring story if you’ve suddenly been thrust into #jobsearch

Richard July 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

Thanks so much for your feedback Renan.

Laurinda July 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

I have recently been made redundant after 8 1/2 years with the same company and was a director. I have walked away with a substainal package but want to continue to work. However rather than commuting to the city every day I have decided to stay local to home as I have a child of 12 years and know that director positions in my field of work locally are a rarity. I have applied for a number of positions but at manager level which I did over 4 years ago. I don’t seem to be having problem getting an interview but no success at an offer, the feedback I’m getting is that I’m experienced but not the best fit for the role or there were other more suitable candidates. I’m guessing it’s because I’m trying to go back 4 years, I have tried to explain that my redundancy has allowed me to refocus and I’m happy to be a manager again, but obviously they aren’t convinced. I haven’t worked for 7 weeks now and have got over the shock and trauma of ding made redundant so it isn’t that. Any ideas how I can best present myself to interviewers and show that I’m happy to turn back the clock for a better work/life balance and that I’m a safe bet ? Any helpful tips or ideas would be gratefully received. Laurinda

Karalyn July 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Hi Laurinda,

I am sorry you are having a tough time of it – it is always a shock to the system when you leave a job, no matter how big the package is.

There are lots of different things you can do, and too many for me to just rattle off with a quick reply in a comment. The main thing I would say is to think broader about your job search, beyond just applying for advertised roles. If you just rely on responding to an advertised role then you are competing against many other people who fit the employers profile more directly – ie they would think that someone with more recent time as a manager would be a closer fit. There are lots of examples on this blog of creative ways that people have found jobs, hints about using volunteer work, networking and setting up online profiles that should give you ideas as well. Take a look around.

Hope it goes well for you.


Laurinda August 3, 2013 at 4:57 am

I just wanted to thank you for all the advice on your website. I took some of the tips around not waffling and presenting myself in a different way. Last week I had 2 interviews and I now have 2 job offers on the table. My only dilemma is to decide which one to accept which is a greatest position to be in.
Thank you

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