Losing my job and confidence

I have been working for more than 20 years, but not in the same company. Over the last two decades, I have changed organizations about 7 to 8 times — some asked me to leave and some I left on my own accord. Now in my early forties, I was looking for stability and long-term employment.

When a previous organization called me back, I jumped at the opportunity. They had received funding and had moved to a new office building, which was much bigger than the one I had seen when I worked with them 9 years ago. All seemed well.

They had money and a long-term vision of where they were headed. I also met some of my former colleagues and my old bosses. It was a dream come true. It was comforting to be back in familiar surroundings with people I had worked with before.

It was as if my wish had come true.

Work began and I was assigned a team that I got familiar with. Most of my team members were new except for a few who had worked with different teams during my previous stint. It was great. It was as if my wish had come true. I was able to grasp the work quickly and the learning curve was shorter than expected. What reiterated my belief in the longevity of this role was that money was being poured into marketing and that the business looked very stable from the outside.

After six months had passed, things began to unravel. The person who owned the organization had recruited his son at a very senior position. This person lacked the necessary experience commensurate with the role. The decision-making process started to falter. The money started to dry up. Very soon, our salaries were being delayed.

Roughly a year into the job, during a town hall, the CEO made a dreaded announcement.

Roughly a year into the job, during a town hall, the CEO made a dreaded announcement. In order for the company to survive, some staff cuts had to be made. I was a little worried for my team and myself. But I hoped that since I had been asked to join back and my team was small, the axe wouldn’t fall on us. My belief was cemented by the fact that a few days prior to the job cuts announcement, the CEO had called me to his office to discuss ways by which we could strengthen my department and energise the team.

One day, I was asked to meet the head of human resources. Oblivious and confident, I strode into the office. The meeting started on a positive note, but very quickly I was informed that I was no longer needed. Shocked to the core and in a state of disbelief, I informed the HR head that I had met the CEO two days back and we spoke of strengthening and energising the team. What had changed in 48 hours? I got no plausible or logical answer.

I stormed out of the office and immediately met with my team and shared the news. They were as dumbfounded as I was. I immediately left the office and drove home. Numerous thoughts of “What just happened?” and “Why did this happen?” crossed my mind. I couldn’t believe it. What was I supposed to tell my family? I felt humiliated; and my trust had been violated in one of the worst possible ways.

A year has passed since I lost the job, but I still feel angry, hurt and humiliated. The search for a job continues, but the toll this betrayal has taken is significant. They say time heals all wounds. I certainly hope so. I don’t have a job right now, but I haven’t given up hope.

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Photo Credit: Venkadesh Subramanian