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Help me with some perspective on this

(24 Posts)
BastardCorona Mon 01-Jun-20 19:11:17

I’m really really struggling at the moment and looking for some perspective.

I’ve worked in HE (at the same University) for 10 years and went part time after the birth of DC 6 years ago. For background, my job is professional admin and my skills are sought after. I’m also educated to degree level.

The future of HE is looking rather bleak at the moment. When the UK locked down, about 10 percent of the Uni’s staff was put on furlough (me included) and I have been for on furlough now for 10 weeks. It wasn’t completely necessary to furlough my role as I could work from home however the University has used the scheme as a way to build up cash reserves. I realise I was an obvious choice because I was part time and have young DC. As the weeks have gone on I’ve struggled more and more with feelings of worthlessness, hurt and anxiety. I loved my job but I can now see that I wasn’t really a valued member of the team and more like a piece of furniture, which is easily disposed of.

The University has now started voluntary redundancy. I would get twice as much if I took it than if compulsory redundancies were introduced later on. I know in my heart that I need to apply for it but I am absolutely terrified that I won’t be able to find another job because of the current climate. DH has said the decision is mine but I know he is worried and not really keen on me taking it. My parents and in-laws definitely think I should take it. I realise it’s not looking good for me as time goes on as I’ve been furloughed - so already singled out.

My job is well paid but I have a commute of an hour and am always stressed about getting home in time for childcare. I’m looking at roles near home but the drop in income is significant.

Sorry I know this is long but I’m just looking for some perspective and completely impartial advice really.

YABU don’t take voluntary redundancy
YANBU take the voluntary redundancy

OP’s posts: |
Waveysnail Mon 01-Jun-20 19:13:49

I'd take it if you can afford to live in husbands wage. Take some time out. Re-write cv, work out what direction you want to head in etc.

NuffSaidSam Mon 01-Jun-20 19:15:53

How far would the redundancy money go? How much time would it by you in terms of finding another job? I think that's a big factor.

BastardCorona Mon 01-Jun-20 19:18:57

@NuffSaidSam redundancy money would last about two years. After that we’d need two salaries.

OP’s posts: |
NuffSaidSam Mon 01-Jun-20 19:21:43

I think if you're not enjoying the job/don't feel valued then I'd take the redundancy, two years is a good amount of time to find a new job, time to do further study/change direction if that's what you want.

theseriousmoonlight Mon 01-Jun-20 20:17:41

I'd take it and get a closer job you enjoy more and where you feel valued. Wages are obviously important but so is your mh.

You say you've had feelings of worthlessness, hurt and anxiety. Take this as an opportunity to make changes that will give you happiness at work.

CuppaZa Mon 01-Jun-20 20:19:30

I would take voluntary if I was in your position.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 01-Jun-20 20:22:07

Take it. Definitely.

Knittedfairies Mon 01-Jun-20 20:32:48

I'd be tempted to take the redundancy. Your skills are sought-after, you can manage for a couple of years before you need two salaries, you are currently furloughed and feel unappreciated. You feel the future of HE is bleak. You have an hour long commute which is tight for childcare.
You have the opportunity to reassess your career.
Good luck!

Khione Mon 01-Jun-20 20:36:14

I would do the maths on paper,

There will be savings in transport and childcare.

Take that off your wages.

Estimate how much you can get for similar hours locally.

The difference being how much worse off you will actually be.

Divide your redundancy by that difference and that is how long it will 'last'

I suspect that is a good bit more than 2 years - even if it takes a couple of months to get a more suitable job.

2, 3 or 4 years in a job you enjoy - your son is older and less dependent. You are happier and more confident and you can then find the post that you really want.

Jazzled Mon 01-Jun-20 20:39:06

In what ways are your skills sought after? I think it can vary depending on environment and I would def be concerned leaving an admin roll (dependant on what it is specifically) as admin resource is often the first cut in companies.

If you think your job is really at risk, take it, but possibly be prepared to go below expectation in the immediate future. If you think you'll have a job at the other side I wouldn't advise taking it right now tbh

Jazzled Mon 01-Jun-20 20:39:50

Role* bloody autocorrect

Msmcc1212 Mon 01-Jun-20 20:51:13

A lot can happen in two years. You could retrain. Start a business.

Think about your values. What matters most to you? How could your work feed your values? You can figure out your values by asking how you would want to be described at your funeral (a bit morbid but it does connect you to what matters most to you).

Also, with big decisions like this I like to think of the worst and best case scenario in each situation and then think about how I can learn to live with that. Or do a pros and cons and attach a figure out of ten to indicate how important each pro and con is to me and then add them up. Which scores highest. If you are disappointed with the outcome that tells you something too.

Turnedouttoes Mon 01-Jun-20 20:54:16

2 years?! I thought you were going to say a couple of months! You could refrain in a whole new field in that time if you fancied it. I’d be biting their hand off to take it

RhymesWithOrange Mon 01-Jun-20 21:05:09

Think very carefully. You seem to have had quite an emotional reaction at being furloughed. As you say you were an obvious choice because you have young children and your boss may have thought they were doing you a kindness. I am sure you are greatly valued by your team and colleagues.

New jobs may be very hard to come by and, without knowing your specialisms, admin is a fiercely competitive area at the moment as there is an over supply in a shrinking field (I'm talking about admin generally).

Do some research - see what jobs are out there, speak to recruiters, use your connections on LinkedIn - to really understand your alternative employment prospects.

Furlough is purely a business decision. And some businesses may have made the wrong ones. Don't take it personally.

SoloMummy Mon 01-Jun-20 21:13:31


*@NuffSaidSam* redundancy money would last about two years. After that we’d need two salaries.

Versus how much for compulsory redundancy?

Reversiblesequinsforadults Mon 01-Jun-20 21:29:11

10 years is a long time in one role and a change would probably boost your confidence. Take some time to consider what you might like and don't apply for too many jobs at the moment as you may get disheartened - most workplaces will be waiting to see what happens. When you do apply in earnest, remember- you need to apply for lots of jobs and you won't get the first one. The first couple of interviews are just for practice. Good luck.

Boredbumhead Mon 01-Jun-20 21:36:06

I work in a University. I wouldn't lose your nerve and take it. New jobs will be hard to find in this climate. Furlough doesn't mean you're on the redundancy list.

DrinkingInTheNightGarden Mon 01-Jun-20 21:41:50

I'm the HR Manager of a business and also been furloughed, also PT. Please don't take it personally....its just decisions based on very non personal things.

Immigrantsong Mon 01-Jun-20 21:42:28

Unfortunately most jobs no longer care for their staff and people are replaceable.

If you belong in a Union seek support, as I believe that there is no difference between voluntary and compulsory redundancy figures.

2 years is a good time to source another job.

BastardCorona Mon 01-Jun-20 21:50:23

Thank you for your kind words everyone. I really have tried not to take it personally. I have always got along really well with my colleagues but being furloughed just really knocked me for six - almost for reasons I can’t articulate.

To answer your question @SoloMummy compulsory redundancy would be about half the amount of voluntary - so a significant amount.

OP’s posts: |
CSIblonde Mon 01-Jun-20 21:57:39

Take voluntary redundancy. Your skills are transferable. FWIW, having worked in all sorts of places for years, as a contractor, often in HR, everyone is seen as an expendable resource when you know what hits the fan financially. Middle management are usually where the most savage cuts come, not only admin.

titchy Mon 01-Jun-20 22:09:05

How secure financially is your institution? In the next two years I'm pretty certain some will fold, and others merge. If your HEI is likely to be one of those then take the money and run.

However, your institution might be on good footing financially, and able to whether the storm, in which case I'd say this is a head decision not a heart one, and it sounds as if your heart is saying leave because you've been furloughed. Take the emotion out as rhymes says.

Do spend some time thinking rationally about what you want your future to look like. Do you want to stay in HE? How niche are you? How senior? If you were still working would you want take voluntary? Hone your CV. Do you have contacts in your area in other HEIs? Make some contacts. Training you can do? Use this time to invest in yourself, cliched though that sounds. Don't make any rash decisions!

Good luck

DamnYankee Mon 01-Jun-20 22:16:59

Take it.
Use the two years to develop/sharpen the skills you have and maybe learn some new ones!

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