End of an Era

I hadn’t really given much thought to my redundancy lately – that is, until I received my P45 in amongst my Christmas cards in the post last week! Yep, it’s really happening!

My severance pay hit my bank account on Friday and I immediately shifted funds around various high interest current accounts and also put some in Premium Bonds.

As this money is ear-marked to be spent on normal living costs, it’s all staying in cash, not in investments and none of it has been added to my Future Fund – not until I get another job.

I’m also not planning to ‘treat myself’ with any of it – there’s nothing really that I want, although I will use some of it to buy some new work clothes which I will need for my next job.

I’ve been pretty good on the clothes/shoes shopping front – I bought a grand total of 3 tops and one pair of trainers – all year! So yes, I do think it’s time I bought some new decent work gear.

End of an Era

So today was my last day at work. It was kind of surreal saying goodbye to people I’ve worked with for the past 21 years – some of whom I will keep in touch with, others I’ll probably never see again.

There had been lots of tears when a large number of people had departed on Black Friday, but I’ve never been one to cry at work so I held it all in (I noticed I was shaking a little as I handed in my laptop and security pass) until as I was driving out of the work car park for the last time and I shed a few little tears.

What Now?

I’m shortly off on my extended holiday (about a month) to Hong Kong, so there won’t be any new blog posts for a while.

I’ll do a belated December update/round up and something on my goals for 2017 upon my return late in January.

So, there’s nothing else for me to say really, except:

Departing Parties and Black Friday

Next Wednesday sees the second (and largest) group of people leaving the company through redundancy – nearly 40 of them in total.

There haven’t been too many changes in the office these past few months, just some rearrangement of desks and equipment but this mass exodus will make a big difference to the atmosphere, certainly to noise levels.

All those leaving have got invitations to the Christmas party/Leaving bash – it’s predicted that it’s going to be a rather messy affair – well, messier than usual!

What about me?

I have had my final consultation meeting and my official day of leaving confirmed as 31st December 2016.

My severance package, as mentioned before, is close to a year’s salary, plus I will get paid 3 months in lieu of notice.

Also, through my ex-boss’ efforts, the package will include an annual bonus which the company was not obligated to pay as it’s not in my employment contract, so that’s an unexpected and welcome windfall.

Job Seeking

So how has my job hunting gone so far?

Err…it’s not even out of the starting blocks.

My CV is complete and ready to go, my LinkedIn profile all up to date but my head and heart are not committed to the cause.

I don’t see any point in applying for jobs and going for interviews in a half-arsed manner – when I do it, I’d like to give it 100% and right now, I just don’t have the energy or desire.

All I’m thinking about is making the most of my last days working with my friends and colleagues (funnily enough, we’ve started going to the pub every Friday lunchtime!) and then spending some quality time with my family over Christmas in Hong Kong.

Since I no longer need to rush back for work, I’ll be extending my holiday beyond the new year for a few weeks (just need to rearrange my return flight) – I think after 21 years working for the same company, I’m due a decent break!

Black Friday

Unless you’ve been living under a rock on some far off asteroid, you’ll probably be aware that it’s Black Friday today.

blackfriday

I don’t think I’ve ever really been excited about it, even when the concept was first introduced in the UK. I’ve mentioned in the past that shopping has never really been something I enjoy doing – during my ‘spendy days’, it was more something that I did out of habit and fortunately, I got out of the habit.

Anyway, contra to the norm, I did make a purchase today, one which amounted to several hundred pounds – I bought a new mobile phone handset. I had been planning to replace my current phone when my contract ended in December as (being a Blackberry) it will no longer be supported by certain apps next year, apps which I regularly use.

Yes, I could have gotten a cheaper phone but what the hell, I used matched betting winnings to buy it (took a leaf out of Jim’s book, as he bought a handset with his MB winnings) so I’m not out of pocket. I certainly wouldn’t have bought it using my own money!

I’ve also switched from contract to SIM only, pitched BT Mobile against EE to negotiate a great deal (even though they are now technically the same company) so my monthly phone costs have dropped from £15 a month to £9 a month and I get a far superior data plan to boot.

I hope to do much of my gift shopping soon but I will avoid the shops this weekend, opting instead to go on Monday during my day off as I think it’ll be a little quieter.

For those who love Black Friday, I hope you bag some bargains. For those who don’t, hope you enjoy this “normal” Friday and have a great weekend!

Final Countdown

So after being put on group consultation in June, I have finally been told that my job is being made redundant and have been given my leave date at work:

30th December 2016

Actually, my last day at work will be 21st December as I have a festive holiday booked in and wasn’t planning on returning to work until 2nd January, but 30th is officially my last day at work with New Co.

Emotions

emotions

Right now, I’m just glad that I’ve been asked to stay a little longer –  most people will be leaving at the beginning of November, including my boss. Getting over the financial hurdle that is Christmas makes me feel better.

I’m relieved that I finally know when I’m going to finish – although I’m of course sad about leaving, not knowing hasn’t been easy at all.

I’m also a little excited – after working for the same company for so long, I’m going to be doing something different – new year, new start and hopefully, new job!

Severance Package

With 21 years’ service under my belt (over two decades – gosh, that makes me feel so old!!), my package will come to just over a full year’s pay. There’s a possibility that I may even be able to sneak in part of my bonus as negotiations continue in that area but I’m not counting on it. A bonus if I get it 🙂

As I’ve never been made redundant before and have nothing to compare (except to UK statutory), I don’t think the package is a bad one. It’s not as good as the one our French colleagues are getting though but hey ho!

It’s hard not to keep thinking about what I will do with my redundancy money – I would love to just invest it all but need to remember that I will be living off it until I secure my next employment.

If I do find decent work pretty quickly, well then, I’ll have a nice sum to play around with, which might even shave a year or so off my FI plan.

Reasons to be cheerful

I could have made this into a sad and dreary post but I’d rather it be an optimistic one.

The future is bright, opportunities beckon!

Have a good weekend all!

Spanner in the Works

So we had our all employees meeting this morning, the dreaded one to confirm New Co’s plans for re-organisation.

I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

We got hit by the worst.

spanner

At the last meeting, the European CEO of New Co had assured us that they intended to maintain a presence (office) in Manchester for the long term.

He wasn’t telling fibs but what has now been revealed is that the ‘presence’ will be a mere skeleton staff and that ‘certain’ roles will be relocated to HQ down south. That’s nearly 50% of the staff being made redundant.

Oh bollocks.

Abandon Ship?

Ok, not totally unexpected despite things looking slightly positive of late, but still a slap in the face that I couldn’t quite dodge.

I don’t think it’s quite sunk in.

I don’t feel upset, anxious or worried (yet), I feel….annoyance that my FI plans have suffered a setback before I could get some more solid years of saving and investing in.

Of course, I am not abandoning my plans – FI/early retirement is still something I’m going to strive for, but certainly at some point very soon, my savings rate will take a sharp nose dive/ be non-existent until I get my feet back on the ground with another job and can make amends for this temporary setback.

No real info on severance packages or exact timelines just yet – that will come tomorrow or in the week to come.

How bloody annoying. 🙁