How it feels to be made redundant in your twenties

The night of speed-dating did not go to plan. There were many reasons for this, but it all started at 11am that morning when I was made redundant. It’s the second time this has happened in one year.

I was in denial all day, packing away my desk and sending emails to agents to cancel my interviews with celebrities. The denial shifted to sadness at about 5pm, when my friend (who was also made redundant) and I went to the pub.

Drinking amplifies whatever emotion you’re feeling, in my opinion. So that night, it felt like we were at a wake.

Not the best night to go speed-dating.

However, due to my true dedication (or, should I say desperation), I still decided to go along to the event. So I did my makeup in the loos, said goodbye to my wonderful colleagues who I shall miss dearly, and headed to Balham to meet my sister.

When we arrived, we noticed a lot of older couples. The speed-dating event specified that it would be 23-35 year olds only. But, due to the number of couples there, we assumed the rules had been slightly bent and that the event would now comprise of men in their late 40s.

So, we approached the bar and asked the barman where we should sit for the speed-dating. He turned to us and said, “Oh, didn’t you hear it had been cancelled?”

All of that makeup, worrying and shaving had been for nothing.

So we got back on the tube and travelled to North London (where the leaving drinks were being held) and I introduced my sister to my work friends. Much alcohol was consumed. I ended the night tapping on the window at The Shard reception and asking the receptionist if I could use his phone charger (he said no).

It was like the first night out after you’ve been dumped, where you feel invincible and your self-esteem is at Ariana Grande levels. I contemplated sending my former boss a big bouquet of pink roses with the words ‘Thank u, next’ on the label.

But today I’m feeling a lot less angry/cocky about the whole thing. I’m worried about my future career – much like how you worry you will die alone after you get dumped.

Even the short-term future worries me. I don’t particularly want to go out and socialise with people because, now I’m 23 (and therefore an adult), a lot of conversations revolve around work. And, if you don’t have a job, then people pity you and you feel awkward:

Them: How are you, love?

Me: Yeah, good thanks. How are you?

Them: Yeah, good. How’s work?

Me: Oh, I actually got made redundant. They got rid of our editorial team.

Them: Oh, that’s a shame. Have you got anything lined up?

Me: Not yet, but I’m looking.

Them: You’ll find something! I’m so jealous – you can sleep in till noon. Ooo and you have so much time to go travelling now.

Me: Yeah, true…Although I’m not sure I really want to go travelling in December. Bit nippy.

Them: [Running out of positive points about unemployment] Yeah. Course. Anyway…How’s your love life?

At the age of 23, there are certain things I feel I ought to have: a job, a flat and a partner (or, at least, a Friends With Benefits situation).

Usually, at social gatherings, people will ask about my love life and I’ll make a self-deprecating joke about dying alone, then casually slip into conversation how much I love my job and enjoy interviewing Love Island stars. My cool job with its many perks was my saving social grace.

And now I am unemployed, single, still live at home and have no means of moving out.

But I’m trying to stay positive. Every morning I will wake up to ‘Thank U, Next’ followed by a number of sassy anthems (‘Sorry Not Sorry’, ‘Respect’, etc). I’ll get high on inspo quotes on Instagram and try to remember that everything happens for a reason. And I’ll get on the job hunt and find another job that I will love.

Dating has been put on hold, as cannot bear to have to tell a stranger that I’m unemployed. Worried he’ll think I’m looking for a sugar daddy. Also It’s Just A Date (my new dating Bible) says you should only start dating when you have your life sorted. And, quite clearly, I have a lot of sorting to do.

 


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