Guest Post: I Lost My Job!

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This guest post is by one of the very amazing people this blog has put me in contact with, VV. In 2015 when I had issue an with GTBank and was on the verge of losing out on a big project for Vodacom because GTBank wasn't going to give me a bank reference letter, VV helped out. I know VV is tough and will make lemonade out this lemon VV's been handed.

On April 21, 2020, the year I turn 40, I got laid off from my job of 14+ years. We had been working from home since mid-March, so I was informed via skype call. As soon as I joined the online meeting to which my manager had invited me, I knew it was a lay off meeting. There was a third person on the call – an HR representative. I tried my best not to become emotional. I listened as my manager told me that it was my last day at work. I asked questions regarding my pay off benefits and the terms. While still in the layoff meeting, I informed my spouse, my siblings, my parents and close friends in a very matter of fact way. I did not want anyone to be too concerned.

I worked in the oil service industry. We received a double blow in 2020 – Covid-19 and the Russia Saudi oil battle, so it was not a shock to be getting laid off. Oil service companies rely completely on the oil companies for their survival. If oil companies do not invest, oil service companies do not have projects to execute and the first line of action to save the bottom line is to lay off employees. I was also unfortunate to be working outside my home country in a not so critical position. I was well prepared financially for this scenario; however, I was still surprised and sad in a way. I was sad because I did not want my story to be “I got laid off”, I wanted it to be “I quit my job”. I was surprised because with Covid-19, it was a bit unfair to be laid off in a country that is not mine knowing that I would not be able to return home immediately and would have to continue spending without income. In the end, I was mostly relieved. I hated the role and I did not care too much for most of my colleagues. My colleagues were great people, hardworking and talented. I just did not connect with most of them and was not interested in office politics.

Financially, I will be OK. I took my own advice and I always saved at least 50% of my earnings. I put the maximum allowable in pension contributions, I tried my best to be frugal. I was not always perfect – I did splurge on international travel and some other fancy things, but my savings rate was always around 50% or more. I never felt I was depriving myself at any point and I also put aside funds for charitable giving. Luckily, I also have a partner who works, and we can live a comfortable middle-class life on his salary.
I am not certain what to do with the rest of my life now. I have always been in school or working for an employer. I appreciate any advice you might have.

Oh 2020! – what a year you have been. I had so many plans – trip to a new country to celebrate turning 40, important medical procedures, start of a new life in a new country, retire on my own terms but none of this worked out. I hope things get better for me, for everyone and very quickly too. Overall, I am grateful, for a wonderful family, for great friends, for good health and for the opportunity to have had a job that allowed me to achieve financial independence.


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