The prospect of redundancy can often be a time of uncertainty and distress, perhaps with questions of “Why me? Why now? Or what did I do that was wrong?” This can be at the forefront of our minds. Dealing with change that you don’t feel prepared for can feel like climbing a mountain.
Being in the throes of prospective redundancy certainly threw up anxiety in my case as I had a deep desire to stay where I was. Whilst not the perfect utopia, I loved the easiness of my teaching post in a private boarding school. It was comfortable and my relationships with staff, children and their parents were strong.
The school was in a beautiful setting, with high standards, great staff, supportive parents, small classes and an amazingly well behaved school population. What teacher could not appreciate and love working in such an environment? I could easily have stayed, put my feet up and glided to retirement.
However, I was also aware that there was no longer a feeling of being challenged and I had a sense of a level of coasting, stagnation and complacency creeping in.
For most of my career I had used the private sector as a form of escape or sanctuary to avoid the possible overwhelm from the more challenging, rough and tumble behavior that mainstream schools can bring.
I had been toying with the idea of leaving my current teaching job when my inner voice of wisdom came knocking with strong impulses to leave and return to the mainstream system, from which I had hastily fled many, many years prior. I was psychologically gearing myself up for a change, but I was battling with the longing to hold onto comfort and the feeling of safety of what I already knew I could manage.
The holding on to my comfort was winning… the other inner-voice (the not-so-wise one) was holding on for just another year… “I’ll do just another year and then I’ll look for another post…,” “I’ll see the next year’s group of students through, then I’ll go.”
I had just made up my mind to stay when God called, through the form of my head teacher, who announced that a redundancy had to be made between me and another member of staff.
It was like my calling card had come in. At the moment of the announcement I had an image of one of those pedalos you rent in Mediterranean beach resorts that you paddle out to sea for a bit of a play. When your hour is up, they flag you back to the beach with a round sign and your boat number.
I was being called in, “Your time is up! Time to go somewhere else where you can expand your service, your love and your own personal development.”
I’d had my playtime and now it was time to roll up my sleeves and move to my next point of unfolding. I decided to take voluntary redundancy much, I am sure, to the relief of the second teacher!
Certainty enabled me to start applying for other jobs in the mainstream sector and all seemed plain sailing until self-doubt began to creep in and I started to wonder if taking the voluntary redundancy had been the right choice.
I allowed things to get internally messy, but there was no going back as I had great support from friends, family and my colleagues. I was also aware of the immense opportunity for growth, expansion and a new beginning that awaited me if I chose to go down the voluntary redundancy route.
The job application and interview process began and I learnt much about each school I visited and how I felt in relation to each one.
I trusted the feedback I felt from my body. Sometimes I felt a tight pressure across my chest, or a constriction through my whole body. Many times my understanding and feelings were confirmed, so I forged ahead trusting my choices – after all, my true wise, inner-voice had got me this far.
I am glad to say that out of the many schools I visited, one felt completely right. Throughout my visit I felt an openness, lightness and joy through my body, even though it was a school a few years ago I would not have touched with a barge pole. I was offered a post as a senior teacher, with training to support me in my new role.
So with some procrastination but an overwhelming desire to move forward and to evolve, and not to stagnate, I have taken a step up in my career and, more importantly, in my life. I am now ready, able and willing to take on greater responsibility for others and for myself.
By saying goodbye to old comforts, being ready to commit to work in the mainstream sector, I know there is much for me to appreciate about myself and about the choices that have come with it.
So I can say wholeheartedly that for me redundancy was a gift from heaven and the nudge I needed to move on and take the next steps of expansion.
Perhaps there should be a statement when announcing redundancy – “A wonderful opportunity awaits for renewal and growth. Who wants to take it?”
With enormous heartfelt appreciation for Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for showing there is always a next step to be taken, which leads to a forever expansion.