I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I have absolutely hated my job and wished I’d get fired, and times when I think I’m changing the world (a girl needs to aim high!). I’d like to say the good times outweigh the bad, but they may be on a par these days.

In the beginning of my tenure at my current job, I made sure to store my Annual Leave away like a squirrel stocking up nuts for winter (I’m not sure why the Ice Age squirrel has just popped into my head, but…welcome lil fella). Storing my Annual Leave was my contingency plan in case my boss decided that my services were no longer required. My hold on my job seemed quite tenuous for the first two or three…years, I feared I could get fired any time!

I know you’re thinking that this is entirely pessimistic of me, and perhaps it was. But, I had been in the situation where I had worked previously and managed to get myself pregnant (yes, you can read from that that it wasn’t in the five year plan) and after being asked to write a letter stating when I would like to return from maternity leave, promptly received a letter of reply from my employer telling me that my services were no longer required and should a position become available in the future, they’d contact me.

So, there I was, eight months pregnant and absolutely devastated that I had been given the proverbial. What the hell was I going to do? How would I manage without that safety net of a job to return to? I’m not a naturally calm person in times like this, so my stress-o-meter was in the red. Do you know what I did, ladies? I coped. I did what I needed to do. I marched myself off to Centrelink to ensure that I would receive payments when I needed to. Not because I wanted to sit on the dole, but because I needed to be able to provide for my future child.

I was out of work for three years raising my son and it was tough; also beautiful because I got to be with my child. But, those tough years are now my benchmark. When I think that life is tough I remember when I wasn’t working and I pick myself up and get on with the task at hand. There is a possibility that there is going to be a restructuring at my work. Again, I sit on tenterhooks; my life could be completely turned upside down. The key to not becoming a mass of nerves is to see this possibility as a positive, a challenge. I’ve been in my current workplace for five years this year. That’s longer than any relationship I have ever had! (Well, besides my child who, it seems, I am stuck with for life ) Maybe a break up with my current workplace is exactly what I need?

Why are you not doing it now, before it happens, I hear you ask? That old, very adult issue; I have responsibility. I have a mortgage, I have a car payment, and I have school fees coming up again. And, I do all of this on my own. If there was a second income in my household, I would jump. I would take that leap of faith and believe. I need to be smart about any new career I choose. I did apply for a job towards the end of last year; my circumstances just didn’t allow it to come to fruition.

But, if it happens that my current employer intends to break up with me, do you know what I’m going to do, ladies? I’m going to take those lemons and make an awesome lemony cocktail and I’m going to own it. I KNOW I will fall on my feet and I know that I am capable of great things. And, so are you. Don’t fear the end of a job. See it as your opportunity to find a role that makes you shine.

By Kate

KATE KENNEDY

SINGLE MUM

A single mum who devotes her life to her son. Kate is an inspiration to everyone who has been through tough times. Her insightful writing explores her own deep inner struggles that many women can relate to. She is courageous and hopes that her writing can help other women break through the barriers that hold us back, through her personal life stories.

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