Day 2: I went to London as Me and came back an Unemployed Cancer Patient

Off to London today for a couple of appointments. The first is with a doctor as I have a basal cell cancer on my right cheek which needs to come off. The second is with HR at the office for the first redundancy consultation.

The doctor was very nice and seems strangely familiar. He will remove the skin cancer using Mors Surgery. “However small it is it feels huge to the patient”, he says. “Don’t worry”, I say, “I told my wife I would be coming back with half my face missing”. “Probably only a tenth”, he dead-pans. Oh the japes we are having. Now for the punch. He can’t do the op until May 22nd. I’m pretty sure my health insurance will have run out by then. I will check with HR.

It’s now lunchtime so I stop for a bite in Pimilco Pizza Express. It’s very nice and has wifi which is what us modern day job seekers require. For 30 seconds I feel like crying but then an excellent calzone arrives and I soon start feeling better.

I then go to a vodafone shop and look at phones as the scrubbed blackberry still works but not for long. I’m torn between the Blackberry PRIV at one end of the scale, and the 10 quid Alcatel at the other end of the scale. Luckily for me the display blackberry has a wonky space key which makes writing INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING. Hate shopping. Leave.

I meet a good friend (Ex-colleague, contractor, entrepreneur, and ‘Man On The Inside’ at the old company) for a very civilized mint tea. He reads out the roll call of the those that have departed. I feel better again. I’m in illustrious company.

I make a point of meeting him in the lobby of the office. I’ve learnt from bitter experience that its best to knock that one down as soon as possible. Firstly, the security guard does not rugby tackle me to the ground. He’s not even holding a list of names like you sometimes see. Secondly, absolutely nobody I know appears as I’m enjoying the fine leather arm chairs. Lastly my longest standing client does not come sprinting over to poach me out of IT. It’s all a bit disappointing quite frankly.

Finally I’m off to the meeting with HR. I’m ushered into the inner sanctum of HR and into the private office of a very nice lady, who I suspect may be the BOSS. It feels like I am getting the VIP treatment. I’m flattered. She lets slip that this round is less than 100 people so I probably am. Lucky me.

Here’s the interesting stuff:

  • My last day is going to be 20th May.
  • There might be some wriggle room around the final date for the health insurance. I’m grateful they will even consider this.
  • I need to lawyer up. The redundancy package contract thingy needs to be reviewed by a lawyer. They will pay the fees.

She’s quite a funny lady, although a bit corporate, who I don’t think I’ve spoken to before but who I recognise.

  • “a Renaissance IT Man like yourself” – I decide I quite like that. It has a super hero twang to it.
  • “need to think about promoting Brand <insert surname>” – sinky feeling.
  • “get out there and network … get meetings with some recruitment consultants” – super sinky feeling.
  • “you might not like some of them” – not saying a word.
  • “meet up with friends, ex-colleagues, get ideas, suggestions, find out who’s recruiting, drink a lot of coffee”.
  • “when the money comes through you could buy yourself a Ferrari” – erm I don’t think it’s enough.
  • “well, a 2nd hand Ferrari then” – still no.
  • “consider using Penna offices (in LN and MK) as a base rather than staying at home all the time in your pyjamas. This allows you to say ‘can we meet up today as I’m in town’ OR ‘would you like to meet at the offices I am using'” – this is a GOOD IDEA.

I muse at one point whether somebody who has worked at the company for 22 years and drives a Porsche to work lacks the credibility to dish out advice on redundancy and job searching. But I then feel a bit mean.

Then we get on to her favourite topic, The CV, and the meeting runs 40 mins over. She is bang on and full of good tips, and she wants me to send her my CV to review. !BONUS!

  • 1 page ideal.
  • Make most of the space, cram it in, no gaps.
  • Left and right justify.
  • Include examples of philanthropy, diversity, recruiting, mentoring, buddying.
  • Have you written/designed/delivered any training?
  • Use reverse chronology.
  • Use bullets.
  • Use action verbs ( lead, collaborated, developed..) followed by the downstream impact, what it resulted in ( increased profits, decreased costs, Governance, Risk management/mitigation, Risk reduction, Regulatory, Internal Audit ).

I feel like I’m on the right track as I have

  • Drafted CV on the train

So that all went reasonably well. However it’s an overcast, rainy kind of day which is a bit more mood appropriate. I feel a bit like I went to London as Me and came back an Unemployed Cancer Patient.




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