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The grim reaper called redunancy
Construction is no place to have a job in.
Everyone is worrying about it, it is constantly chattering away in your ear, "soon it will be you, you can't be here much longer, everyone else is going so why should you be the one to be kept".
After being made redundant twice in the last 6 years, you would think I would never take things for granted anymore, well you would be wrong, just like I am.
The construction industry is no place if you want to have a long term job, not in the current climate and not in the UK or Ireland that is for sure.
The grass isn't greener.
After working for a building supply company for just under ten years, I thought to myself, I am getting stale, things are getting boring, it's time for me to make a change in my life and find pastures new.
That for me was the biggest mistake I can ever remember doing in my career. Going from a job were I worked my way up from a wee pup in the yard, serving customers, keeping it tidy and clean to taking the role "internal sales manager" with various other roles held in between. I could even have boasted that there was no job in the place that I couldn't do as I knew how the place ran like the back of my hand.
Ok the hours were long and being young and a bit naive I did them without question, sometimes working a 75 - 80 hour week but there was never the thought of redundancy or the thought of losing my job hanging over my head, just work and plenty of it.
So I went for a job interview, thinking this is the right thing to do, push yourself on and move up another step on the ladder (as the saying goes). I got the job but with one downfall, the money was the same as my previous job but I took it hoping that it will change in a year or so.
After about two months I soon realised I shouldn't have taken the job, the people were lovely, I made a few friends from working there but in reality that is about all I did in my year with the company. I would go in each day, dreading it, nothing to do all day, trying to spin out every little ounce of work. The mistake in my view was in the company hiring me in the first place, they were totally overstaffed, my role could have been very easily done by one of my colleagues. I don't know if they thought things would get busier or what but the fact is they went down quickly and hard. The end of the house boom in Northern Ireland was over and came to a halt sharply, very unlucky for the company as all they did was build houses.
The next step
After a year of working with the house building company I was made redundant and because I was only there for a year the package was a joke.
My next step was to get on to the recruitment agencies to see if they would be able to get me a new job, so I contacted the same recruitment agency that got me the last job, within two weeks they had an interview lined up for me, this time with a fit-out company in Dublin. It would mean a lot more travelling but I couldn't turn it down. I went for the interview and got the job.
At this point you have to realise that it was just about the point in Ireland were the Celtic tiger was about to be put down and so being on the right side of it I ended up being a good bit better off by working in Ireland rather than Northern Ireland. The wages were great and I even thought to myself I would have job security, "surely as this company doesn't build houses but instead do shop and bank fit outs my job will be safe" - WRONG... Bank would be the important word here, the banks were raking it all in and soon were to go pop just like the housing market and so leaving my new employer without work. Six months down the line I again had to ring the recruitment agency and ask them to find me a new job.
The Reaper is always over you shoulder.
I couldn't believe my luck the recruitment agency had found me yet another job and this time only a couple of miles from home. Brilliant, now all I have to do is make sure I get it.
I did get it and now was working in the Civil engineering section of construction, yet again I thought this is a job with security as the government are the ones to build roads, water treatment plants, water mains etc and for a while it seemed I was right.
It is now 4 years on from when I took the job, I am still here but that is about all. My initial line manager was made redundant about 8 months ago, staff was cut way back, going from 30 to the 3 there is in the regional office today.
Now I am again looking over my shoulder for the dreaded call from the director, "Anthony, can you come in and see me for a minute, there is something we need to discuss". In layman's terms, come on in so I can make you redundant.
I think I have been both lucky in getting jobs very quickly but very unlucky in the industry I work in. If I had the chance I would never have left the job I held for 10 years. There was job security with them and even if I was unlucky to get paid off at least I would have got a good package from them, instead of now, when or if I get made redundant I know the money will be useless and only enough to tie me over for a month or two.
My advice to anyone out there who thinks about moving from a job they have held for a long time is to stick it out, everyone has different circumstances and if you are happy enough in your job then try your best to keep it, it doesn't pay in the long run to change and with unemployment rising in just about every country, the future doesn't look bright at least not for the short term.