Thursday, September 15, 2011

2 years ago my life changed...

This is in part the first change to my life... the major change obviously was the girls being born but there was something that happened before then.  I used to be employed once upon a time... 2 years ago I was made redundant - my employer gave me a nice big cheque to go away.  Not something I was going to argue with - really it wasn't.  It was one of the funniest moments of my career I think.  I went from a job I absolutely despised to a job I enjoyed with an amazing group of people.  I used to work on an application support helpdesk and went into a UAT job on a secondment that was made permanent which was then the role that was made redundant.  My entire team got called into a meeting at head office to be informed that our team was being let go... I rang Larry to let him know and he said to basically take it.  I was due to go on parental leave two weeks later anyway.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOO I eventually get into the meeting with the HR officer and my National Manager and I'm asking to see the package.  "No - think about it, talk to your partner and see what your decision is."  My response - "I've already spoken to him and he's happy with my decision."  They insisted that I take 24 hours to think about it and call them in the morning and let them know what my decision was.  This really was a no-brainer.  Give me a big fat pay-out to leave my employer... duh! Although I did have to quietly (internally) chuckle at how uncomfortable my National Manager was with the concept of a gay employee talking about how soon his children were due to be born.  My former employer did very fair by me I have to say - they did pay out the parental leave that I would have taken had I remained with them as it was booked...  I really did honestly want to go "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!" during the whole meeting.  But I knew I really couldn't!

Mind you this was really the point behind this post.  It's just a part of what's been on my mind.  I'm starting to find myself in a situation where I am starting to think what's going to happen when I do go back to work.  Admittedly it won't be for a while yet as to be honest - my wages wouldn't cover full-time childcare costs (we get nothing back from the Australian Government - I'm not complaining btw!) so I get the joy of staying home and raising the girls until they start school.  But that does introduce the dilemma of what am I go to do?  What's going to happen to my marketability in the workplace?  What can I do to find a job?  I know these are questions that women who drop out of the workforce to raise children face.  And I am a little bit worried about how do I explain that to a potential employer?  Am I likely to face discrimination because I'm a male care-giver who's taken time out of his career to raise children or has the world moved on to a point where that doesn't matter anymore?  So many questions...



I'm worried about it yes and I'm sure at some point I will find an answer... but up until then I think I will just continue enjoying raising my children :)