Coincidentally, just after the deadline for voluntary redundancy had passed, I had a conversation with a contact who put forward an interesting proposal. Mike was on old friend who I had worked with for a short time when I was previously self-employed. We had met a few years earlier than that, when we discovered a mutual passion for labour management processes. I had also, more recently, helped him with the development of a labour planning application, and organised a presentation for him, to pitch the app to my employers.
Over the next few weeks, in parallel with the redundancy process we talked regularly and met up to discuss the proposal. Mike was looking to wind up his own consulting business ahead of retirement. Once my redundancy was confirmed our discussions became more business-like as we started to talk about the value of the goodwill relating to his regular clients, and the application itself.
Looking back Mike was my mentor for a long time before I even knew that having a mentor was ‘a thing’. We understood each other well and it was always great to bounce ideas around with him.
I was absolutely sure that I was not going to be looking for another permanent job. It was a no-brainer to take advantage of Mike’s offer and give myself an opportunity to build my own business with one foot already on the ladder. We met again at one of his client’s sites where his contact was happy to discuss me taking over, and to agree the next phase of work.
In a short space of time I had decided what to do next. Things had landed in my lap and by now redundancy felt like the best thing that could have happened.