It was around this time last year that I was suddenly, and inexplicably, told that I was being retrenched.
That happened during a routine weekly meeting where each employee would be called to give updates on our areas of work, so I didn’t suspect that losing my job was on the agenda.
It had nothing to do with my performance, they explained. The company was changing direction and would be restructuring, and my position was simply being made redundant. I wasn’t the only one being affected, they told me - as though that made me feel any better.
Being asked to leave was a shock for two reasons. The first was that it was pretty much a dream job for me - I was crazy about the products we were making, the company’s culture was fantastic and I enjoyed working with the colleagues that I had. The pay, while wasn’t great, was decent enough for a job I loved.
But perhaps the bigger damage was to my ego - while I’ve left many jobs on my own accord before, I’ve never been fired or retrenched. It was a new, gaping wound, one I’ve never suffered from, ever.
I was shocked and angry, but what choice did I have?
But I did have a choice, and I made it. I could easily have had found another corporate job - in fact I received a couple of offers immediately after people found out I was leaving - but it was then that I decided I’d wouldn’t want to put my fate into the hands of others again. And the only way is to do that is to become an entrepreneur; my own boss. If I die, it’ll be at my own hands.
And so I did.
Today I run The Good Beer Company, and we’re doing sufficiently well enough for me to consider next steps. I often look back on that fateful day and wonder if I’d have ever taken the plunge if I hadn’t been retrenched.
I guess I will never know.