The feature image used is a stock image.
Several years, ago, within five months of starting a new role, the HR Manager called me into her office and told me that my contract was being terminated. Apparently, I wasn’t the right fit – a devastating blow to anyone, but especially for a middle-aged woman who has resigned from a secure role and is prone to anxiety.
The process wasn’t handled professionally, and I felt like I was doing a walk of shame as the 20-year-old led out of the fishbowl meeting room and through the open plan office, full of staff.
Watch: The horoscopes when there's a problem at work. Post continues below.
As any woman who has searched for part-time work is aware, flexible employment is hard to find, and I was excited to make the move. However, my incompatibility with the role soon became clear when it turned out to be more administrative, rather than sales oriented. To add to the stress, my new boss became seriously ill within three weeks of my start, and while I did what I could in the short time to justify my salary, I barely saw him.
Being let go without warning was a massive knock to my confidence, and concerns about what I would do next triggered a bout of anxiety and depression that left me in need of medication.
For months, I struggled to get rid of my feelings of shame and rejection, but to "get straight back on the horse" and reinvent myself simply wasn’t an option.
Many women are finding themselves in a similar situation as a result of COVID’s massacre of the job market. And as the government winds down JobKeeper, the likelihood is we will see more and more casualties – women who were forced to resign from their jobs to look after children, or whose part-time and casual jobs in retail, tourism, and hospitality, have since dried up.
The government’s lack of any true support for the plight of women in the workplace in the budget was the final nail in the coffin.