I come out of the meeting and feel overwhelmed with emotion, armed with a pack of redundancy docs, now known as 'the white envelope of doom'. My face is puffy from all the crying and the fact my HR colleague has been plying me with cheap kitchen roll. Word of advice to any HR advisors- invest in Kleenex.
Last week, the final tranche of redundancies within the British armed forces were announced. This fourth tranche, whilst it may have been expected, will still bring a new air of uncertainty to those finding themselves at risk. The announcement concerned specific time-lines, redundancy fields and the numbers to be cut.
Everything changes at the turn of the year. At least it feels that way having had a needed break from work and the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. It also offers the chance to consider what the brand new year might bring and contemplate how we are going to make 2014 one of our best years yet.
moving away from corporate life to start a new venture is a big step to take, but it can be a life-changing leap forward, as those who have done it have found. And by doing the same you will have the opportunity to make your mark on the world in a way that would never be possible if you stay with a corporate organisation.
Increasing numbers of Brits are now starting their own business, in fact there's a whopping 4.5 million businesses in the UK right now which employ 1-9 people. So if you've been hearing the jungle drums and want to become an entrepreneur then I can't light that rocket under you, but I can tell you how to do it!
The low point probably came several months ago when I raced upstairs, put on my best suit and pretended to go off to work. It was 5pm and the children were due back from school. The truth that I wasn't able to tell them was that I had lost my job 72 hours earlier and was acting out this increasingly ridiculous charade partly out of shame, embarrassment and, well, I just didn't know what to say.
I am not sure why Parkinson's chose me but I rather wish it hadn't and now, aged 44, it has been a rocky road which has included suffering bouts of self- harm and depression as a result of alienation from friends at school who didn't consider me cool enough to join them on holiday because I was, for want of a better word 'a burden'.