Secrets From A Fathers Day
By Donovan Grant
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha
Our lives are never easy. What with working, running a family and trying to keep your own life and health on track, the last thing we need is devastating news. What makes the character of a person is how you handle pressure when it comes your way.
When making the daily commute into London by train, you often bump into the same people. In fact some people are often sitting in the seat positions so that some days it feels like a bit of a déjà vu. From time to time I bump into old friends that I grew up with. We always share stories of what’s happening with the family and mostly about the children. Dave is a proud and dedicated father and husband; there is no doubt that his family is the most important thing in his life balance.
A few weeks ago I met Dave on the 7:32am train to Charing Cross. We had a good banter as usual however he seemed a little off-key. I had to ask…
”what’s up Dave, you seem a bit distracted today”
“Oh I’ve got some problems at work. Our team is being down-sized and we have to re-apply to keep a job with the company!”
He went on to say that the team of 10 staff was going to be reduced to a team of four. The other six people would be laid off with severance pay. This was a big problem for Dave because he was the main income provider in his home and this would mess up his life balance. His wife Sarah worked part-time, so it was crucial that he remained in work. He lives in a nice house with a sizeable mortgage and they had recently bought a new family car so job loss was not an option.
The interesting thing is that as Dave is a protective husband and father, he decided not to tell the family about his situation. He didn’t want to burden them or disrupt the life balance with the stress before it was necessary.
Was Dave right to keep this news from the family?
In fact when we met he had been carrying the dilemma around in his head for about four weeks and the big moment was approaching. His viewpoint was that it was only worth explaining everything to the family once he knew whether he was staying or going!
Today though, Dave was stuck. He was struggling over what to write in his personal statement. The deal was that he had to fill in an application as if he was an outsider to the company. He had let procrastination get the better of him and now he had 48 hours to get it written and submitted to the Human Resources team at the office.
As I listened to Dave’s story, the thought crossed my mind of the number of other individuals, men and women who have been in a similar situation since the start of the year. Job loss and down-sizing is definitely on the increase in the UK!
Dave needed to be congratulated for taking the troubles so well because he had coped as if he had no problems. Not even his wife knew. Now it was time for him to take action. My recommendation was that he would either stop late at the office or pop into his local library on his way home and get the personal statement done today! He just needed to get it done! We parted with a firm handshake that gave me the impression that he was ready to do the work.
I didn’t bump into Dave again until about three weeks later. When we made eye contact he went into one of those ear to ear grins that spoke volumes. He got the job! He told me the story about preparation at the library, the interview and how he broke the news to Sarah and the family. Some of his words were…
“The interview went so well, it felt like a blur”
“When I got the news that I got it, I almost fell off my chair with excitement”
“My wife and kids gave me a hug that nearly made me cry”
“Thank God for all the help!”
Dave was a lucky one. His story had a happy ending but I wonder how many similar stories don’t end on a happy note. For six of Dave’s colleagues it was the end of the road and they are now job hunting with the other with others who are job hunting in the UK.
What was some good learning that Dave provided us with?
1. Share your problems early to ease the pressure on yourself
2. Get all the boring paperwork done as soon as you can
4. Believe in yourself and your family!
I believe in you and I believe in your dreams.
Father of three wonderful children, coach, mentor, copy-writer, speaker and IT Professional are just some of the roles that Donovan Grant enjoys everyday. He is a passionate and committed person who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Donovan has been a catalyst for many to live a life of balance, integrity and fun whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com