I remember that day very well. After a light breakfast, I joined my daily standup. Next up was a meeting with the top level manager of our recently established department.
He explained us that the parent company (Travelport) had financial troubles, and that they had decided to shut down the Melbourne office (which I was part of, although working remotely).
What to do next?
I was a little shocked, it took me a few days to process the news. But eventually I started seeing the event through a different lens. I had a 1-1 meeting where I was told that they would like to keep me for an additional four months. Because I was one of the lead developers and they needed help for the transition to the European teams. This translated to a significant bonus on top of the redundancy payment (severance payment for those in the U.S).
On top of that, I wanted to leave the company for over a year. Locomote was a startup when I joined, it was later acquired by Travelport, a big corporation in the travel sector. The transition was smooth, and I still enjoyed my job, but it wasn’t the same anymore.
So why should I feel bad about being made redundant. It is a blessing in disguise!
Also, my wife reminded me how we’ve wanted to travel in South America for years. The timing is perfect, as our daughter is starting school next year. It wasn’t too hard to convince me. This is it, we decide to travel around the world for six months.
So here I am, after five months of travelling. We visited Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico. Plenty of good memories and experiences. And now our travels are slowly coming to an end (we are staying a month in Europe). And I do feel the call to a daily routine, comfort and programming again 😊
So what did I learn through the whole process ?
- It’s great to go outside of your comfort zone. I was going to start applying for a new jobs straight away, and keep some stability. But the alternative was much more enriching.
- Going away from everything is like a reset button. I feel refreshed and ready to take on some new challenges.
- Companies and recruiters don’t look at a gap on your resume and think negatively about it. Travelling is a rich experience, and you learn a lot along the way.