Monday 19 December 2011

Breathing Space

Subhan’Allah, what a stressful week! After a year of being under review for job cuts, one month of consultations and a week of interviews, tests and waiting, I finally got told this week that I was keeping my job. It was a massive relief alhamdulillah.

I have desperately been trying to squeeze time in between work, family and guests (a lot of guests this week mash’Allah) to prepare for my interview and have not really been succeeding. My interview last week was one of my worst in years, I forgot to breathe and babbled who knows what non-stop (I figured if I keep talking, I might say something sensible – not usually a good idea to try talking yourself out of a hole, but seems to have worked in this instance). I came out thinking “Well done mate, you just lost your job!” I couldn’t really see the point of attempting the test that followed – two data analysis tasks, one on data interpretation, one about an equalities assessment and one on something called Statistics Package for the Social Sciences, which I last used at university about 13 years ago. I had a go anyway, and I am glad I did.

I have spent all week telling myself that rizq (sustenance) is from Allah (SWT) and not from a job or employer. I have been telling myself that my fate is determined by the will of Allah (SWT) and not by the decisions made by some people in an office. By the time the results were due to be announced I had decided that whatever the result would be, it would be a mercy from Allah (SWT). On the one hand I would have my income for the year and be paid whilst I decide what I would do next. On the other hand, I would downsize to a smaller home, support my husband in his business and return to education.

As I got the job, the first off the above two options apply, but the second one still resonates with me. I feel as if I have bought myself some time to think through some big choices. I have to make sure I’m not complacent. This will happen again and again in the next few years as local authorities try to make savings. Next time I would like to be in a place where I can take it or leave it. That will mean making the effort to budget my money and being more thoughtful about what I spend on, looking at alternative income streams and trying to find ways to “downsize” my lifestyle.

After I had got my results, one of the managers on the panel, who was a manager of mine a few years ago, called to congratulate me and ask me how I felt. She also gave me some feedback; she said mine was one of the best and most confident interviews, I had lots of good things to say and that I was her first choice to fill the vacancy in her team. My current manager had insisting on keeping me, so I wasn’t going anywhere, but it was gratifying to be appreciated. She also said that my name was being mentioned because of my good work on or two very awkward projects. It made me think that perhaps we should be positive and not try and second-guess for the worst. A lot of people being interviewed as part of the same process felt they had done badly in their interviews, including one or two who were having panic attacks or going blank (partly because one of the panellists was extremely rude and off-putting).

Her feedback made me feel positive and encouraged me to try harder for better things and not sell myself short or doubt myself. This month and the week off work I have coming will be about planning for the future, setting goals and making good intentions insh’Allah.

On another note, I found this Boots advert that was filmed at my office. The desk the lady is sitting on is next to the one I sit facing. Except we don't have the poles with the red lights. Those funny chairs are ours though.


  1. Im so glad you got to keep your job, i really hope that you find the right balance with work and home life. ps i love reading your posts.

    Im fed up with my job i sit at my desk wishing for better and i pray that AllAH swt guides me to the job that i will enjoy doing and grant me ease in teh difficult decsions that i have to make.

  2. Assalamu'alaikum sis.. alhamdulillah u get what u want. Allah is great. Never forget to put in doa for anything at all that we wish for, we must still work v hard, masyaAllah you certainly are a good example of this. Hugs sister.

  3. It must have felt real good to hear those positive comments about your work. Like you said, when you submit everything to the will of God, it takes out so much stress from your life. Congratulations on doing a good job!!

  4. Alhamdulillah! Truly everything comes from Allah!
    Thanks for sharing this post a time when I really need this - your underlying message...Alhamdulillah at all mwah