Episode 28 - Finding Perfect Moments In A Truly Awful TimeMar 10, 2023
Vulnerably sharing a previously untold part of her story, in this episode Becca shares her experience of being made redundant from a job she loved, nearly losing everything, and why this has driven her to set up the business of Do Divorce Right.
Welcome to the do divorce right podcast. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And I'm here to help you transition through your divorce with ease and integrity, to not only survive the challenges of your divorce, but to thrive as you come out the other side of it with a much better life than you ever hoped possible. On this show, we talk about many different aspects of divorce, interview women who have their own incredible divorce stories, or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. The focus here is to help you find the strength and support to help you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and then a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your current journey.
Today’s episode is quite different to what I was planning to share with you this week, but I’ll schedule that for another time because this is what is fresh and what feels right for me to share right now
I’m on a trip at the moment and recording this episode from a hotel room in Las Vegas.
I’m travelling with my mum who is an awesome travel companion; she is incredibly upbeat and optimistic and brave. She’s also completely happy to go along with whatever I want to do and be grateful for whatever she does get to see or experience without the ‘if onlys’ or fear of missing out on anything.
My mum and I get along great – so great in fact that there is going to be a feature about us in a magazine coming out soon. I think it’s next week. I’ll post it on my socials to share it with you.
Anyhow.. the real reason that I’m travelling is because I had the opportunity to join a business retreat in Palm Springs with a bunch of incredible women who are all building their online empires to create financial security and abundance for their families.
Could that be more appropriate given that the timing of this podcast is just after International Women’s Day?
And it could not have been more inspiring!
Hearing about the journey that everyone has been on and their ‘whys’ for what they do!
I’ve come away from the retreat with a head full of ideas and a heart full of gratitude.
A few weeks before this retreat, I was at a networking event. It was something a little bit different and as an ice-breaker, we were asked to bring along a picture that represented something about our business and what keeps us motivated.
I bought along a picture of my partner, myself and our four children celebrating with flutes of champagne & soft drink to celebrate my birthday outside Luna Park in Melbourne. We’re sitting in the sunshine, happy and there’s so much love in the picture.
That moment was filled with joy.
and I don’t want to take anything away from that by sharing that there was another story of what was going on behind this picture too..
you see a few months earlier I had been made redundant from a job that I loved, in a company that I’d been working for, for more than 10 years.
I’d taken a risk to take on a new bigger role and – honestly – I loved it.
I loved creating the business operations and strategy, managing and hiring a huge team across 5 countries, the stakeholder management, the reporting.. really everything..
Except that the key person that I needed to work alongside really struggled to work with me and, after a year of working together he decided that he didn’t want to work with me in that role anymore.
It’s complicated, but despite the fact that I’d been in the company 10 years they decided that there wasn't another role for me and I was made redundant.
I was living in Singapore and my right to stay in the country was based on having a job that would support me with an Employment Pass.
So I had 6 weeks after finishing the redundancy period to find another job or be kicked out of the country.
My ex-husband was also living in Singapore which meant that I wasn’t able to move the children out of the country without his permission – because it was the country that we’d chosen to raise the children in together.
So, when he learned that I’d lost my job he simply said “that’s ok. You can leave. The children will be fine here with me”.
The children were 3 and 6 at this point. They were still so little.
In losing my job - through no fault of my own - I was at risk of being kicked out of the country that I’d called home for more than 10 years at that point and having to leave my children behind.
Not to mention that I was the breadwinner for our household:
- My partner is an entrepreneur and wasn’t drawing a salary from his business,
- my ex-husband wasn’t paying child support and had left us in a huge amount of debt, and
- I was supporting my parents so that they could live more comfortably than their pension would allow.
I was also representing myself in court regarding the division of assets and child maintenance payments etc.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the expression that “it’s easier to find a job when you have one”... but I certainly know that it’s not great to be trying to find a job when you’re feeling desperate and fearful.
I got to work and started applying for anything that I was remotely qualified for.
I interviewed and researched and interviewed some more.
I counted the number of interviews and discussions that I had before I finally landed a job that was some version of ‘secure’. It was 174. I interviewed 174 times to be able to find a job that meant I could keep paying the bills.
In the meantime, I accepted a few short-term roles and one of these was in Melbourne. I was commuting from Singapore to Melbourne to work, and then back to Singapore to spend every 2nd weekend with the kids.
Over a school holiday break my partner bought our 4 children to Melbourne to spend a full week with me – though I was still working and interviewing for permanent roles during the day – but I got to spend two full weekends and every evening for a week with them.
This is when that photo was taken.
It was a perfect moment in a truly awful time.
I look at that picture every day now to remind me that ‘secure employment’ is never truly secure.
And that I need to build my own security for myself and my family.
This is a big part of the reason that I do what I do.
Because I don’t want to be at risk of losing a job again.
But also because I want to build a business that matters.
I want to have positive impact at scale.
I want to be able to decide when to work and when to spend time with my children.
Another thing that photo reminds me is that my foundations can be fundamentally shaken and there will still be moments of joy as I rebuilt and reshape what my next iteration is going to look like.
Right now I have a great balance.
I work part time in a corporate job and I am building a business that I am passionate about. But I can also cycle with my children to school, have dinner with them every night when I’m home, travel around the world with my mum for a few weeks and know that they safe, secure and loved – and that they know they are safe, secure and loved.
I want this for you too.
If your foundations have been shaken recently, please know that everything will be ok. There will be moments of joy just around the corner.
Thanks for listening. I hope you took something of value out of this episode. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And you can find me on the web at dodivorceright.com or on Instagram at dodivorceright. I look forward to connecting with you there.