TRANCHED: Life after CDOs, Week 13

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For anyone out there who considers this column a purveyor of doom and gloom, the time has come to point out there are also a lot of upsides to being out of the market. Take the personal benefits: I can now get up at a civilised hour, live life at my own pace, come and go as I please, and shave twice a month.

Redundancy can also have huge professional benefits. That might sound counterintuitive, but in reality I have been handed a huge opportunity to make a career change for the better. I'm definitely guilty of looking the wrong way at redundancy: focusing on the negatives, the loss of face, the shabby treatment meted out by those in the recruitment business and the obvious financial implications.

This change in spirit has come about thanks to the basic understanding of one crucial thing: eventually I will get a job that I enjoy, that is challenging, and that provides me with the requisite level of income.

It helps that I've had a successful week on the job hunting front. New avenues have opened up like the Champs Elysées on Bastille Day. For someone with good qualifications, the right attitude and a convivial personality, getting a job, even if in markets that were previously unfamiliar, is simply a matter of time, discipline and patience.

Those who've been on the wrong end of a redundancy payout might not be quite so assured of redundancy's virtues. In my case, I'm fortunate that I can pay myself an identical salary for a further year and not even begin to touch my savings and investments. I intend to spend this time wisely, investigating a broad spectrum of opportunities and businesses.

One opportunity this week demonstrated the virtues of my situation perfectly. A friend of mine put me in touch with a contact of his within the insurance market.

Insurance is something that I know virtually nothing about (except that it involves long and boozy lunches), but I had initial discussions with a guy who is putting together a new business line within a firm and seemed genuinely enthusiastic that someone of my background could be just what he was looking for to head up his new team.

I'm not saying he got contracts out for us to sign then and there, after all this was an initial discussion, but the tone and feel of the meeting made me realise two key things.

Firstly: that without redundancy I would have been very unlikely to have found myself in this kind of discussion. And secondly: that I am very much in control of my own destiny when it comes to selecting my next move.

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