Friday night and so ends one of the hardest weeks of my professional career. Unlike the rest of my blogs, this isn’t about running but more about a week when my career was brought crashing to a change.
Last Friday the day started normally. I went for an early morning 5k run and headed in to the office. This was the head office of Thomas Cook in Peterborough. By Friday the media was starting to predict the end. But in the office, the mood music was still that the deal on the table would get through. This deal was going to be a game changer.
Then over the weekend the noise got louder and louder in the press. Everyone was regulalry refreshing their news feeds for any updates. Fortunately, as my wife was away for the weekend with friends, I had all three kids to keep busy, which helped keep my mind on other things. Come Sunday evening the situation was not looking good. Despite knowing it would help, I couldn’t even bring myself to go out for a run so headed for an early night. I rose in the middle of the night and checked my phone. The end was nigh and then, at 2am, the negative news was confirmed. After 178yrs, Thomas Cook had stopped trading and for me, this meant I was now going to lose my job.
I felt numb. Sleep was not forthcoming so I actually ended up heading in to the office earlier than normal as I wanted to be there for my team. There was such a wide range of emotions as we all came to terms with the news. So many people had been there for so long. My 5yrs were like a blink in the eye compared to many colleagues. There really was a family feel in the office which just made it harder. Indeed, husbands and wives, parents and children were all leaving the office hand in hand. By the end of the day I was absolutely exhausted.
As the days have passed it has got me thinking about taking opportunities. A couple of friends in the office would regularly go out for a lunchtime run. I always fancied joining them but had too many excuses. Too many meetings, I didn’t want to sweat in the afternoon. I always said, one day I’ll head out. Now that is too late. Who knows if wherever I end up will have that opportunity?
As it is, I have been asked to stay on for a short while longer while our customers are flown home. Therefore, on Thursday I packed my kit and ran the route they had always ran. It was the first time I’d put on my trainers since that Friday morning. The pent up emotion showed as the 1st 2km flew by in a blur and I paid for it in the 2nd half. But by the end I felt so much better.
It has been such a strange week, and there are many hard times to come. But what I have learned this week is take the chances you have. You never know if and when things will change.