For Colin McIntyre striking out on his own after losing his job was “quite scary” with the uncertainty of a monthly pay check.
The father-of-one had moved into the oil and gas industry, after a chance meeting, while working as a barman in a Chinese restaurant.
But as the current downturn began to hit Aberdeen, he was one of the now estimated 120,000 people, who has faced redundancy both directly and indirectly across the UK.
A specialist in procurement, he has now set up his own firm which will focusses on consulting and training workers in the procurement field and advising on smarter supply chain management.
He has also continued his studies, taking up an MBA at Aberdeen University as he builds up business.
The 42-year-old said: “I have just completed my first consultancy assignment and reached all my objectives from it.
The main being to reduce supply chain costs by 15% and that’s expected to boost their profits also.
“I think the highs have been high and the lows have been low. One of the highs has been completing my first consultancy project. I have met a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise.
“The lows have been different, because I have been an employee for the last 16 years. You get used to that pay check
coming into the house and you take it for granted.
“It’s the unpredictability and there’s not as much security financially. Being the main breadwinner of the family, and especially with a young family, that’s a lot of pressure.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in the next two to three months because you don’t have the consistency of the job. It’s quite scary.
“You need to be a lot more organised with your time. You have got to be a lot more structured. You learn to do things you might not previously have done otherwise.
“You can often find yourself thinking, is this all really worth it? It’s hard when you strike out on your own, but on the other side, I don’t want to wake up and have to be checking vacancies all the time. I want to be able to have flexibility. I’m doing work in a way I wasn’t before.”
He said the best advice he was given when he went through his redundancy process was by a friend who told him it would “push him into his purpose”.
His advice for others is to have the courage to learn new skills and understand how adaptable the ones they already have are to a different industry.
Mr McIntyre said 2017 is looking a lot better than the year gone by and he believes the “corner has turned” with jobs opening up in the supply chain.
His job flexibility has also meant he has more quality time with his daughter and earlier this month he was able to go to her nativity play.
He added: “When I went to see my daughters play, I bumped into a woman I used to work with and she was also made redundant and she’s now set up a new business.
“I haven’t seen her looking so happy before. This might have been something she wanted to do for a long time, but wasn’t able too.
“One of the great things this year has been I have seen more of my family, especially my five-year-old daughter. I
have been picking her up from school and working flexibly at night, so I can spend more time with her during the day.
“Working for yourself means being that bit more disciplined. Instead of working long days in an office you can control your own working hours. You have to be adaptable and look at the positives.
“You have to go to mixers and meet new people. I really don’t think sitting at home and waiting for job vacancies is going to work.
“I would say to people, who are facing or who have recently been made redundant, they have a lot more transferable skills than they realise.”
This series is in association with Elevator – Scotland’s social enterprise dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship, enterprise and employability – works across Grampian and Tayside to help facilitate the start-up and growth of new and existing businesses.
Delivering Business Gateway, Elevator currently engages with 2,500 start-up businesses and assists around 1,000 organisations to grow annually with advice and support. It aims to help an additional 200 start-ups a year through initiatives such as its hugely successful Accelerator Programme, which aims to fast-track businesses to the next level. Find out more here.
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