Each morning I wake up at the usual time and go through the motions of getting ready for work. However, although I pretend to walk to the station, I actually go and sit in the park for an hour, wait for my girlfriend to go to work and then return home and watch TV for the rest of the day. I'm now starting to panic as the redundancy money I was given is half gone and my girlfriend is going to go mad when she finds out what I've been doing and that I no longer have a job. What can I do?
A: Unfortunately, your letter struck a chord with me, as recently, I have been pretending to my wife that I have been made redundant. She thinks that I have been going off to the library every morning to write a best-selling novel. I haven't had the courage to tell her that I'm actually still working.
When she finds out that I have in fact been going off to work each day to Canary Wharf, she is going to go spare.
If your girlfriend is like my wife, we will both eventually be found out, as our partners tend to have a sixth sense, rather like Darth Vader.
Well, he always knew what Luke Skywalker was getting for his birthday. However, that's because he'd felt his presence.
My advice to you is to confess all to your girlfriend. Well, not all - tell her it's only just happened.
Don't tell her that you have been sitting at home for the past couple of months. I would recommend having this chat over dinner in her favourite restaurant.
Unless you have something else that you really want to do outside media, I would recommend signing on straight away with a few recruitment agencies. Although the market is tough at the moment, there are still some companies that are recruiting. It's also worth contacting NABS and getting its advice and help.
I would also suggest contacting your bank manager as soon as possible to explain the situation to him.
Bank managers are usually a lot more helpful if they know in advance that you are facing a few difficult months, and are more likely to offer positive help.
The most important thing is to make sure you are using this "non-work" time wisely. Try to be positive, and perhaps use the time to re-evaluate your life. Is there something else that you would eventually like to do, and can you use this time to train for that?
Is there voluntary work that you might want to consider? After all, this will sound much better on your CV than saying that you spent the time watching afternoon TV.
At the end of the day, redundancy is not about you personally and you should never take it as such.
Be positive and use the time wisely, and, in future, don't keep things from your partner.
Now, back to chapter one, page one.
David Emin is director of advertising at Mirror Group Newspapers. If you have a career dilemma you would like David to address, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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