Unemployment is NOT a vacation

All throughout the summer, I have been hearing a lot of people say, “well, being unemployed is like having a little vacation.” Actually no. It’s a vacation? It would be a vacation where you make only a fraction of what you did when you are working! You have to do resumes and cover letters every week. You have to constantly network. Unemployment is NOT a vacation. It’s like a job you work really, really hard at, with very little result. It’s sleepless nights, stress, feeling blue and wondering what your next move is. It’s wondering if you should reinvent yourself or just try to get back on the same path. It’s a lot of soul-searching and working things out in your head. It’s rejection packaged with being ignored. It’s anxiety all the way.

Robert Frost said, “The best way out is always through.” So I have been pushing through. I have taken the time to smell the roses, hug my loved ones and take care of myself. It’s been a journey of hurting alternating with healing. It’s been a breath of fresh air following a door slamming in my face. But all the way through, I just kept hoping that I would see the light and find the right road for the next half of my career. What would you do if you could do it all over again? Most people say, “I would do what I REALLY wanted to do.”

So I thought for a long time and I realized what I always wanted to do was help people. I wanted to be able to do this while using the skills I have–outgoing personality, willingness to be a team player, optimism, and a good old-fashioned Midwestern work ethnic. I wanted to find my next career in a place that would nurture me and where I could feel like I put my best effort in joyfully.

So the summer is ending and here I am. I am happy to say, my unemployment journey has ended. I was offered a wonderful position at an amazing non-profit where I have been first volunteering and then working part-time. I have that joy back again. I am happy to say that in nine months, like an expectant mother, I have been waiting and watching and here I am, giving birth to a new career.

How did I get a job? The most obvious answer of all, I asked for one. And I eventually got one.

Comic Job Girl will still be writing this blog but with a new slant….Adventures in Employment…along with being a newlywed, a new stepmother and a girl just making her trail in a whole new career. I hope you will continue to read. I have more insight in looking back at my unemployment journey that I want to share. Stay tuned….

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. studentcareercoach
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 00:46:27

    Also check out Linked: Unemployed on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=3286490

    Very cool.

    Reply

  2. Jackie
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 03:24:19

    Wow. Congrats on the new job. I’m very impressed with both your writing ability and your personal insights—in short, I’d hire you if I could. You’re the kind of person I wish I could have been working with when I walked away from one—no I take that back—a total of three jobs in the past year. Embarrassing? Not really. I left each job willingly and mindfully, after deciding that either a) the glass ceiling had smacked me on the head, b) the world of retail non-profit is not what I had been led to believe and c) I mustered up enough dignity to say ‘no’ to daily verbal abuse from an incompetent supervisor. Prior to these, I had been at one job for 12 years. Twelve relatively high paying and deeply unsatisfying years that almost stole my soul. So here I am in a parallel but slightly different situation than you—unemployed. Trying to get a business off the ground in this economy, in a working-class town is no picnic. I regularly have to psych myself up to get out of bed and move forward. But I deeply agree with what you wrote about “doing what you really want to do”. I look for work daily, I go to interviews, I play the game. Most of these jobs I don’t even want, but I try to get just to generate some money for bills and gas. Subsequently, I haven’t been offered a single one. In between, I have an occasional design client, I think about writing again, take dance classes 4 times a week, and plot another vegan dinner that my wife will actually eat. Other than the broke part, it’s not so bad. Three months ago, I went to the doctor and was shocked to see how stress had driven my blood pressure up so high, they gave me two different pills while I was still in the exam room. That’s where ambition and drive and working 60 hours a week got me. And you know what? It’s not worth it. I’d like to dance, tend my gardens, teach other people how to grow things, pet my cats, and practice zazen for a while longer. It’s a good life. Like you, I’m just now learning how to live it.

    Peace.

    Reply

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