The Unemployment Chronicles

It’s been a week since I quit my job. I’m still fielding daily questions from former bosses/colleagues who are trying to pick up the pieces after my abrupt departure, but honestly, I’m feeling pretty good about that. It’s nice to know that after 18 years there, it’s going to take longer than a week for someone to get a handle on what crosses my desk.

I was flying pretty high for the first few days after I quit. I mean, I was in shock, but I was also excited. So excited. I kept thinking that maybe this would be my chance to really do what I want with my life…

And it is, I suppose… or at least, it would be if I had any clue what I want to do with my life.

I casually mentioned opening a children’s play space to my mom and my cousin at lunch yesterday and they both looked at me like I was crazy. You’d have to deal with parents. Germs. Kids. Messes. Liability. I mean, yeah–but it could still be fun, right? No?

I could write the next Great American Novel. I like to write. Words are my friends. I have an acquaintance who quit her job to write romance novels and she’s actually starting to have some success. That particular daydream comes crashing to a halt at bedtime when Charlotte asks me to tell her a story and I get stuck after “Once upon a time…”

I like to make things, but something tells me I’m not going to make the same kind of money selling shit on Etsy that I did working a corporate marketing position.

I’m trying to focus on my strengths. What are my strengths? I mean, I am REALLY good at drinking coffee. Like, pro-level coffee drinking. Maybe even Olympic-level.

I’m also fantastic at procrastinating. Is there something that needs doing? I will find five hundred other things to do in the meantime. I am exceptionally great at that.

I’m great at making unrealistic to do lists. For example:

  1. Grocery store
  2. Dog food
  3. Car wash
  4. World peace
  5. Cure cancer
  6. Charlotte’s laundry

My mother thinks I should go into Human Resources. I think I would rather spend 40 hours a week cleaning up dog poop.

Catch wants me to go into teaching so that we can spend summers together. I actually think I’d enjoy teaching, but I don’t have enough time to get my education & experience to that level before I need to find full time employment again.

I can list a hundred things I don’t want when I go back to work, but I am really struggling to balance want with need. I want creativity, flexibility and teamwork. I need a solid paycheck and good benefits so that we can still afford our mortgage and preschool.

I’m going to attempt various self-inflicted challenges throughout this period of unemployment. First up is my writing challenge. I’m going to write for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. Maybe it’ll be a blog post and maybe it won’t, but I need to figure out what comes next, and while actual therapy is not in the budget right now, writing is free and almost as effective.




7 thoughts on “The Unemployment Chronicles

  1. Good luck, and I look forward to maybe reading more stuff from you, you’re one of my faves 🙂
    Don’t be afraid to do some job hopping if the time comes where you need a paycheck but the perfect thing hasn’t come along, I did when I first moved to Indiana and had a hard time getting a job I wanted. Or you could work what would previously been a side gig, just to have something to do. I’ve done wedding bartender, under the table home health care, babysitting, coffee shop barista, beer bottler at a small brewery, and tutoring over the years. Each one was fun and made a little cash.

  2. Sounds like seeing a careers counselor might be helpful! But I am biased because my mother is one. Also don’t know it it’s a thing where you live. Hope you enjoy this time off and find inspiration for your future career.

  3. So in SC, there’s an alternative program to getting your teacher’s license that allows you to work while taking the required classes. A lot of states have similar options… so maybe something to look into?

    You’ve got this!

  4. I think the same about writing a novel – I read another writer’s successful novel, and I think, “Man, I could really do this well…I see all of their techniques and strategies. I like writing, I’m good at it…” and then I try to think of what I would write and hear crickets chirping.

    If you’re thinking children’s play place, you could always get a job at one to see the inner workings and learn the do’s and don’t’s.

    In the back of my mind I think about being a newspaper delivery person (so I could work in the wee hours when I tend to always be awake anyway) and then either being a dog-walker or parenting/watching another kid or two during the days. Sounds exhausting, but would allow for a lot of freedom!

  5. I love the spirit of your blog post, so good-humoured despite the circumstances! Maybe you could try comedy to get some extra cash? I like the fact that your to-do list starts off with routine stuff and then moves further and further away from reality, until you come back to earth with a jolt at “laundry”. That really made me laugh!

    If you need any advice I’ve had my fair share of unemployment, and I got a first on a careers development module at uni. What job did you leave?

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