Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The Unemployment Journal: Day 58
Today I find myself working at El Diablo cafe in Queen Anne with my friend Lisa. I also find that my days (daze) of unemployment is coming to an end: I have a job! I am now an a- employee of Microsoft. I will be working as a Gatekeeper in College Recruiting and I'm very excited about the learning opportunities and possible doors it can open. I will also be starting school in a month and in addition I have found inspiration strike me for a book after an 11 hour long documentary watchathon. I am finding my life take some excellent turns down some exciting roads.
I am very grateful that my unemployment has been a short stint. There are many people who have been searching for months and some even years to find a job that they can not only be happy in but also support themselves in. I'm very fortunate that I didn't have to sacrifice my happiness or my salary just to find a job for the sake of finding a job.
Which brings me to today's post: What I Learned on my Government Funded Summer Vacation (Unemployment).
Lesson #1: Never become too complacent in your job.
Yes it's a job. Yes it's steady work. Yes it's a tough economy. However, when you find that the worst part of your day is waking up and realizing that you have to go to a job that makes you want to carve your arms, you've stayed there far too long. There are only certain lengths to which you should sacrifice your own happiness to stay in a job. It's like being in a bad relationship; sure you have some good days, but then somebody steps out of line and you end up with a black eye. Don't. Stay. It's better to be unemployed and living in your cousin's basement than being a miserable person in a miserable job. Oh and don't wait to get fired. Yes you get unemployment but handing over your badge and taking that walk of shame to your car will annihilate your pride.
Lesson #2: You are worth it.
In the first few weeks of my unemployment I was living without unemployment benefits and didn't really know if I would get them at all. I was contemplating calling my landlord and telling her that I won't be staying much longer. I was also contemplating taking whatever crappy low paying job that is offered me. Panic can make you do stupid things. Thankfully I received my benefits which lifted most of the panic and stopped me from taking some very poor paying jobs that take me straight to nowhere. I almost accepted a job that I knew how to before starting. That's not good if you want to grow in your career. It was the same pay as my last crappy job and I knew everything there was to know about the position because I did the same job at Regus for 7 years. When my day to start came nearer I started to fill with that same dread that I had at my last job. One shouldn't hate their job before they even start it. So I called them, said thank you so much for the opportunity, apologised for bailing but I have other offers that are more in line with my career goals. They were frustrated but understood. Now in all honesty I didn't have any other job offers but I had to have faith there would be; and there was! With more money!
Lesson #3: Don't stop moving.
On the first day of my unemployment I was filled to the brim with goals and ideas of how I would spend it. I was excited about updating my blog and writing everyday. I was going to go to the gym everyday. I was going to get out and explore my neighborhood and work out of coffee shops. I was filled with unfiltered optimism. Day #4 of my unemployment, when I thought I wasn't going to get benefits, popped that optimism balloon. Depression did not knock on my door; it kicked it in and tied me to my sofa and wouldn't let me change out of my pajamas. If any of you, my millions of readers, ever find yourself unemployed: don't let depression get the best of you. Not only do you become a sad sack of a person but it slows you down, you eat cookie dough for your three squares a day and you start to wonder where that 15 pounds mysteriously came from? Keep moving. Go for a walk. Scrape together a few bucks and see a funny movie. Spend time with friends. If your unemployed friend invites you to come work in a coffee shop, GO. Even if you don't have money. They'll forgive you. They have lots of unemployed customers. It's important to be around people or you will turn into a mole person. My friend told me it was a sunny day on Sunday. I had no idea. My shade were drawn and I never left the house except for before sunrise and after sunset to let my dog out. This is not healthy behavior.
Lesson #4: While staying up late and watching Craig Ferguson is completely awesome, sleeping in until noon is a waste of a perfectly good day.
I love Craig Ferguson. Love. Him. I even read both of his books during my unemployment. However he is on far too late and I don't go to bed until 2 am if I stay up to watch him. Then I don't get out of bed until noon. My dog hates me for this. If I sleep until noon I have lost all motivation, I don't clean and I don't change out of my pajamas because, hey, day's halfway over! Don't do this. Craig Ferguson is a treat. Do not overuse.
There's a few more things I'd learned but I'll save those for another blog. I'm going to go and start writing the next great American novel. Bet you can't wait.