Now that it’s old news that I quit my job, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the past couple weeks of Unemployment and what I’ve dubbed “Phase 1”: the guilt-free, lounging around, no job searching phase.
I actually LOVED this phase. Who wouldn’t, you’re asking? I think that for many people, unemployment can be super stressful, even in Phase 1.
Leading into unemployment, I had 3 main concerns:
1. Worrying about finances
2. Feeling like I had no purpose
3. Feeling guilty for not contributing to our family’s finances
In the weeks leading up to my last day at work, I wasn’t sure if I would love every minute of having no obligations or if I would be too preoccupied with not having an income to be able to enjoy the time off.
When I really sat down and looked at my finances, I realized that as long as I was smart with my money, I could be okay for quite a while. I knew I could live pretty frugally on a day to day basis (that’s college student 101), and I made a list of all my recurring monthly expenses to see what I could cut. I was also surprised by how much money I got from my employer following my resignation. Between the unused vacation days I was paid out for, my final paycheck, and my emergency savings account, I feel like I’m in a good place.
Having a Purpose
Anyone who’s ever lived in Los Angeles knows that on weekdays during the day, there are tons of people out walking the city. They’re wearing sundresses, sipping lattes, and don’t seem to have anywhere they need to be. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? DON’T THEY HAVE JOBS? WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE? These are the questions that I ask myself when I see these wanderers.
And when I realized that I, too, would soon be a wanderer, I wondered if I would start to lose my sense of purpose. I’m happy to report that I have yet to feel like a bum. I’ve had a lot of time to think – like really think, without the TV on or anything – and I think my concerns about purpose were really just a fear of what other people would think of my joblessness.
Well, all the people I really care about (friends, family, Andrew) have been extremely supportive and excited for me. So I know what they think. And I definitely don’t care what the other ‘wanderers’ think, so it’s pretty much a non-issue.
This one I have struggled with a little. Even though I may not be spending much money on a day to day basis, I’m still contributing to monthly and general living expenses. And that burden undoubtedly falls on Andrew. I’ve tried to minimize the amount of weekend errands and chores that need to get done by taking care of them during the week, so we can devote the entire weekend to having fun together and relaxing.
But ultimately, I owe a huge Thank You to Andrew for being the best husband/friend I could ever ask for. He is such a hard worker, and heads off to work everyday without a single complaint, even though I know there are a million things he’d rather be doing – things similar to the things I get to be doing while unemployed. I am SO grateful for his endless support, encouragement, and reassurance. He’s the best.
Next Steps? Eesh, yeah. As much as I’d like to put this off, it’s time to start transitioning into Phase 2.
Phase 2 is going to be a bit more structured. Thanks to some great advice from my good friend Dani, I’m going to start following a set schedule each day. I’ve actually fallen into somewhat of a schedule over the past two weeks, just naturally (I am very much a creature of habit). So this shouldn’t be too difficult.
I’ve really loved being able to workout in the mornings, so I’m planning to keep that up. And I think I’ll devote my afternoons to job searching. I’ve already started doing a bit of freelance writing (and I may or may not have drafted an entire children’s book on nutrition). So, we’ll see where that takes me. I’m excited to see what else is out there in the field of health and wellness. I’m not exactly itching to get back into Corporate America, but you never know.
So that’s where I’m at. PLUS, it’s Friday. Even when you’re unemployed, Friday is something to celebrate. Have a great weekend, everyone!