Posted by: Admin | February 5, 2010

T-Minus One Weekend

I start my new job on Monday.  I never imagined that I’d be so excited, anxious, overwhelmed & stressed all at the same time.  I feel like a young kid about to start my first day of school.

  • Will they like me?
  • What should I wear?
  • Will I remember how to solve math problems?
  • Should I bring lunch money or pack my lunchbox? 

It’s like I’ve been out on an extended summer break. The only difference is that I didn’t spend my time playing with my friends, swimming in the pool and playing catch in the park.  I’ve spent my time stressing about finding a job rather than enjoying the “gift” of time I was given. 

I was recently talking to a friend about the interesting dynamics of unemployment.  As an adult, there is rarely a time where you have an extended period of non-work days.  So when you find yourself unemployed, you are given the odd opportunity to control your schedule, spend time doing things you enjoy and have freedom that isn’t available to you when you are working a full time career.  The problem is of course, that you are so consumed with the realities of unemployment, that you don’t actually take time to enjoy this gift of free time. 

As I was talking to this friend we mentioned how different the time would have been if you were afforded the opportunity to know when you’d find work again. Whether you were told you’d be jobless for 6 weeks or for 18 months, I bet if you knew that it was a finite period of time, you could actually find a way to use your time differently.  Yes, you’d still job hunt, network and do all things necessary to find gainful employment.  But hey, let’s be honest you cannot job hunt every minute, of every day, for months on end.  Imagine if you could wash away all the stress that comes from the unknown (which at times is truly all consuming), and learn to find time to do things that you enjoy.. things that bring you happiness rather than anxiety? 

I imagine that I’d have had a vastly different experience over the past 7 months. 

So here I go, diving back into the world of the gainfully employed.  I’m about to give up all this “free time” to get my career back on track.   Having had the experience of unemployment I can definitely say that I’ve also been able to gain a new perspective on being employed.  I’ve had some time to think about what’s important in my life, how much of a role my job should play (remember I was challenged when I first lost my job to convince myself that “I am not my job”) and to find other ways to define myself.  It’s been an incredible journey.  And, I think I’m almost ready to take the next step (and even if I’m not ready… Monday will be here before I know it!)

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Responses

  1. You’ll be just fine. I think of those things, too, when I have started a new job. It is like the first day of school.

    Congrats to you for finding a job too, Lauren.

    May your good luck rub off on the rest of us still waiting our turns.

  2. Congratulations! I start my new job Tuesday. I had two job offers three days after my unemployment ran out.

    I’m nervous, too. I’m sure we’ll both do fine.

    It’s probably going to be a bit of a culture shock after all the free time. My train of thought ran off the track, as soon as I lost my job. It’s time for self restraint.

    You’re right. It was stressful. It was also depressing to read the employment ads day-after-day and send out countless resumes and cover letters that in many cases, just gathered dust in the file.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

    Lauren


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