It’s June 19. I’m about 3 weeks into this weird phase of my life of unemployment. It’s simply strange. The days have begun to blend together. I hit a lull around week 2 where it looked like all opportunities were drying up, and now it looks like I’m a finalist for two very solid jobs that will advance my learning and probably pay me more than I was making previously. Strange. I’ve also been contacted by a ton of headhunters, none of whom even know I’m on the market. Strange. But, the strangest thing is how relaxed I feel. I have confidence this will work out…eventually. I think that confidence has allowed me to really pause and take a breath. It’s been great to feel so much less time pressure on the weekends to cram in all the to do lists with a little bit of fun because I can act on the to do list during the week. That means more time for hiking, fishing, and Catan!
I’ve also gathered some lessons too. Wanna hear them? I hope so. Here goes:
- Read your termination agreement twice, at least. – I found errors in my agreement that would have essentially put me in violation of the agreement the moment I signed it. I pointed out the errors, and then read the next draft only to find that they had failed to correct some of them. So, I go another draft. All of this took time and effort on my part and has delayed my severance. (Note: some people suggest having an attorney read your agreement – I didn’t bother because it was all standard fare)
- Severance can get delayed (see point 1) – I should get my severance (in a lump sum) by the end of this month. That’s no big deal to me that it got delayed two weeks, but it is definitely important to make sure you have enough float in your primary accounts to cover this shortfall.
- Don’t burn bridges. – On the way out I was incredibly professional, even more that usual, and I tried to be overly accommodating. At times this was not easy to stomach, but the week after my final day someone from my company called to see if I was interested in a contractor position that would embed me with a local client. This is one of my top two choices, and there is no way it would have happened if I had acted poorly during the exit process.
- Network. – I think I’ve mentioned it in every post in this series. My network has been the lifeblood of my job search. I don’t know how you feel about LinkedIn, but if you aren’t building a network there, you probably should be.
- Keep living and celebrate small victories. – I continue to spend – frugally and within reason. I had a good interview yesterday, and took myself to lunch and watched some World Cup to wind down. It was a $20 lunch, but it felt great to celebrate a little, and I saved the other half for today’s lunch 🙂 This morning I went clothes shopping with DW for work clothes for her. While there I found a lovely pair of Marc Anthony dress slacks that I will likely need in any new position I take so I invested in my wardrobe. And yes, yes they were marked down to $12 from $120 so that made the cost easier to swallow.
- Exercise. – Getting out of the house and either doing yardwork or running or even walking is essential. We know that exercise can help people keep their spirits up, and it is critical to walk away from your computer at some intervals during the day. Otherwise, you will languish there searching for the needle in the haystack.
So, if you’re out there and your unemployed, do your best to keep moving and keep your head held high. It will all work out…eventually.