Earlier this fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a department assistant with the Off-Broadway theater company at which I interned earlier in the year. It was a wonderful moment for my career and the development of my professional goals – I was in workplace-wonderland.
Fast-forward a few weeks, and I was no longer employed – the remnants of a lay-off. In other words, I was fUNemployed. I frame it this way because any other name sounds sad and hopeless.
You learn a lot about yourself when you have all the free time in the world.*
Here are the 5 things that happen when you become fUNemployed.
1. You learn that it’s ok to take care of yourself – and occasionally sleep until 10… even on a weekday.
Taking the time to recharge and center your focus is essential during this transitional time of your life. It can be stressful when you’re out of work, so scheduling time just for you is the best way to remember that you deserve the absolute best – in every aspect of your life.
2. You become a Professional Job Browser – and learn when some job descriptions are too boring to constitute an actual career.
Not having a job means you have all the time in the world to search for jobs. You learn what a good job description entails (a little originality) and what a bad one looks like (just a jumble of generic phrases).
3. You finally catch-up on your favorite shows – and remember why you stopped watching some.
So you spend some of your new free time binge-watching TV – we all do. It’s a great time to rediscover some old favorites (and remember why you stopped watching some shows to begin with).
4. You are reminded of the importance of budgeting – and realize that going to Starbucks once a day isn’t financially (and nutritionally, depending on the drink) healthy.
Since you don’t have a steady flow of income (or any at all), using your money sparingly becomes important and you learn to prioritize what to spend your cash on. Obviously, essentials come first. But when you do have some extra cash, you learn whether you’d rather spend more on eating out, shopping, or entertainment.
5. You learn it’s ok to not constantly be busy – and feel good when you have free time.
Not having a full schedule can be a good and freeing thing – especially for naturally busy individuals. You learn how to appreciate when you do have a free moment and how you best enjoy spending that time.
* * * * *
Are you in this position at all? How are you spending your time?
*It turns out I do not have all the free time in the world – I’m still a full-time student. Duh, Jenny, duh.