As someone who cannot stand the idea of staying at home for one whole day, I was shocked to find out that I did not go crazy at all. I was also shocked that I did not binge eat since now snacks and food are easily accessible. I did find that I spent a lot of time on my phone and the internet. So I decided to either turn the airplane mode on or leave it in a different room while I “worked”.
Following the initial shock of unemployment, some things became clear to me.
- I forgot how fortunate I was (when I still had the job): having a job allowed me to be self-reliant and it introduced me to a wonderful network of coworkers. When my feelings towards my job shifted, I forgot about all these things I should be grateful for. While I don’t wish to have my old job back, I really wished that I was more grateful when I had it. Having a job also gave me a fixed schedule and I find having a set routine makes me productive and makes “play” (ie. gym, shopping, cooking, hobbies) seem more enjoyable.
- I am grateful for this “push”: I was too comfortable to take actions to switch and this push is what I needed. I was more lazy than unhappy to do something about my career so I kept putting it off. I am very grateful to be knocked back to reality. Now I have no option but to figure my way out of this.
- I also realized how lucky I am to be able to daydream about work again. When I was still working, it was difficult to see myself working in a different role/industry. But now that I am unemployed, I feel much more free to consider other possibilities. It almost feels like I just graduated from school and I have so many options to choose from. However, it is also scary and extremely confusing. I feel unqualified to go into a different field because I am practically starting over. But I know if I go back I would be very miserable.
- I am not alone: it didn’t hit me until now that so many people have gone through the same thing and I am not the only one. I received so many encouragements and advices from my friends and old coworkers. My friends offered me advices while my old coworkers told me which companies that might have opportunities available for me. I am eternally grateful for the support I received.
Besides feeling thankful (and scared) for all the things I have and had, I spent about 1-2 hours today figuring out what I want to do next. Here is what I did:
- I listed my definition of “success” in terms of career and life
- I came up with a list of people that I think are successful and I analyzed why
- I listed the things I enjoyed doing from my previous jobs and in personal life
There were more things I wanted to think about, but I ran out of time (had to head to the gym) so I decided to take a break and continue later.
I decided to come up with some sort of a schedule to keep myself sane. As I mentioned before, having a fixed schedule makes me happy and productive. I will spend 4 days a week on job hunting and take a break for the rest of the week. I’ve always thought working 4 days a week would be an idea schedule for me, and I see this as an opportunity to test things out. I don’t know if I will like it or if this is enough time spent on job hunting per week. I will find out.
I’ve also decided to use down time productively, instead of browsing on my phone like I used to. These are the things I will do, in no particular order:
- Read books I’ve always wanted to read (I have a bunch sitting on my bookshelf and in my Audible collection)
- Hobbies like arts and crafts
- Afternoon tea (this is one of my favorite things to do)
- Clean up and donate things
- Explore the neighborhood on feet
- Try workout outdoor or at home instead of at a gym
- Do some volunteer work
- Take a 15 min walk at least 3 times a week
I previously wrote about the importance of “play” (from my June favorites post) and I think I will try to schedule at least one of these things everyday.
I didn’t get much done today, but I decided for tomorrow I will find 5 companies that I might want to work for that either have products or services that I like (based on my reflection from Day 1) and see if I can find someone in those companies to talk to.
I spent most of the day on LinkedIn and Google looking for jobs that I might be interested in, based on my reflection on Day 1. The search took longer than I imagined, because I didn’t know what job titles to search for. I also got frustrated when LinkedIn told me that I am reaching some kind of search limit and that I would have to pay to view more profiles. But eventually I found some keywords I can use in my searches and people I wanted to connect with to learn about their careers.
I set up a very simple home office to work. In a spare bedroom I moved a chair and used an old table as a desk. I decided to work here in isolation and leave my phone out of sight so I don’t get distracted.