5 Things I Wish I Did When I Was Between Jobs

It’s probably one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to someone. Getting dragged into a room with a couple of superiors/managers/partners/etc. , and getting the “talk”. These talks all have different avenues and buzzwords but it always comes down to “I’m sorry but it’s just not working out, we’re going to need you to pack up your crap and vacate the building immediately”. After this you have to do a walk of shame of sorts and pack up your things as you scuttle out the building being sort of “chased” by that pudgy security guard who hasn’t had anything to do for the past 5 weeks.

Either way you’re now unemployed, and the feeling, while initially embarrassing, becomes incredibly liberating after a while. You start to think of all the possibilities of all the free time you have just inherited. You start having fever dreams of becoming the next Elon Musk, driving in a Ferrari, doing donuts at your old place of employment. However as is often the case, with nothing to do and no solid plan, we become kind of lazy and we start to become sloth like, because we don’t have to get up in the morning and make small talk with our co workers, or type up reports. However at least in my experience that unbridled optimism turned into wasted time. Mostly I spammed applied to jobs 8 hours a day and played video games or something with the rest of the time. After about 2 months of searching I did end up finding a great new opportunity , getting paid more than I was at my old job. And this opportunity has a great ceiling for learning, which is great but I wished I would of done a few things differently with my time off.

Getting out in nature: During my unemployment period I basically never did this. Essentially, I just got lazy and decided to stay inside all day, which was a shame. I had plenty of time to go into the woods and get lost for a bit. Maybe see some cool animals, but more importantly just getting out in nature like people used to do in the good old days, you know, before the internet.

Lifting more: I tried to do this when I first starting being unemployed and looking for jobs, but my motivation faded real quick. But looking back this would have been the perfect time to get in shape. I probably could have worked out like 6 or 7 times a week, very easily (although some would say this is excessive). However I do go to the gym now but not as much as I probably should.

Enjoying my time off: I thought I had fun not having a job but in reality it was boring and kind of stressful. I was either trying to find a job, or trying to forget about the fact I needed a job. I basically was just stressing myself out for really no reason. I should of been taking stock about what was good in my life and reflecting on why that position wasn’t the right fit for me. Maybe figure out exactly what I wanted out of my career.

Waiting a while to start my job search: I’m lucky that I found a great job that I enjoy and can actually grow in. But I wished I would of waited to start my job search later than I did, maybe taking a couple of months before really looking for a new job. Now any H.R./Recruiter person would tell you that this is a bad idea but a couple of months gap shouldn’t be that big of a deal and won’t hurt you too bad, especially after you eventually get that dream job and no one really cares that you had a 2 – 4 month gap five years ago.

Starting a side hustle: If anything my firing experience taught me that in reality anyone is expendable and that I needed another income stream. Having money was my number one concern during the time I was unemployed and worrying about money seemed to be one of my favorite unemployed activities. Perhaps I could of gotten into drop shipping, start a blog, or maybe making that gaming channel that somehow goes viral.

In any case nothing is stopping me from doing any of these things and I sure am trying to do as much as I can. If you find yourself getting the “talk” from a manager, telling you to “pack your crap up and go”. Don’t panic, instead try and look at it as an opportunity to completely change your mindset or perhaps change your career to something you actually enjoy doing.


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