Last week, Operation Don’t End Up Homeless officially started. It hasn’t been that long but I have already learned a few interesting things.
You Lose All Sense of Time
Last Thursday, I was at home working on some insurance stuff when I started thinking about the fact that I never heard back about some of the jobs I asked about or the ones I applied for. I had a brief moment of panic before I realized my last day on the job was that previous Monday. Even though I had only been unemployed for three days it felt like weeks had passed by. That false sense of urgency lead me to my second issue
A.B.P. (Always Be Planning)
I have what I believed to be a fairly solid out of work plan that should cover me for up to two months. When I lost track of time I started to worry so I reevaluated my plan… a lot. Should relocation be more of an option than it is now? Is this the time to try and go into business for myself? Should I just focus on part time and contract jobs until I figure out exactly what I want to do? I set myself up for analysis paralysis.
Taking it Easy Doesn’t Happen Right Away
My original plan was to just relax for two or three days after I left so I could decompress. I wanted to start my official job search with a fresh mind and fully recharged batteries. It was a good idea on paper. Truth be told, I spent the days immediately after I left updating my resume, rewriting all my cover letters, creating job search across multiple sites, fixing my personal web page, updating my LinkedIn profile, and signing up for insurance (Thanks Obama).
Looking back on it, I should have done nothing but play video games and catch up on my reading (yes it is possible to enjoy both) my first few days after leaving. Instead, I automatically went into “gotta get shit done” mode so my Steam account and my newest graphic novel haven’t been touched in a week.
Old Habits Die Hard
I worked in higher education so I follow numerous blogs, groups, and Twitter accounts related to the field. You never know everything so was always looking for new info to use and share. I would usually devote an hour or two a week to this low budget form of professional development. Even though I am probably done with higher education (I’d have to move if I wanted to stay in the field) I can’t stop reading up on it.
Also I still have the urge to check my work email. It will take them a few days to delete me from the system so I find myself logging in to see if there were any messages I needed to forward to my former coworkers.
Once a workaholic always a workaholic.
You Start to Question Things
As I mentioned before I never questioned my decision to leave. That was necessary for my career to advance. I did; however, start to question my skills. If I were as good as I thought I was I wouldn’t have had to leave my job in the first place, right? It seems silly but in my mind I had valid concerns. As I was reading job descriptions I would find ways to talk myself out of applying. My favorite excuses were:
- I only have nine of the ten things they are asking for.
- I don’t have my Master’s degree.
- My design skills aren’t strong enough.
- I don’t have any recent experience.
- This company is WAY out of my league.
I’d like to say I got past it because I realized my self-worth or read a book that empowered me. The truth is that I was visited by one of Heaven’s lesser known but most powerful angels, the Angel of Debt. He reminded me that utility and mortgage companies don’t care about your self-doubts.
That right there folks, is motivation.