Monday, June 22, 2009

From the Desk of: Funemployed

I was recently contacted by a German journalist living in Chicago who is working on an article for a German newspaper about funemployment. She sent me a series of questions that made me put into words many of the things I've wanted to say and clarify in terms of what "funemployment" is to me.

I've used versions of some of my answers here and I hope this can shed some light on what I'm doing and the things that I am hoping to achieve here.

Warning: This is a long one :)

On the term "funemployment
I greatly believe in language having a strong effect on your mood and perception of the world. By calling what I am doing now "funemployment" it really takes the fear and negativity out of something that I've decided is going to be a period of change and discovery for me, not the most depressing moment in my life.

On the definition of "funemployment"
To me, funemployment is about taking the reigns. It's about me focusing on the fact that what I was doing before is not what I want to do forever and making the conscious decision to make a change.
The fact that now is the worst time in my lifetime to be looking for a job makes that change very VERY difficult. In the meantime, I've decided to be funemployed. I'm taking temporary jobs that make me happy and help me to piece together an income. I'm not making nearly as much as I was before, but I am doing things that, at the end of the day, I'd do for far less compensation. I'm paying more attention to where I want to lead my life instead of simply allowing my life to lead me.

I'm very lucky that I don't have a husband, or kids, or even pets. I'm only responsible to myself, which makes it easier for me to be funemployed than someone with those things.

On the importance of finding a job

I send out an average of 20 resumes a week for jobs that are in the field I want to go into, a field I have not worked in for over 3 years. The problem with that is that employers have their "pick of the litter" right now. They can afford to hold out for someone who is way over qualified for the jobs that I, in the past, would have been perfectly suited for.

On the creation of Funemployment Blog

I was looking for something to do with my time that would allow me to be creative. I've always enjoyed writing and enjoyed the creative writing I had done at my previous job. After a few weeks of writing nothing but cover letters I started to feel the creative part of my brain turn to mush, so I jokingly said to some high school friends that I was going to "start a self indulgent, time wasting blog called Funemployment" and they actually thought it was a really good idea. (Thanks again, Mik, Calen and Lonnie!)

On my "readers"

I get a lot of really positive feedback. A lot of people are in a similar position to me, and my favorite readers are the ones who say things like "I was laid of a month ago and I've done nothing but apply for jobs since then. I found your blog and at least now I have something relatable and fun to read when I'm taking breaks between job sites." I also have an amazing family who are my biggest cheerleaders. They post comments "annonymously" from time to time- they're wonderful.


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