The thing I have most enjoyed about unemployment (apart from extra sleep) is having a bit of extra time just to talk to friends and to make new friends and contacts. Conversations take a different course when you tell people you are career changing and there is a genuine outpouring of enthusiasm for your project which spurs you forward.
When I was stuck in the hamster wheel any conversation that touched on work would end abruptly after the question ‘And what do you do?’. My answer would be ‘I’m a Banker’….tumbleweed. I don’t think this was a media-driven hatred towards Bankers (although sometimes that was certainly the case), but in conversational terms it is a dead end. Now I say ‘I’m not working as I am in the middle of a career change’. ‘Ooooh, what do you want to do?’ people say, excited for you. After 15 minutes you have opened your heart and got to know this new person on a different level. Continue Reading →
Although I had a few months to prepare for being made redundant I somehow didn’t seem to manage to clear my ‘To Do’ list in order for me to sit back and take it easy for a few weeks. Today the rain is throwing itself down and even though I had the day mapped out, I managed to walk into the leg of a chair at 8am and break my middle toe. The day I had set aside for running around to organise my son’s 5th birthday party is abandoned and I am at home with a loudly throbbing foot.
Never mind, I have lots to do in my search for Happy Work, so I can do some research, work on my ‘network’, draft a CV etc.
So, here I am, ‘technically unemployed’, happy about it and clueless about what comes next.
I say ‘technically unemployed’ as I am in the very enviable position of having 3 months ‘Gardening Leave’ where I am paid, but not required to attend work. Thankfully, neither am I obliged to do actual Gardening. It is late October, the grass needs cutting and there are leaves all over the place. I feel able to ignore the garden as none of my plants were uprooted in the ‘Great Storm of St Jude’, which in South West London was more of a huge gust of wind at about 7am on Monday morning, rather than a storm.
I was very grateful to stay in bed and just lie there listening to it all. Just a few weeks ago I would have been battling to leave the house by 6.30am and drive through the storm, just to sit at my desk at 7am and pretty much do nothing all day. The environment was one where it was seen as a weakness if you cannot get to work for any reason, illness, trees on the line, tube strikes, hurricanes, you name it, no excuse was acceptable because ultimately we were all trying to prove that we were more focussed and dedicated than the next man or woman (but usually man).