When I became unemployed in November 2009 I felt relief more than anything. I had been working on a manual revision for an important system, but the revision became political, then became personal. I was told I was part of a group being laid-off: I packed my desk, chatted with an HR person from my company, then was escorted to the door by my manager, who was very upset that I was going. But I was happy to go. I had unemployment for two years. I had savings. I had rental income from a roommate.
I thought that I could wait out whatever the economy was doling out. I was wrong. The model I had used in the past, using recruiters and staffing agencies to find gigs, was no longer valid. I found out that the forces that had moved me out of my job also rearranged the entire landscape of of recruiters and staffing agencies. Networking proved to futile. Finding another roommate didn’t pan out. Painfully, I discovered that some of my friends didn’t want to hear about my situation.
Upon reflection I have realized that unemployment is a journey of personal growth. I’m employed in doing many other things, some with direct importance to my work, and some not so much. I have found good people who are happy to listen to me. My “work” is not about my employment situation. It’s about my life and how I life it.