I’ll admit it. I was a bit freaked out when I first thought about being laid off. But since then I’ve come to terms with my new found “unemployed” status and am actually quite happy with the whole arrangement. In fact, I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been unemployed before.

First, because it has a lot of perks I hadn’t originally realized:

  • You get to fill out lots of paperwork, some on-line, but not all. I have to admit, after months of limbo, these finite tasks with a real purpose were weirdly satisfying.  And that first unemployment check you get after not working at all is totally awesome. I can’t wait to see $615 magically appear in my checking account again next week!
  • You get to hang out with your family A LOT more than you normally do. I have found that my daughter and I are still more weekend buddies than week-long buddies, but it has been fun going to the beach whenever it’s too hot to stay home, getting our ears pierced and growing tomatoes. I’ll begin my serious job searching efforts after school starts.
  • You finally have time to finish up nagging house projects.  By the time I find a new job, this dump place is going to be a-maz-ing. And if I don’t find a job, this place will sell in a snap.
  • You finally have time to work out (can’t afford the gym membership, but I do have a dog to walk)!
  • You get to spend a lot of time catching up with old colleagues you thought you’d never have to see again. It’s really fun to hear how successful they are now. I used to feel bad contacting someone I hadn’t spoken to in years in the hopes they would pass my resume on, but now I’m totally over it. Pass my resume on bitch!
  • You get to spend as much time as possible thinking up new fangled ways to promote yourself. Like, I decided that I’m going to start a new blog (even bought my own domain: www.karenshaffer.com) about…um, I’ll let you know when that’s finalized. I’m also doing a lot more writing..for free..for other web sites, but I’m sure it will pay off by really beefing up the ol’ portfolio.
  • You get to spend a lot of time evaluating how you came to where you are today and what you want to do next. Wow, that’s deep. I’m still working on that too.

Second, because you get to experience what a lot of people all over the US are going through today and understand it.

Being unemployed does suck, but it’s also an opportunity to find yourself and spend time figuring out what really makes you happy. Which is actually really freakin’ awesome. Thank you, Great Depression–wahoo!

Now if we can all just get over the whole “socialized health care” thing…