Considering I have now technically been unemployed for about six weeks [I had to look at a calendar, as I’ve lost track of time…], I figured I’d be writing up a storm. The reality? I’ve been far busier than I imagined–and perhaps busier than my previously employed life.
What have I been up to?
Travel: The day after I quit, I went with friends to Vail to train and then departed on a perfectly-timed, previously planned 4th of July trip to Sea Island. Shortly thereafter, I returned to Atlanta to declutter my condo [and my life] to prepare the unit to rent and successfully procured tenants [and income–score!!]. A few days later, I took a trip to NY to visit the not-so-crazy Aunt Maureen, my cousin Emma–a triathlon newbie who crushed her first race that weekend–and visit Lake Placid to spend time with my Coach and his family, train, and keep some networking flames burning. Of the past six weeks, I’ve spent less than three actually in Boulder. And I go back to Atlanta in a few days to help clean out our family house and two days later take off to participate in an Ironman in Mont Tremblant, Canada. Thereafter maybe I’ll settle into a routine?
“Homelessness”: I’ve been technically homeless during this stint since part of my prior gig’s compensation was a roof over my head. When I left the job, I couldn’t–in good conscience–continue to live there without working for the company. I moved into a friend’s spare bedroom and, a few days ago, again moved my pared-down belongings to stay with family. Meanwhile, I scoured the ridiculous housing market in Boulder for a roof, and successfully found one within the budget of my cousin and I, so on Friday, I’ll move yet again. All the shuffling certainly sucks up time…
Job hunting: Right. There’s that. Seeing as I’m a jack-of-all trades, unconventional in my skills and background, and quite adaptable, I’ve been admittedly unfocused and inefficient in my efforts. I’ve simultaneously pursued part-time Nurse Practitioner gigs to get me by while I continue to search for something that encompasses the entirety of my personality, skills and background. So I’ve sought out positions in fitness-related companies, mostly marketing-type roles, as well as gigs in pharmaceutical/device sales and clinical education. I’ve also pursued my own gigs including potentially starting a healthcare and/or coaching consulting business, a skincare line targeting female athletes, and continuously brainstorm other ideas. So I spend much time during the day emailing my resume(s)/CV(s) [I’ve got multiple versions considering the breadth of my hunt], networking, going on interviews, and applying to hundreds of jobs online [mostly to make myself feel productive given that this method hardly ever proves successful].
Self-reflection: On the surface, I’ve done a lot of reflection to focus my goals so as to better concentrate my energy, having learned and internalized the 80/20 rule that seemingly ubiquitously appears in business, personal and other literature. I took the “Strong interest inventory”, a test similar to the Myers Brigg [and often used together]. I talk to anyone that will listen–or rather, listen to anyone that will talk. And I’ve been reading again! Not only professional books like The Four-Hour Workweek, Rites of Passage, and a Beginner’s guide to WordPress, but also Five Years in Heaven, gifted to me by Aunt Moe. I’ve also greatly enjoyed actually keeping up with world events [of which there have been many!]! This journey to professional self-discovery [my so-called Existential Opportunity] has proved invaluably revealing personally, as well.
Other things! I’ve taken advantage of the luxury of time to try and engage in activities I felt too busy for in the past. I talk on the phone with my father almost daily–often for hours at a time–as I’ve [gladly] become his de facto relationship counselor, chatting with Aunt Moe, creating a website for my triathlon coach, catching up with friends. I’m also beta testing a pretty cool training technology, which proved more time consuming [albeit fun] than anticipated.
Training…? Oddly enough, even living in a town super-conducive to training, filled with individuals who are constantly swimming, biking and/or running [and/or hiking, fishing, rafting, all the things…], the training for that Ironman I’m supposedly doing in three weeks has been, perhaps, my all-time least disciplined! Partly due to the lack of time, given all of the above. Partly because my priorities have shifted. Maslow’s Hierarchy has a funny way of changing your focus.
Any who, I think I wrote this post mainly out of kindness to myself. To remind myself that six weeks isn’t truly that much time, especially when it has been filled with enriching activities. And while I often feel like I haven’t accomplished much, I’ve actually done quite a bit! So take a deep breath and have confidence that the nebulous road ahead will, indeed, lead to a beautiful destination, but the journey itself will prove to be far more beautiful–if you look up to enjoy it every now and again.