My Unemployed Life Update: Without A Job, Who Am I?

unemployed lifeRiding home after an evening bike ride, my friends and I were discussing their business, a local fruit and vegetable market that requires long hard days and nights to run.

"Do you realize I've been there over 30 years?" my friend mused.

"Why don't you think about retiring?" his wife jokingly replied.

After thinking for just a moment, he responded with confusion on his face, "But then who would I be?"

His comment struck a chord with me. After losing my job in a surprise downsizing, I've spent the last year discovering the answer to that very question. Like many others, my job defined who I was. Yes, I had a title and an office, but most days I came home too spent to enjoy life. Life is about choices. Although I didn't choose to lose my job, I could certainly decide how to respond to this unexpected "gift."

I'm a planner. Lists and goals, plans and timelines -- all screaming Type A -- filled my calendar and organizer. I could tell you exactly what I wanted to accomplish in the next five years and, if pushed, probably even 10. All that goes away in a blink of the eye if you've lost your income. I'm a Christian and believe God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. The problem was that with all my goals and to do lists, God had nowhere to insert himself.

Sitting at home that first day on the couch, He and I suddenly had all the time in the world. God revealed that he knows exactly who I am with or without a job. His plans were still in place and he finally had my attention (and time). Status, title, money only mean we can delude ourselves into thinking we can take care of ourselves. Without a job, I realized that I needed to trust God to take care of me and that He is enough. For several months I could find no work and my husband and I had to learn to live on a limited income. But I discovered we not only could make it but that I was also enjoying life. Without the stress and pressure of my job, my health improved dramatically. I began to run, bike, write and pray for God's direction in my life!

Right now I'm working again. Finding a full-time position was difficult. I used LinkedIn and made contacts, contacts, contacts. It eventually paid off when a contact recommended me to a company he had ties to. It's a temporary consulting position with no guarantee of becoming permanent. If it does become permanent, it will be at an entry-level position making far less than at my old job. Less income means making a few changes to how we live, but I've realized I wouldn't go back to my old job even if they doubled the income. When you're in that world, it's easy to get caught up in the ambition and desire for more, more, more. However, sometimes you get the chance to step back and start to live. If you ask me now what I'll be doing in five years, I don't have an answer. In fact I'm not sure what I'll be doing next month. What I do know is that what God has to offer for my future is much better than any of my five-year plans.

Next: My Unemployed Life: I Didn't Feel Angry, I Just Felt Lost

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I found out that you aren't only what you do. There's a certain freedom in not having to wake up to an alarm clock every day. I could indulge in my passions, get back into decent physical shape, learn to say NO! You find out who your true friends are, and who are just acquaintances. I used to think of myself solely in terms of what I did, when asked who I was would proudly announce that I was a professional. It's all BS. The THINGS that I thought were necessary weren't, and that I could make do with smaller and without.

September 22 2015 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1 year out of work .. oh boo hoo........
I've been out 5 years and can't find a damn job, but MY situation involves a medical issue that severely limits
the surrounding area of which I can search. 4, four interviews is all I've got in 5 years. Four !
I have 300 to 400 Aps and resumes out. I feel like I'm wasting my time. I even had a marketing company helping me and THEY quit because THEY couldn't find anything for me either. Some company's sites stop letting people apply online after 5 times and there's no one to call. some won't even let people contact Human Resources to ask about a job applied for. MOST companies won't even call you back to say yay or nay.
1 contacted ME out of the blue and wasn't even considerate enough for an interview. ! job board sites leaves a notifications by email that prospective employers are looking at my resume.
SO WHAT ! are they calling me ? NO ! Then I don't care if their SNIFFING my resume if they arent calling me.
this whole new process of trying to find a damn job is out of control. I've NEVER had a problem finding a job over the past 40 years. 10 to 15 years ago you go to a company fill out and app you talk to the manger he hires you on the spot after he/she asks are you going to work hard and show up on time and can you be here first thing in the morning? and your hired. now they make you take some dumbass "assessment test" that mostly has NOTHING to do with the dynamic of the workplace. It's specifically designed to deliberately trip you up by asking the same questions over an over only worded differently. THANKS Barry for SCREWING our country your the WORST (so called ) president in the history of the U.S. and thanks to "political Correctness" of you don't walk like they do, think like they do and talk like they do, your unemployed. Forever. so I'm find ing out.
if it wasn't for Famliy and s.n.a.p. I would have been homeless 3 years ago and Probably dead by now.

September 22 2015 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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