Do you know what sucks? When you lose your job. The question of “what to do when you’ve been retrenched?” has been an ongoing thought over the past few weeks. For those who are just joining my blogging (firstly, hi!) – a quick recap; due to a re-structure at my workplace, I find myself at the end of next week without a job for the first time in over five years. (See, told you it was quick!) and look, I’m not going to sit here and write down that I’m fine; that would be completely contradictory of being a no-bullshit blog. I’m doing super not okay, and as previously mentioned though, that’s okay.
The issue with this sudden life change is that it’s a change, and if you suffer from anxiety, or depression, or y’know, being a human – change isn’t always a great thing to be suddenly thrown upon you. I’m a planner – I love having nice little lists and life plans and goals. (Amy Santiago has nothing on me when it comes to planners.) I had a beautiful two year plan ready to go on where I wanted to be, and this certainly wasn’t in the dot points.
It’s got me thinking though, what do you do next? I have options, and it’s one of those lucky (sort of) scenarios where, for the first time in my adult life, I do actually have somewhere to go. I know not everyone gets that in times of uncertainty, so I’m pretty grateful, but there’s still a lot of choices that isn’t particularly clear, direction wise.
So let’s look at a few options that have popped up:
- Get straight back into work
Somewhat naively I thought that this was going to be easy, but after a good 50 resumes being sent out in the last week and haven’t heard anything back as yet, this is a pretty daunting concept of not actually re-entering the workforce straight away. What happens with bills? What happens with structure? Am I not good enough to be employable? (*Que Kasey Chambers “Am I not pretty enough?”) – that uncertainty in itself is a frightening aspect. So if the job prospect is out – that leads onto:
This is certainly an area that I’d love to pursue. I feel that as much as I love writing, my content distribution has taken a hit after not doing English at school for over ten years (eep, that’s gone quick!) – but it’s a huge commitment though. Anywhere from 10 weeks, up to four years? The biggest issue I think would be to get to the end of it and go well, great, here’s this certificate/diploma/degree, and I don’t want to pursue it anymore, and you sit back in debt and skills that you don’t particularly want to utilise.
Oh man, anyone who has ever known me will know that I crave travel. I have the biggest dreams to go around Australia with my doggo in a van decked out super cutely for 12 months, and then tackle the rest of the world. My passion for photography actually came about from doing an outdoor education course over ten years ago, (and as a way to remember things that I’d normally forget), and I love to see the world in a different light.
The thing about travel though, is that it’s expensive, even if you do it on a budget, which brings a round about spot to point one and two that money and skills are slightly more useful than not. Do you then buckle up for six months and do your study and/or work (if you can find it) – and get yourself potentially more into debt?
- You can always cry?
I do love this option if I’m being honest, and mainly for the reason, well there’s two – reason one being that crying really does make you feel better and getting all that pent up emotion out can give you a bit of relief and clarity. Take it from someone who has had more breakdowns in the past three weeks than in the past year, crying is good for you.
The other point to that though is when you’re going through your uncontrollable sobbing and making (in reflection pretty funny) assumptions about what you should be doing in your life, it can actually give you that clarity. It’s a bit like when you do the coin flip trick when you’re indecisive, the actual flip of the coin isn’t helpful – but in the split second before it lands back you have a bit of notion internally of what you want to do. Maybe that’s just me who gets these great epiphany points after a good sob session.
- What about volunteering?
About a month ago, I did a post about volunteering up at the Dog’s Home of Tasmania which was seriously rewarding for just a days work. I find charity to be slightly fickle though, I’ve reached out to organisations before with offering photography services, or manual work around the place and a lot of places do seem to have quite long wait list to actually get in there to assist, which in a way is super awesome, but can be a bit of a pain point if you’re a giver and can’t, y’know, give. I’ve heard of lots of organisations that will actually match you up to a place and let you bounce around which is nice, and something that I’d still highly look into. At the end of the day – you don’t want to be sitting around doing nothing.
So here’s the thing, if you’re in a cross-road in life, the absolute worst thing you can do is sit there and do absolutely nothing with yourself. I have known many people in my life who have been out of work, and have done nothing to better themselves whilst they’re waiting for work to come along, which is truly absurd. Again, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes you need a mental health day, and sometimes it can be too much to get out of bed and be mentally able to go ‘YEP. HERE WE GO. I’M SUPER PREPARED FOR TODAY.” – but there’s also a pretty big line between a mental health day, and actually being lazy. Again, personal experience, I’ve seen the excuses come out in the hundreds – and it’s not pretty. Here’s the thing right, it does’t matter how small the thing is that you’re learning; learning something is better than learning nothing.
If you manage to watch a YouTube clip on how to make an origami swan, and can pull it off, a) you have one more talent than me, and b) have a conversation point. It might not be a particularly great skill for the workforce, but it’s something that you can do to relax and unwind, and at the end of the day go “Yeah I accomplished something today that I didn’t know how to do before.”
I personally use Udemy and LinkedIn Learning for my online courses. I watch a lot of Meg Bitton Live for my photography, and YouTube is just a never ending source of random knowledge for pretty much everything. You’ve got the old school library I’m sure somewhere near you. There really isn’t an excuse if you’re not studying, or working, to not be working on yourself.
That does lead me onto my last point, and one admittedly is the premise of the whole blog – getting out there and looking after yourself. I don’t just mean physically (but hey, no time like now to get out there and explore your town!) – but also mentally as well. Keep a journal of how things are going. Make a blog, paint a picture – do things that keep your head happy.
Side stepping back though, your physical health is a great thing to be working on. Suddenly have an extra eight hours a day? Awesome! Take the dog for a walk for an hour. Swim at your local pool. Go find a mountain. Keep an eye on your take out foods and meal prep to your heart is content. If you can’t work, and you’re able to move, then move.
I’m excited for the future, but also pretty terrified. At least I have an excuse not to blog now hey? Have you ever been in a cross road position before? What did you find useful for which path to go down? Leave a comment below ♥