I have a job.
This is, undeniably, incredibly good news that I’m excited to share. But it presents me with something of an existential question – what is the purpose of this, ostensibly an unemployment blog, in a post-unemployment world?
Part of why it’s been so long since I’ve been here last (aside from, you know, the new job) is that I’ve been trying to figure that out. I’ve been just as drawn to writing here as before – if I didn’t know quite what I wanted to say, well, I knew I still had something to say, at least. I know I felt busy though as I was adjusting to the new changes in my day, and I think on some level I might have felt a little guilty, too.
Join me as I talk a little about this exciting news and muse on what this blog is really all about.
Let me start by telling you about my new job. I began working there almost two months ago, starting several weeks after my last food budget blog post. This job is so much better than my last one that it’s hard to know where to start. I’m doing work that is much more interesting to me – while it’s still marketing at its core, it’s much more focused on writing quality and longer-form pieces than the work I was doing before, which gives me actual room to be creative – and I have the ability to set strategy and exert real authority over the channels my content lives in, giving me a sense of ownership I never had previously.
As you might have been able to tell from words like “authority,” and “ownership,” this job is also a professional step forward for me. Earlier this summer I bet on myself and turned down a job that would have amounted to not just a lack of advancement, but a half a step back, and I’m happy (relieved, in fact) to be able to say I was fortunate enough for it to have paid off in spades. Happily for my FI goals, despite spending eight months without a job, it won’t be all that long before I break even with the hypothetical-me who never got the pink slip from his old job (back of the envelope math suggests in the first half of next year). From there it’s onward and upward, in terms of both earned income and career prospects.
I also have an office. While there are wonderful advantages to fully-remote work as I had been doing, as I’ve mentioned here before, it gets lonely, and this only got worse while unemployed. For now I find myself very glad to make connections with my teammates that I couldn’t before. I feel more valued, better compensated, and like I’m doing more interesting work in a more impactful capacity. Really, compared to the old job, it’s a slam dunk.
It is, of course, still a job. It’s not perfect. As you may know from my About page, I’m eager to hit FI, and it was nice to pretend once in a while, while unemployed, that I was actually there. But I’m just not there yet – not by a longshot. This job unquestionably improves my immediate quality of life and brings me closer to my long-term financial goals.
So there it is. Getting laid off from my old job has turned into a factually good thing. I know more about myself and what I want to do, and am better positioned to reach my goals. All because of the pink slip. Blog. Mission. Accomplished.
Well… maybe not. Let’s return to that About page, where I state, “This blog will follow me as I explore the emotional, philosophical, and financial joys and challenges of having gotten that fateful slip.” If that’s the mission, perhaps it’s not yet done. Perhaps it’s an ongoing mission of exploration in which I’m… engaged. Sorry, couldn’t help myself there, but returning to the point – not only have I not yet posted everything I wanted to write about while I was still unemployed, but the effects of that slip are much bigger than the simple need to find a new job. I do believe that losing that job has set me on a new course, and at the least I know a lot about myself that I wouldn’t have learned had it not happened.
Losing your job is never fun, but it can be a good thing. I hope that as I continue to explore the ongoing joys and challenges of my life, that my perspective – as someone who has been laid off unexpectedly, reflected on it, and successfully moved forward – will be interesting and useful to others who are going or have gone through similar experiences. I also intend to continue posting about the financial and philosophical ideas that I think will help me to lead a life that is both fulfilling in the present and sets me on the quickest path to FI. It really may not be so different from what I was posting before.
In the end, all I know right now is that I’d really like to keep writing here. It may be that the blog has run its course, but I don’t think it has, and I think the vision for this blog’s second act will come into focus as I continue to write it. I have never wanted this to simply be a journal, and although I am fundamentally writing for myself, I’ve always hoped that it would be both interesting and helpful to others as well. Recently I got a comment on an old post despite my current posting drought (thanks Stevie Wonders), and while it’s not much I do get some regular traffic here – it is meaningful that others are discovering this content and finding it worth reading. So thanks, readers out there, and I’m glad you’re getting something out of this. I know I am.
I’m also glad to have a job. Whoopee! I’m excited to go forward from here.