Long, rambling post ahead. Synopsis: I got a new job and it’s great! Keep reading for the long version.
Well I have reached the conclusion to my unemployment saga! I feel pretty fortunate that it luckily wasn’t that long or that traumatizing. Was it ideal? No, absolutely not. But it could have been worse. All in all I was only unemployed for three months. Over the summer. Yes, things definitely could have been worse.
While being unemployed wasn’t particularly traumatizing, it was, obviously, extremely stressful. I’m not sure I realized just how much of an effect it had on my well being until the last few weeks. N and I got engaged in May, and less than a month later I found out I didn’t have a job. That seriously put a damper on the excitement of being engaged and planning a wedding. I wanted nothing to do with wedding planning. It all felt like a huge waste of money. (To be honest, I STILL think it’s a huge waste of money, but now that I have a paycheck again, and the majority of our vendors are booked, I’m feeling a bit more excited.)
I was also very, very cranky over the summer. I knew I was cranky, but I couldn’t seem to snap out of it. I did, however, snap at N on a daily (hourly…minutely…) basis. Now that I’ve been back to work for a few weeks and I’m focusing more on maintaining a schedule, I’ve been feeling A LOT better. I still snap at N probably more often than I should (I’m not perfect and neither is he, hence the snapping), but I like to think I’ve gotten a bit more pleasant to be around.
The end of my job hunt was probably the worst part of being unemployed. I had applied to what felt like a million jobs, and I was either excited about them but super unqualified, or I was qualified but super unexcited. I ended up applying to a company I was really excited about because it was the industry I wanted to be in and had a nearly 100% virtual workforce. Since I’d already been working from home, the thought of going back to an office setting was less than appealing. At the same time, I also applied to the company I had previously worked at for several years, reaching out to some of my contacts there for some help.
I was interviewing with both companies, but the company I used to work for extended an offer before the work from home job did. It wasn’t by any means a great offer – it was less everything (pay, vacation, etc) that I had before I got laid off, and it was even less than what I had when I was working for that company before. The role I was offered wasn’t even doing the type of work I wanted to be doing. All the negatives about that company and my reasons for wanting to leave came rushing back, and I started to panic. I didn’t want to pass up a perfectly good opportunity, especially when it was the only job offer I had received. I pushed them off as long as I could while I waited for the work from home job to complete their interview process. I had a strong gut feeling they would be making me an offer, but I didn’t know for sure. Eventually, I couldn’t put the first offer off any longer, and I had to make a decision.
Whenever I give someone advice, 99% of the time it’s “go with your gut”. Deep down, you already know the solutions to most of the problems you’re facing. The tough part is actually admitting that to yourself. Sometimes what your gut is telling you isn’t what your brain is telling you. Sometimes your gut is suggesting you do something that might even make some aspects of your life HARDER. That’s the position I found myself in. The work from home job sounded so, so amazing – but it was an entry level position and it would mean a big pay cut. I also had no idea how a completely virtual company would work. Even when I worked from home from my last job, the company was based locally and I worked face-to-face with everyone fairly frequently. On the other hand, even though going back to my old company would mean going back to the evil I knew, and even thought it would be familiar, I knew deep down I wouldn’t truly be happy there.
It was super scary, and I worried endlessly I was making a big mistake, but I turned down the first job offer. Without having another offer to fall back on. As soon as I turned it down I felt a HUGE weight lift off my shoulders. I felt terrible about it, and I felt terrible that old colleagues had gone to bat for me for no reason, but I knew it was the right choice for me. Happily, the work from home job called two days later to offer me the job. I gladly took it, feeling optimistic and nervous.
I’m nearing the end of my third week at the new job, and while I’m freaked out about making a lot less money, I can honestly say I am very happy with my decision. Having to make cuts and do without in the short term to have the career I want and feel excited about in the long term is worth it. It’s only been three weeks, but I am already more impressed with this company than I have ever been by any place else I have ever worked. I’m excited to work my little butt off in this next chapter of my career and extremely thankful to be employed again!