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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For the first time since I was a teen-ager...

For the first time since I was a teen-ager....I am not gainfully employed.

It's been nearly a year since I was "Mildly excited at the prospect of unemployment".
The gent who purchased our system earlier this year and invited a few of us to come along to run the system decided about a week ago that he was not going to pursue this particular endeavor any further.

Our work ethic, knowledge base and potential did not inspire the closure of our branch of the company. Because honestly - we have a very good reputation in the industry and have done (and continued to do) stellar work; accomplishing much in short time spans that could not be matched by our competitors. {Disclaimer - the post represents only my opinion. However, I am not prone to self-aggrandizement so if I offer this level of compliment, I'm pretty serious and I'm still understating reality.}.
I'm not at liberty to discuss the comments made during our final meeting or the many internal employee discussions, suppositions, theories or mostly good-humored grousing that followed. But I have to say, our final meeting and official notice of layoff had some profound Sitcom properties (would probably work on "The Office").
There's nothing for it but to laugh and move on.

This has been an eventful year. I have to acknowledge {with sincere and profound thanks} that my "interesting" employment situation between the two companies in the last year enabled me to spend the time needed at the hospitals and participate in my Little Brother's recovery from the Diabetes crash in February.
This kind of happenstance does lend credence to the premise that "things happen for a reason". 
Additionally, because of the employment ending with the last company and the "in transition" limbo at the new company, I was not torn between working the usual extra nights/weekends and being available to my Little brother. Because we were waiting on the new company and I wasn't doing daily trouble-shooting, I was able to clear out a huge chunk of my research/document to-do list and then, when I was drafted back into QA, I had time to refresh my memory and "flex" my brain on testing programs. (Which I hadn't done in over a decade {I have to say, it's A LOT more fun to test programs when the deadlines don't have to be enforced because you're "in transition"}).

So, what to do now.
The resume is mostly updated - and tends to be industry specific. I suspect it will not make sense to folks outside the industry so I'll need to figure out how to do a 2nd, skills-oriented version for the rest of the business world. (Do I even need a resume if I just want to go work at a big-box store?)
I also need to figure out the Unemployment rules, benefits, support options and how to use them.

Mostly, I need to decide what I'd like to do and when. I'm seriously considering getting out of the industry that has harbored me for so long - and inspired me to donate so much extra time out of my life.

I would also like to have some down-time. I'd like to work on the house and the many neglected and half-started projects laying about. I'd like to catch up on sleep. {What a concept.}.

But I have to confess, going back to school for a bit is also on my mind. Finish the programming degree? There are lots of new languages to learn. Maybe focus on Fiber Arts and finish pursuing my Master Knitter certification. Very tempting.

We shall see. It's only been a few days.
Although, I have to wonder how long a recovering Work-a-holic can stand to be unemployed.

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