[re-post] A Productive Indolent: Guide to a happy unemployed person!

As I said in me previous post that I did write a tips to be a happy Unemployed Person…  I think this is one of the best tips I’ve ever write by far because I was NOT WORKING when I’m writing it! what’s better than a notes come from the writer’s very personal experience hahaha…  it was September 2008  to be precise. I miss that moment…

A productive indolent: Guide to a happy unemployed person.

I just quit my job and back living with my parents. Both came from different reasons. I resigned because of a fundamental matter(at least that what I thought), I questioned my boss’ conduct of ethic (I’ll just spare you the details), and decided to “temporary” move back home because I want to help my parents moving to another house (this is a way to say to you I’m not broke or anything, duh!) But despite all reasons, I tell you what, there are times where I love being jobless! Nope, this is not a self justification or self pity. Being unemployed can be so much fun as long as it’s by decision, and NOT by condition. I, in my freewill choose to be jobless at the moment. Well, this is not the first time I’m jobless, I remember in the end of 2006, I decided to take a break for some extended time and do whatever I like. I didn’t plan to be “on vacation” that long, but then I truly enjoy it when I don’t have to go to the office and spent my 8 to 9 (not including time I spent at the traffic) struggling to finish some projects and no pleasing some people, so the unemployed period lasted for 3 months. I told myself that I deserve it after 6 years of nonstop working from one company to another and enslave my ass to get up and work.

At first, all my friends including myself thought that I’ll last only a month for the longest. They were betting, I’ll be bored to death, become edgy with the whole stay at home thing, and like it or not I’ll crave for a job soon. Wrong! Never a day without me enjoys and indulges in activities that I like. Months ago, due to a pregnancy and resenting her cheapo office management, my best friend quit her job too. Now she feels so uneasy and jaded. She then asked what I did for 3 months and how can I stand it without a job. And not just my best friend, several friends of mine asked me the same question over and over again, with doubtful tone. So, I’ll share some of practical tips & tricks how to enjoy your unemployed days without those guilty feelings of being unproductive. O please, you’re not a cow or horse, lay back and relax sometimes, no one will sue you for that.

1. Guess I must emphasize this again that you need to be sure that you’re not working, because you choose so! Not because there is no available position for you out there. You know what I mean, days of looking for a job, browsing newspapers, open JobsDB, sending CVs, interviews, that’s not what I’m talking about here. O yes, we might do that while we’re unemployed, but not with urgency. Don’t perplex yourself.

2. You need to come with good reason(s) to not working. O yeah, tries to find a good cause. It could be because you need time for yourself, to reformat the best next step, making life’s milestones, to relax a bit from a long high-pressured project, to plan a trip, to go see places you always wanted to go, or you need to fill in what you missed, like spending quality time with your family or trying to be pregnant (NOT if you’re single of course), or for books you never finish, or movies your plan to watch, or whatever. Just get yourself a good reason. As for me, my best reason is to watch movies as many as I could, yippie!

3. Watch out for your savings! Man, jobless or not you won’t be happy if you have financial problem. You have to know how much you need to keep you well while you’re not earning anything. Being jobless doesn’t necessarily means more money to spend, in the other hand it means you have to learn to calculate your daily cash flow carefully. The longer you want to be jobless, and then whether it’s more money in savings, or simpler lifestyle to preserve the saving. To bad, I’m a spender. That’s why 3 months is the longest I can go on without earning a penny. I never asked my parents for money, cuz for me that means irresponsible, and no point of being jobless by decision if it then you become a burden to other people. O well if I’m Paris Hilton, that’s another story.

4. Make a list of what you want to do, and make sure they are all still in your capacity and capability. O c’mon, isn’t there a lot of things you wanna do with your spare time? Remember when you’re still working and you say “Hhhh, I wish I have a time to do that”. Use your imagination. Make a list of things that you like to do, and believe me that’s more than entertaining. Don’t make the list in an hour or two; this is not a project or anything, just give it 2 or 3 days, that’ll prolong your enthusiasm of having a free time. Once again, make the list real, I mean you don’t put in the list  get around Europe in 30 days, or do lotsa extreme sport like shark diving, bungee jumping, build an orphanage, find a husband, or those crazy ideas. Hey! It’s only temporary, so the activities should also temporary (or won’t caused your future a permanent damage at least)

5. Now, you have good reason for staying unemployed, enough saving and a list, all you have to do now is put it on agenda. Be on the dole doesn’t mean you lived under achievement. It’s nice to just go with the flow sometimes, but don’t let yourself bewildered, time won’t go back you know. I put on a “mental picture” agenda the entire list I want to do (no you don’t expect me make an agenda from excel, that’s working!). I pictured myself doing stuff I like to do from buying those DVDs I want to see, how many of it and when I’m going to see it, buy tickets, or books I want to read. In 3 months being jobless I managed to saw more than 50 movies, went to Bali for 2 weeks, Bandung for 2 weeks. I put on schedule to meet old friends, do my hobbies, such as writings or just hang out in a coffee shop observing stranger. The good thing is we have a freedom to adjust the agenda with our mood or interest, since no one supervised anyway (no boss yeay!!!). Improvise; it’s not a professional schedule so you don’t have to totally stick with it. The point is you have a mental picture of somewhat small achievements of doing things you like, that’s the goal.

6. Have someone to follow up on you. Back in 2006, my first break, I have my sister who was more than diligent to check me up every once in a while, asking what’s my plan, how am I going to start working again, am I really okay with the whole jobless situation. I know, this person can be so awfully annoying, but hey, you’ll lose without someone like that. Right now, I have sister and Mom. I love them. They are like my whistle blower, that’ll alert me if I start to feel comfortable. As if I put my dream for a while in the closet and they’re the one who guard the closet for me while I’m away and remind me that I need to get back to accomplish the dream.

7. Don’t forget to fill yourself. Find a good book or good movies… learn something and change some bad characters. If you’re messy, try to consistently clean up a bit. If you’re forgetful, start practicing making notes. If you’re such a whiner, learn to be grateful by saying a small prayer every now and then. Build a good habit, and it’ll get rid of you guilty feeling of having spoil yourself in being unproductive. It’ll also help you not too self-absorb. Take this as a challenge. Keep changing.

8. Know exactly when you have to start working again. I always believe in a phrase said “find the job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. So, find something that you like to do, and make a living out of it, something that you can nurture, but afford your life style as well. I remember my priest said a job is Not a Career, it’s a Call. I believe each human blessed with a different talent, skill, interest, and working in a certain company, certain position should make the world a better place to live because of your contribution to it via your job.

9. Be grateful all the time. God is good.

So now, I hope you’ll get the happiest moment of being unemployed. Happy happy free day!

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