Tag Archives: funemployment

all good things must come to an end.

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Tomorrow is my first day at the new job. We all knew this day was going to come.

Guys, it has been one wild ride. K came over tonight to give me a lovely end-of-Funemployment gift (see above) and do some reflectin’ and editin’ for this post. And warning: It ain’t a short one. So, I’ll summarize my thoughts here… If you choose to read no further than this, I want you to know that the last 5 months have been some of the, if not THE absolute, best of my life.

Also know that my following thoughts don’t include the recently discovered meaning of life or specific revelations about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.

I didn’t learn these things. But I did learn that I have some really amazing friends, an incredible support system in my family, and that it pays — REALLY PAYS — to save money for years on years on years. I have 16- to 26-year-old S to thank for my good fortune these last few months. Because of her dedication to working multiple jobs in college and putting those birthday checks directly into savings (with a little help from the ‘rents), I got to enjoy myself in a relatively panic-free Funemployment.

If we can revisit that oddly warmish November day when K and I left our old jobs for just one moment… Bless my parents for taking my manic phone calls in the minutes I had to decide my fate. And of course they did their parental duty by giving me the obvious, reasonable, responsible advice: Stay. It’s better to find a job when you have a job.

I heard them. I really did. I understood what they were saying and WHY they were saying that. And let me tell you, in a lot of ways they’re right. You have a lot of ‘splaining to do with that hole on your resume.

I also knew I had to leave. However, I can sit here and write all about my gut and where it was leading me and how I always trust it etc. But it’s one thing to know what you want/should do and quite another to have the courage — the balls — to actually DO IT. I can say with confidence that I would not have left without K leaving with me. Your friends are there to support you and tell you everything is going to be okay, but sometimes they’re also there to leap right off the cliff with you, holding your hand. K, I’ll never forget, even though your time was much shorter, that this was something we started together. Friends push each other to be better, to want better for themselves, and I thank you for that support. Always.

It has been an incredible 5 months., including trips to visit friends / new cities — from Florida to New York to San Diego to Philly. Here’s my little (or not-so-little) list of what I’m taking with me from this whole experience. Let’s call it…

The Most Unofficial Guide to Funemployment: Lessons Learned while Grievin’ and Growin’

1. Cry. Like, cry a lot. If you’re like me, you may not have been totally happy with your former job, but you certainly weren’t unhappy. You’ll miss the routine, you’ll miss feeling a part of something, and holy hell you’ll miss the people. Grieve it. K and I left on a Thursday afternoon and took the weekend — 2 and a half days — to mourn the loss of jobs we poured everything we had into for 2 and a half years. It was so, so necessary. And if I had spent the weekend trying to pep myself up instead of letting myself feel loss, I don’t think I would have moved on so quickly. It truly is like a break-up. It also is a great way for your friends to show you how ridiculously amazing they are. I’ll always, always remember the people who sat with K and I as we cried in a bar that Thursday night. And the ones who on Friday came to my house with a delightfully punny care package. I mean I’m sure listening to me cry while eating string cheese on my sofa was exactly what KR had planned for her Friday. 

2. The best way is to get over it is to find something productive on which to focus your energy. Whatever your feelings about your old job, it’s just weird to not have anything to do during the day. At first SOAPNet might seem too alluring to miss out on. Don’t cave… yet. The blog was K and my little passion project — a way for us to channel our energy into something that felt productive at least for part of the day. Then we could retreat back to our homes, bake cookies, and pop bottles at 2 p.m. (André, obviously. But letsbehonest, that’s regardless of budget.)

3. Believe in yourself. Cliché, maybe, but SO important. You are going to feel like shit sometimes. I mean complete and total shit. You will have moments where you have an overwhelming feeling that you are now officially, 100% un-hirable, that your parents are disappointed in you, and that Jason Segel really is never going to be your husband. That too shall pass. You’ll realize (most of) your fears are just untrue. (This realization usually comes around the time you sober up…) I’m lucky in that I can count these really rough days on one hand — but I also still remember each one; they come fast and furious. But don’t let these down moments force you to question the process / what you’re meant to be doing. Don’t take the first job you are offered just because it’s a job. I turned down a job earlier in the process because I knew it wasn’t a good fit for me. The money would have been nice. The people were so sweet. But I also knew that I left my last job for something greater; if I just wanted a paycheck, I would have stayed.

4. At my last job, my coworkers became my friends. My friends became my coworkers. My life was my job in a lot of ways. I’ve always sort of defined my success by what I’m doing at work. Obviously you can’t rely on that when you don’t have a job. And that is hard. Really hard, sometimes. But this time has helped me find value in other things — hobbies, friends, exploring other interests. It’s allowed me to find value in myself and what I’m doing outside of the office. A nice reminder that you’re a person, not a position.

5. Have fun and a little faith. After you believe you WILL find a job again, the hardest part is the huge unknown: the WHEN. It can be paralyzing sometimes; especially when you see your savings account getting smaller and smaller. But in those moments, I tried to always imagine future me, in her new job, looking back on her Funemployed days. I won’t regret a minute of it because I used my time wisely; or at least I like to think so. I traveled, I saw friends, I kept up writing and editing, I discovered some really great coffee shops (and the people who work and hang in them). I took the time — and sometimes the money — to live it up with what we all wish we had sometimes: unlimited free time.

In the end, I just really want to say thank you to my friends and family. Again. And Again.

To all my friends who were there with me during this, y’all are some of the best a girl could ask for. Whether you were crying in a bar with me, coming to my house and offering comfort when I needed it the most, doing the same from afar, or just generally being my partners in crime, you guys have done way more than I could ever ask of you. And I hope I get to return the feelings and favors and all of the above in full one day.

To my family, I love you. Thank you for all of your support. I think having such good, strong examples in my parents helped me have the confidence in myself to take this journey. And the idea that perhaps there’d be a safety net if I truly, truly crashed and burned. (Thank God for all of us that didn’t happen.)

I’ve been saying it from the beginning, to the middle, and now the end. Truly, truly, I believe…

bestisyettocome

Upward,

S

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my last [true] night of funemployment.

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Leaving a job is a big decision, but so is taking a new one. In the end, I was lucky enough to have two choices: I could return to the oh-so-familiar scrappy startup environment or I could make a big change and take a corporate job. I accepted the corporate position… and I start tomorrow!

S came over tonight to help me celebrate and she bought the nicest gifts for my new desk. I’m now the proud owner of a magnet with an amazing daily affirmation on it, a desktop calendar with “nostalgic views” of DC (because this new job is outside of the city. WAHHHH.), and a card that made me produce a lot of tears. To make a lovely evening lovelier, the future Mr. K cooked us all breakfast for dinner. ‘Twas delightful.

I can now close the chapter on my last job and move on. Loving something so much doesn’t mean it won’t change. And you have to be aware of your own changes, too. What was so right for me at 24 became something I was beginning to outgrow at almost 27. If things had gone a little differently on the day of the layoffs, I might still be there now — but that’s not even worth thinking about and I most definitely do not regret my choice to leave. While there, I honed my skills, I met coworkers-turned-friends I will never outgrow, I came up with an idea that gave the women of DC a chance to get a little buzzed and learn to shake it without being judged, and I drank a lot of free beer. So, no regrets. And, when I’m supah old and hopefully not too wrinkly, I’ll probably call those some of the happiest years of my life.

With this new this job there are corporate meetings, pencil skirts, and commuting calamities in my future. But I also see an opportunity to prove myself in a completely different environment. Watch out, world of international business: This queen of the liberal arts and liberal politics is about to come onboard. Trust me, it won’t be boring. In fact, this new company marries two of my greatest passions: food and travel. It looks like my first big project will be relaunching a magazine. Yeah, I’ve never done that before, but they know that and they believe I can do it. The craziest part is that I think I can, too. Oh, and here’s something else that will be different — my boss will be based in Zurich. Perhaps a trip is in order?

It’s not what I ever would have pictured myself doing, but then again the picture in my mind was always somewhat blurry. And thank you to my super patient family and friends (especially you, S) for listening to me go back and forth about the right move, the direction of my career, and other adult nonsense.

Funemployment is more than just a state of joblessness, it’s also a state of mind, and I’m not quite prepared to say goodbye to this baby bloggy yet. Therefore, I will continue to post when posting feels right. I mean, it’s not like S and I will stop having adventures.

Onward (for serious),

K

PS- Looking for good podcasts, audio books, etc. for my new commute.

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classy girls don’t kiss in bars, you fool.

Ho Hey, guys. After I (along with everyone else I talked to) got shut out of the Lumineers pre-sale yesterday, my still-on-winter-break roommate and I decided to get more aggressive. This morning, we bundled up and headed over to the 930 Club box office, which purportedly would have fee-free tickets available.

We were numbers 5 and 6 in the line, and by 10:15, we each walked away with 4 coveted concert tickets. Our working friends, who were chained to their computers furiously typing super clear and straightforward human-verifying codes into Ticketmaster, were relieved at the news. Turns out making things happen IRL, off-line, really is a better way to live sometimes.

(Also, as this show is a few weeks away (barely) in January, this keeps me on my resolution to see a show a month.)

We followed up our win with a rewarding breakfast at nearby Blind Dog Cafe. If you haven’t been to this little corner shop, you’re missing out. We each grabbed our own comfy couch to enjoy our coffee and pimento cheese breakfast sandwiches made with fresh homemade croissants.

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To make this day even more productive, I had a quick phone screen …for a job I wasn’t qualified for, but the recruiter is going to pass my resume along for one I might be.

And now I’m doing a little job searching before cleaning my room — aka my least favorite chore. Seriously, if anyone wants to come do it for me, I might even be willing to part w/ a few pennies (literally pennies, sorry).

TGIF.

Upward,

S

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reunited and it feels so good.

It had been a long time. Too long. But finally, your favorite funemployed gals are reunited.

After separating for the holidays, K and I met up tonight at Local 16 for a little vino and dinner — a tradition we started the night before we got laid off. To say we didn’t at least see something coming would be a lie, so before the assumed impending lay-offs, K and I sought solace in a pizza and two bottles of Vinho Verde.

vinhoverde

 

We kept it classy (let’s be honest, cost-conscious) this time around and only grabbed one bottle as we chatted about our holidays and how nice it was to have a good chunk of time off without having to battle for vacation days. Conversation naturally turned to looking back on our crazy year and what we want out of 2013. Safe to say we’re pretty excited about what’s ahead, y’all.

Oddly enough we also had the same waitress, who remembered us from that fateful night. We laughed, we hugged (literally, she hugged us when she left), and we tipped well even though we can’t afford it. I mean all she wants on New Year’s Eve is to hang out with her family and be cozy and warm in her favorite socks. She gets us.

Cheers to a new year with all the fresh starts, new beginnings, and welcome changes it will bring!

Upward,

S

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extra, extra, read all about “shock of the news.”

When I loaded up my nerd sack (read: backpack) earlier today, I completely forgot that you aren’t allowed to bring them into the museums. Fortunately, the National Gallery of Art has a free bag check, but we were forced to carry around our laptops as they did not want to be held responsible for any valuables. Honestly, my laptop is so old that I was more concerned about my hastily assembled turkey and cheese sandwich, but that’s neither here nor there.

These former journos arrived early for the gallery talk on the “Shock of the News” exhibit, which features artists who incorporated newspapers into their work. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, pointing out things that I would never even guess. I can be quite skeptical when people make statements about a long-dead artist’s true intentions, juxtapositions, and whatnot, but it was all fascinating nonetheless. And now, some of our favorites. Since you’re unable to take photos in special exhibits, please allow me to borrow some from Google Images.

"Guitar, Sheet Music, Glass" by Pablo Picasso

“Guitar, Sheet Music, Glass” by Pablo Picasso

Picasso was at the forefront of incorporating the news into his work. “Guitar, Sheet Music, Glass” is a shining example of how he played with texture, shape, and words. Apparently, this masterpiece even has sexual connotations. Who knew?

"Stalingrad (Victory in the East)" by Hans Richter

“Stalingrad (Victory in the East)” by Hans Richter

You can’t tell, but this piece is actually an impressive 16 feet long, taking up an entire wall. The newspaper clippings Hans Richter incorporated tell the story of Stalingrad during WWII in chronological order.

"New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical" by Laurie Anderson

“New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical” by Laurie Anderson

In 1976, American artist Laurie Anderson meticulously wove the front pages of the New York Times and the China Times together. In today’s world, this could have many meanings, but her intention was a simple message: peace and harmony.

"Head of a Nun" by Alfredo Ramos Martinez

“Head of a Nun” by Alfredo Ramos Martinez

This was by far our favorite. Alfred Ramos Martinez used the columns as a guide for this tempera-on-newspaper piece, as well as smudging the ink for extra shading. It’s truly striking and I recommend seeing it if you can.

While the intention was to learn more about interesting art, it was almost like a social experiment. Research question: What kinds of people go to a free exhibit talk at the National Gallery of Art on a rainy Monday? (Totes applying what I learned in my grad school class, y’all.) There was the uncomfortably extroverted A/V nerd, who incorrectly answered the questions nine times out of ten; a woman who interjected and gave her suspiciously educated and thoughtful opinions on every single piece; the out-of-towners, who just happened to stumble into this and realized they didn’t actually give a you-know-what; the local elderly couple, simply on a mission to enrich their lives during their golden years; and us, the young, smart, fun, talented, and beautiful Funemployed.

Afterward, we landed at our Starby’s office, grabbed a couple of SKVLs, booted up our matching MacBooks, and got to sending out a slew of shameless networking e-mails. Speaking of, will you endorse us on LinkedIn? Great! Thanks!

Onward,

K

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things that don’t suck when you’re funemployed.

1. Sunday nights
2. Rainy Monday mornings/Mondays in general

While my flannel sheets did hold me hostage for a little longer than planned this morning, there’s a busy day ahead. S and I are headed to the National Gallery of Art and then probably to one of our many Starbucks offices for some weekly planning, résumé sending, and typical girl gabbing.

Adventures and pictures to follow.

Onward,

K

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‘winter break’ has begun!

Today was pretty quiet… K used her day to complete her first grad school class, finishing up her final this afternoon, and passing the class with flying colors. We’re so proud!

S avoided all forms of noodles and cheese and finally, finally started applying for jobs (sorry, Dad!). While K is focused on staying in DC, S is ready to go wherever the wind — or a job that offers large sums of cash money mixed with integrity and good grammar — takes her.

And both of us have finally submitted our initial claims for unemployment. It’s official.

Sometimes the fun has to wait, even for The Funemployed. Back at it tomorrow!

Onward and Upward,

K & S

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