Being unemployed like it's my job
August 6, 2014 6:01 AM Subscribe
I've quit my job because my husband's new promotion requires him to relocate. I was reaching the conclusion that the field I've been in for 17 years isn't for me anymore, anyway, so I'm not actively seeking re-employment yet. Help me be a lady of leisure with a purpose and make the most of my downtime to figure out what comes next!
posted by Otter_Handler to Work & Money (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My loving and supportive spouse is fully behind me doing a little soul-searching to find a field that will excite me and use my talents. We're fortunate enough that we can afford to have me stay home, but this will not be the case indefinitely. I'm worried that I'll get too comfortable not wearing pants and I'll regress to permanent vacation mode. I need to stay the course and do useful things that will help me with my goal.
We will be moving back into our old house in two weeks. I know that I will be preoccupied with unpacking, settling in, and minor house repairs for a while, but my only-vague plans beyond that so far include volunteering at the local food bank, taking an adult education class, and sorting out our garden, which were all things I never had time for when I worked. I'm a homebody by nature, and can spend many hours usefully puttering, but none of this will get me a new profession, let alone a job. I've frequently said to my husband that I could "do the Martha Stewart thing" if I didn't have to work, but I don't know that I'm ready to give up on having a career just yet. I'm nowhere near retirement age, we don't have children, and it just seems wrong somehow to not be working.
I'm feeling a bit rudderless when it comes to figuring out what I want to do next. I'm a librarian who's worked in the book vendor industry for the past 13 years, and before that I worked in public libraries, which I didn't enjoy. The lofty intentions I had about helping people didn't measure up to the drudgery of long hours, low pay, and glorified desk clerking, and in the process I also decided I wasn't really sure if I liked people all that much. I'm trying to imagine what I can do with the skills I have in a non-library setting. I'm really, really good with books and the book industry and the ins and outs of managing publishing data. I haven't figured out what this translates into outside of the book world. I think I need to try things that are non-book related for a while and see if I can't grow more in some other direction. The question is, how? What specifically do I need to do to figure out what other careers might be appropriate?
If you are a librarian who made the leap into a different profession I'd love to hear about it, but I'm really specifically interested in hearing about your experiences with unemployment, leaves of absence, or hiatuses from work - how did you avoid just binging on Netflix and sleeping late? What things did you do to stay employable or move in a new direction?