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Unemployed... enjoying it too much
Old 06-12-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Unemployed... enjoying it too much

I haven't posted in a long time, but I figured this would be the place to find someone who might understand what I'm going through.

I was laid off last month. I need someone to motivate me. I do not have to worry about money for at least a year. I have applied to one job so far. I really don't want to go back to work. The time I don't spend looking for a job is the best. I am reading all the books I wanted to read, have ample time to exercise, finding ways to be more frugal, watching movings, etc... There is not enough time to do all the things I want to do. However, every day I am without a job is another day lost for increasing my net worth.

I have never made a ton of money. However, I don't spend a lot of money either. I worked as an Admin. Assistant for several years and will probably look for similar jobs. I realize that some people have jobs they enjoy, but I don't think this is a possibility for me. I wouldn't even want to spend 40 hours a week on a single one of my hobbies. I am a fairly intelligent person. I have a general engineering degree. I choose to work at easier jobs where I don't really have to think about them too much, because I have so many other things that I want to think about. When I have worked at more challenging jobs, I just feel like my brain is being violated and I don't like to be stressed out at work. I choose to challenge myself at home with the things I am most interested in.

My degree is fairly useless because I didn't really specialize. Most of my classes were in environmental engineering, but I have pretty much forgotten everything. I've been considering going back to school to pursue a higher paying job as a physical therapy assistant. I expect that it might be a bit too stressful and physically demanding, but I would make more money and be able to retire sooner. Or I could continue taking lower paying jobs but have stress free evenings and weekends to pursue my many other interests. Or someone could recommend the best third world country for living on $100 a month .
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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I had a brother that went un-employed. He too had about a year of living expenses. So, he had a real good time for 6 months. However, the next year was not so happy. He found out that the whole in his resume got bigger the longer he stayed un-employed. He finally landed a job, but it was no where near what he wanted. It took him five years to recover.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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I am a fairly intelligent person. I have a general engineering degree. I choose to work at easier jobs where I don't really have to think about them too much, because I have so many other things that I want to think about. When I have worked at more challenging jobs, I just feel like my brain is being violated and I don't like to be stressed out at work.

My degree is fairly useless because I didn't really specialize. Most of my classes were in environmental engineering, but I have pretty much forgotten everything. I've been considering going back to school to pursue a higher paying job as a physical therapy assistant. I expect that it might be a bit too stressful and physically demanding, but I would make more money and be able to retire sooner. Or I could continue taking lower paying jobs but have stress free evenings and weekends to pursue my many other interests.
Ever consider government employment?? You sound perfect for it. Generally intelligent, ability to be physically present for 40 hours per week but no desire to really work extra hard. Intellectually demanding outside pursuits and/or hobbies. With an environmental engineering degree (assuming it is an actual engineering degree and not some watered down version), you should be a good candidate for some Dept. of Environmental Whatever or city or county enviro agency.

I work with a lot of those types that really phone it in if you know what I mean. They sort of know what they are talking about. Sometimes. But not a real demanding job at least at the lower levels. I've worked at some of those places too, so I know from personal experience how things are. Your mileage may vary, since some agencies actually do require you to do work. Decent, solid pay and employment with benefits. Just learn your little niche on the job, and coast.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:51 PM   #4
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Our friend who lives with us is over a year past his Canniversary and the hole in his resume is indeed growing bigger. He's only stayed with us since November, and as long as the unemployment checks have been coming, he's had no real reason to look very hard for work. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for him to explain the gap once he hits the streets in earnest.

I agree about gov't work if you can get it, it can be a coaster job at the lower levels, leaving time and bandwidth for other pursuits.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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Ever consider government employment?? You sound perfect for it. Generally intelligent, ability to be physically present for 40 hours per week but no desire to really work extra hard. Intellectually demanding outside pursuits and/or hobbies.
Whoa! That is funny! But that does sound like me! I go to work to relax and rest my brain! They don't care what you do for 40 hours, as long as you are there on time and don't leave early (well... mostly).
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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Seems like government work is worth exploring. Aside from that I will try to just find something so that future employers will think I'm a good worker bee who can't think of anything better to do with myself. Unfortunately, for as long as I need employment, it will matter what others think of me. I can't wait for the day when I can just be free of this game.

The strange thing is I don't even recognize myself anymore. I was once a very motivated person. Working hard so I could grow up some day and have a job I loved. My degree is from one of the top 10 colleges in the country. I thought I would be one of those people who would never retire and have to be pulled kicking and screaming from my office in my 70s or 80s. Now that bubble has burst and the only value I see in having a job is to make it so that someday I wont have to have a job.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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Now that bubble has burst and the only value I see in having a job is to make it so that someday I wont have to have a job.
The value also could be had in maintaining a roof over your head and food on the table. This economy is not getting better any time soon. 600,000 people lost their jobs last month. My brother, at age 50, just lost his job as a printer and is really sweating it. If I were you, I'd get busy figuring out how to make a living while you're still young. Believe me when I say that employers really are not happy to hire people who are in the plus 45 age group.

Also, governments big and small are reducing, not expanding. Jobs in government will be hard to come by very soon. Check out what's happening in California for a glimpse of the future.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:32 AM   #8
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gia. I like your style. Im glad not to see anyone posting anything demeaning or belittling because if I lost my j*b, Id be in your exact same situation, with the exact same philosophy. Good luck to you.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:36 AM   #9
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I was laid off last month. I need someone to motivate me.
It might take a long time to find a job in this economy. If it were me, I'd start looking now before you run out of money and the gap in your resume grows any bigger.

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The strange thing is I don't even recognize myself anymore. I was once a very motivated person. Working hard so I could grow up some day and have a job I loved. My degree is from one of the top 10 colleges in the country.
Just something to consider but could you be suffering from depression? Maybe a check up with your doctor might be beneficial.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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Just something to consider but could you be suffering from depression? Maybe a check up with your doctor might be beneficial.
I understand why you would say this, but I'm sure it's not depression. I haven't lost interest in the things I enjoy. I still enjoy learning, however, I don't like sticking with the same topic. When I was in college I would get really interested in a topic, concentrate on learning everything I could about it for months and then move on. If I could find a job that changed every 3 months with my interests, maybe I could enjoy it. Unfortunately, job hoping every three months is pretty much impossible and I'm sure would be looked down upon if it was. People in this country like to specialize. I'm not a fan of that because I have too many interests.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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Gia, don't know your age grouping, but it could be a touch of depression,but no big deal.

You are taking an ancient body and mind, and trying to cram the idea of working at something 40 hrs per week, and liking it. Some of us can motivate ourselves to do this, some can't, but most in denial.

Keep in mind we evolve from tribes that did not have a clock. They woke up at sunrise, knew they had to toil a few hours to either catch or grow something, and spent the rest of the day sleeping more, taking care of immediate chores or just shooting the bull. When they felt tired, they went back to bed, or just conked out under a tree. No books, no TV, no puter, not much to stimulate, but they probably were not unhappy.

Our way of life is very new in the big scheme of time. Those who are designed to be gogetters probably would have found and town somewhere, sold some snake oil, made a few gold coins, then had their heads chopped off for stealing. Hmmm, sounds like a sales person to me.

You are what you are, enjoy it!!!!!!!!

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Old 06-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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I understand why you would say this, but I'm sure it's not depression. I haven't lost interest in the things I enjoy. I still enjoy learning, however, I don't like sticking with the same topic. When I was in college I would get really interested in a topic, concentrate on learning everything I could about it for months and then move on. If I could find a job that changed every 3 months with my interests, maybe I could enjoy it. Unfortunately, job hoping every three months is pretty much impossible and I'm sure would be looked down upon if it was. People in this country like to specialize. I'm not a fan of that because I have too many interests.
Gia, I am exactly like you describe. Unfortunately, this trait makes for a difficult job/career history, if you give into it. I have found that I need to give myself some kind of distraction to get through my work day. I do a really boring part-time job now and luckily it is at home so I can punctuate the work with reading a different web page, writing this message, or listening to music, watching TV. But this only works if you can do the job very very well and you don't have a supervisor, i.e. work at home or private office.

Another thing I've done is to practice disciplining myself when I have to do a boring task. I do it full on for two hours then I give myself a break. There are lots of little tricks that you can use to get through a work day.

Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:21 AM   #13
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Gia, it sounds like you need to work for a consulting firm / a consultant of some type.

Then, yes, everything keeps shifting. Lots of people hate that, but if you like that kind of environment, you could be a valuable employee!

ta,
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(And Oldbabe is right about the mental tricks! )
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #14
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How about taxi driving? Seriously, it's a job that people like you enjoy, I think. Maybe I'm projecting my own personality a bit. You remind me of myself somewhat. I have driven taxi twice in my life, for about 1 year each time, many years apart, and enjoyed it. It might look bad on your resume, but I guess you could use the economy as an "excuse". Just an idea. I was never in danger, by the way, as far as I know. I drove in small towns. No boss around you, no coworkers around you, not much stress, time to yourself and your thoughts. And some income.

As far as the idea of physical therapy assistant : can you get along with/ enjoy being around others? I was in rehab for a few months. Those guys have a pretty good pay-to-effort ratio, I'd say. All depends on how you handle being around people. All they did was push on people's arms, legs, etc. Maybe boring, but not stressful. I had to pay about $80 for 45 minutes in the therapy room, using the machines and doing exercises. But the therapists only spent 10 minutes max actually touching me or talking to me, per session. $80 to the place, for 10 minutes of attention. Don't know how much they make per hour. Maybe it all goes to the owners.

Oh, yeah, I was a state government employee also. It's a good job, low stress, decent pay ( $12 an hour plus full bens) but......... I didn't fit in, as I fear you would not fit in. Govt workers have a herd mentality. If you aren't a herd type, they'll let you know it.

I think you should max out your unemployment since you like it. And possibly check out training that you will be eligible for, as someone who is collecting UI.

On the topic of government work, there may be positions that actually might be interesting to you, not just low stress. I think I saw some job ads for environmental technician type jobs on my state jobs website. Possibly there would be govt tech jobs that allow you to work independently, too, and not be herd member.
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:55 PM   #15
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...Oh, yeah, I was a state government employee also. It's a good job, low stress, decent pay ( $12 an hour plus full bens) but......... I didn't fit in, as I fear you would not fit in. Govt workers have a herd mentality. If you aren't a herd type, they'll let you know it...
I was in the fed govt.
So THAT'S what the problem was all along!
I thought it was all because I was a creative fish swimming around in a bureaucratic fishtank.

Back to the OP, I'm hearing that a temp agency that specializes in short term techie projects would be a good fit. Or shoot for low stress and do Engineering Team Support.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #16
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I've been considering going back to school to pursue a higher paying job as a physical therapy assistant. I expect that it might be a bit too stressful and physically demanding, but I would make more money and be able to retire sooner.
A PTA is a great return on your investment (I'm a PT, so I know a bit about it), but I'd hate to tell you to pursue it without further investigation on your part. You want to make sure you like working with people, and please, please don't go into it if all you see it as is a paycheck. I've worked with enough PTA's that aren't invested in their patient care, and I don't need to see any more entering the field.

You can get your PTA associate's degree in 2 yrs. I've seen new grads (working in geriatrics in an area with hi need for staff) start out at around $45. Those with more experience can make up to $60K, I've heard. Not bad at all for a 2 yr investment. Other settings like hospitals or outpatients likely pay less.

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If I could find a job that changed every 3 months with my interests, maybe I could enjoy it. Unfortunately, job hoping every three months is pretty much impossible and I'm sure would be looked down upon if it was. People in this country like to specialize. I'm not a fan of that because I have too many interests.
Actually, you could be a traveling PTA (or other healthcare discipline). Assignments are typically for 3 months at a time. The location and settings are different every time. Plus, they pay your room and board the entire time. If you don't have any strings tying you to one place, and you like being thrown into new situations all the time (not my thing!) - then this type of position may be for you.

Good luck. Again, just please make sure you investigate it well before traveling down this path, and that you truly are invested in helping others.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:09 PM   #17
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Half the population used to live as you say you'd like to live, gia. No boss, few or at any rate mindless responsibilities, did whatever they wanted all day.

They were known as housewives. My mother lived exactly as you say you'd like to. Once the small house was clean, she could garden, paint, sew, whatever, until it was time to make dinner. Once the youngest child (me) was old enough to dress and feed herself, my mom could (and did) stay up at night till 1 a.m. then sleep till 9 a.m., as her body clock dictated.

Could you find someone to marry who can support you, if you take care of his/her home and family?
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #18
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A PTA is a great return on your investment (I'm a PT, so I know a bit about it), but I'd hate to tell you to pursue it without further investigation on your part. You want to make sure you like working with people, and please, please don't go into it if all you see it as is a paycheck. I've worked with enough PTA's that aren't invested in their patient care, and I don't need to see any more entering the field.
Aside from the paycheck, I'm mainly interested in it because I enjoy exercise and learning about the human body. I think I could do a good job helping people get better through exercise and the other methods used. I'm not a big people person though. It would be stressful for me to interact with people all day every day. I've been forced to do so in previous jobs though and I think I did pretty well. Out of all the other options for making more money, it seems to be the best fit. It probably wont happen though.

Amethyst,
Too funny. Although I highly disagree with the notion that mothers have mindless responsibilities. Unfortunately, this plan would not work, because I don't plan on having children and I hate being dependent on other people even more than I hate having a job.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:15 AM   #19
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Could you find someone to marry who can support you, if you take care of his/her home and family?
Thats just plain wrong on sooo many levels.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:47 AM   #20
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Thats just plain wrong on sooo many levels.
Oh dear, what a judgmental statement, and lacking any explanation too. Are you suggesting there could be something wrong with emulating my late, beloved mom? Who is probably reading this thread up in heaven .

She never had to deal with rising from her bed at 0445, snarky co-workers, insecure bosses, crabby customers, arbitrary re-orgs, performance evaluations, working through lunch, deadlines, commuting, and the whole deadly, soul-stealing brew that is the workplace.

She also adored my father and us kids. Naturally, the scheme wouldn't work as well, if one formed a permanent union strictly to get a meal ticket.
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