I left my job today.
It’s a notable change for me, though not that big of a deal if we’re really being honest. Most of us have left jobs at least once over the course of our careers – usually a lot more than once. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person actually changes jobs about 9 times between the ages of 25-50.
People leave jobs for a number of reasons. Sometimes you find a great opportunity somewhere else and go for it. Other times significant life changes force your hand. Occasionally you just quit out of pure frustration from the culture or politics of your workplace.
My job change was influenced by my company being acquired earlier in the year – another fairly common scenario given the aggressive amount of M&A in my industry.
Being jobless comes with its own array of stressors. Money and healthcare are obviously 1A and 1B on that front. As you’ll see in future posts, we approached both topics with extreme scrutiny before making the final decision to go jobless for an extended period of time to travel the world. That decision is obviously not one to be taken lightly and we didn’t take the plunge until the timing was just right.
Beyond the material benefits of work, it’s also hard to ignore its influence on my identify and sense of self. It generally doesn’t cross your mind while sitting in the board room, but so much of who we are is defined by how we choose to earn money.
What’s the first question that you typically get asked by a new acquaintance at a cocktail party? It’s often something along the lines of ‘what do you do?’. Those questions come so naturally that we don’t even think about asking or answering them. And yet, the answer really does paint a pivotal first impression of who you are as a person.
It’s funny, but of all the things I should be thinking about in my current state of joblessness, I keep coming back to that question.
What do I do?
In with the New
With both of us now officially FUNemployed, today marks the official start of our countdown to the big trip! There is so much planning to be done before we set off in early September. Our lease in New York officially expires at the end of August, so the clock is definitely ticking.
The most pressing logistical questions at the moment are:
- Where will we go first?
- What will we do with our stuff?
- What will we do about healthcare?
- What will we do with our dog, Riggins?
Each of these questions will require a post (or posts) of its own to properly lay out our thought process. And with only slightly more than 2 months remaining before we are both jobless AND homeless, I would imagine that those posts will be coming very soon! If you’re interested, feel free to check in with us every couple of days for the latest and greatest.
Beyond the logistics, there are handful of longer term considerations that are also on our minds. Those questions tend to revolve less around the details of our upcoming trip and more around what we will be coming back to at the conclusion of our travels. Do we want to continue living in New York or move somewhere else? Do we want to continue our careers in the same industry or pursue new ventures?
Thankfully, we’re in no rush to answer those questions at this point. And why would we be?
Time away from a job is an opportunity to slow things down, take your blinders off, and see the world through a lens other than your source of income. Choosing to spend that time in a different country (or countries in our case) supercharges the experience by injecting new cultures and ideas, along with a healthy dose of vulnerability and discomfort. And while we certainly don’t expect this experience to change us as people, we are hopeful that it will open our eyes to a broader sense of exactly what this world has to offer.
If we’re lucky, we might also walk away with a better sense of what we have to offer the world.