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Old 22.05.2017, 15:03
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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When you were unemployed, did you find there were any advantages to it?
18-20
I was one of 'Maggie's millions'. It was soul destroying. I taught myself to knit, sew, cook, garden, restore wooden furniture, diy, car body work, etc... Also learned how to ride and crash a motorbike. My only route out on that occasion, was to become self-employed.

Sept 2003 for 6mths - voluntary redundancy
I needed the break to be honest. In one week 18mths previously, I'd had the week from hell. Monday-split from husband. Tuesday-he moved out. Thursday-lost our biggest order at work. Friday-redundancy procedure announced. After being a union rep battling that mass redundancy procedure (where we saved all but 5 jobs), for 18mths, I was shattered, and in hindsight, possibly on the verge of a breakdown.
I slept a lot for the first month after living on 3-4hrs a night for ages. Did a complete rethink of what I wanted to do, and applied for a random receptionist job at a nearby hotel, but was offered a managerial role based upon the interview. Result - complete career change.

November 2015 til present.

Again, I needed the break and to learn the language. I know I can pull some excellent references out of the bag, because the people who would write them are known across Europe in that industry. Even so, I'm looking to update certain skills in the meantime.


You, DB, have an excellent opportunity for change in your hands. I know it doesn't feel like that now, but you have a new baby on the way, a window of breathing space and a time to think and regroup. That's a luxury not afforded to many in this life.

All my working life, before meeting my OH 6yrs ago, I was the sole or major bread winner. The kickback from being unemployed in my teens is that I worked too hard in my youth. I did 15yrs of 60+hrs a week because I grabbed any work that was offered. When I switched to a job that was 37.5hrs a week, I got a part-time job as well because it felt like I wasn't working enough.

You need to tune yourself down for a little while so that you don't put too much pressure on yourself. If you don't get a new job next week, then fine. It's more quality time you can spend with the kids, and that's time you'll never get back. When you're ready to hit the ground running and assault the job market again, I'll happily put you in touch with my OH. When he was made redundant very unexpectedly 3yrs ago, literally 3 days after his 50th birthday, he managed to secure 35-40 interviews within 6 weeks.

Chin up chuck!
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  #22  
Old 22.05.2017, 15:21
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

If you can take care of a few basic issues, you can probably enjoy this period more.

First, have an answer ready about why you are unemployed. People will ask, directly or indirectly. It is difficult to answer and not feel like a loser because of much of our self respect is tied to the jobs we hold.

Second, be ready for frustration and anxiety and have someone to share them with. Even in your closest circle, there will be only one person to share. Cut everyone else out. My parents get very annoying so when I have been unemployed, I told them, either they can talk to me about other things or if they want to talk about jobs, I will hang up on them. My husband bore the entire brunt of my mood swings and descent in to near hysteria. But I am good at picking myself up, after usually a good round of crying.

Third, do not get into social media where you will be comparing yourself with your peers and getting upset/frustrated/jealous. My biggest source of unhappiness came from talking to other people who were without jobs as well. There are always horror stories doing the round.

Fourth, have a routine. Don't let lethargy get the better of you. It is a creeping thing and soon you will see that days and months have gone by without anything to show for it. Let this be the period where you actually did useful stuff. Probably keep a diary of sorts and a monthly target.

Fifth, try to pick up a skill with a set target. In my last period of unemployment, I learnt German.

Wish you all the best. Remember that you are not the first one, nor will you be the last one in this position.
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Old 22.05.2017, 15:22
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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and if you don't have a dog - find someone who needs an occasional dogsitter. Especially one with a pool, terrace and long views across a mighty flowing river.
then he would have the most respected profession on EF - and not unemployed anymore
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Old 22.05.2017, 15:38
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

My line of work, as a freelancer with project-based work periods, sometimes feels like being permanently unemployed, interrupted by insane blocks of work intensity. I love it. I live like a king. No, better than a king. I pity the kings for their restrictive little king-lives. Can a king just decide that they're going swimming because the sun is out? No. They have to sign documents and visit factories and they have no time for second breakfast with the NZZ, let alone third breakfast with Der Spiegel.

Go to experimental music concerts every night. Unlike 90% of the poor schmoes on this forum, you don't have to wake up in the morning. Go to Vienna and have a coffee. Go to St Malo for oysters. Check the trains, check the busses, it's quite cheap to travel if you don't have to be anywhere at any specific time.

Of course, the problem with being unemployed is the existential dread that you'll never find another job and your life is over and no one needs you and you have too much time and it's just stretching out like an endless oil slick in front of you and you're going to end up in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. Well. That all may be true, but there's not much you can do about it besides sending out your applications and due diligence and etc. You're going to get another job, obviously. Eventually.

So just decide in advance how long you're going to be unemployed for. Reality may interrupt your planned 3-month unemployment or it may extend it, but at least you'll have some kind of feeling of a plan. In these three months, I'm going to shave X minutes off my 2 km crawl stroke. I'm going to wipe X, Y, and Z off my bucket list. I'm going to learn some programming language (or whatever it is you IT people do).

Enjoy it! Come over for breakfast sometime.
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Old 22.05.2017, 15:47
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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I had three months of "between contracts". I got really good at Worms Armageddon. For the modern gentleman of taste and discretion, I recommend Elite Dangerous.
I'm sorry. I didn't finish what I was writing before hitting "submit reply". I meant to add:

"...but for you, Super Mario Run".
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:00
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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then he would have the most respected profession on EF - and not unemployed anymore
I didn't mention payment
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:03
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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I didn't mention payment
Citizenship of the DRK?
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:19
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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In a few weeks' time, despite all my best efforts, it looks like I'm going to be unemployed. I'm not very happy about the prospect. There's plenty of information on EF about the RAV and so on, for which I'm very grateful, but my question in this thread is more spiritual/psychological than practical:


When you were unemployed, did you find there were any advantages to it?


I've been unemployed before, and absolutely bloody hated it, so I'm really looking for personal experience of a positive nature to counter my own miserable experience. Is that too tall an order? Can unemployment really be anything other than utterly and totally demoralising? If so, how?


Cheers,


DB
I concur with what the others have said.

In my case I found it also helped to do difficult stuff. I started learning a new language. That requires a certain commitment timewise every day to do the exercises, learn the vocab etc. And you may yet be heppy you did as you wil never find the time between job and family to do it so effectively.

If learning languages isn't your thing, how about learning a new musical instrument or a handcraft?

Only of course in terms of raising the value of your CV, a language is better than any of these.
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:25
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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Look at this way, you get to be a stay at home father for a bit, and get paid for it to boot. Also, take up a hobby that always interested you but you never had time for.

Having said that, good luck with finding a new job if the worst happens.
I was going to say this but Richdog preceded me! You have the wonderful chance to be a stay-at-home dada for a while.

I completely understand that, if you are someone who always worked, enjoys working, and cannot imagine not working, the idea of it could sound daunting at first. However, imagine the learning, the walks in nature, the laughs, the FUN! with your children. It is still going to be a lot of work, just a different one. You'll be the very own, personal teacher of some special little ones. The best part is: you'll get paid to do this, and you of course can keep looking.

I think it is a wonderful opportunity which will bring along more opportunities.
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:36
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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if you are someone who always worked, enjoys working, and cannot imagine not working, the idea of it could sound daunting at first.
judging by the amount of moaning he does about it on the train - No, its not the case
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:51
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

I don't believe it. Replies like this...
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it is sometimes good to [re?]learn how to rest. This includes all the pampering or self-oriented activities (go swimming, read a book, snooze on the sofa, massage your scalp, paint a picture, play a musical instrument, browse through the library, make jam) you haven't allowed yourself in amongst the stressors in your busy schedule.
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In your situation with family and with the current weather try to see it as some kind of “extended summer holiday”. A "paternal leave" or a “sabbatical” that you have earned. I am sure you will be enjoying some lovely days with your twins.
...Enjoy the summer and the time spent with your children. They will appreciate it and you will not feel sorry because you will become much more involved in their lives.
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summer is here and paddleboarding is a great sport to pick up
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You have the wonderful chance to be a stay-at-home dada for a while. --- imagine the learning, the walks in nature, the laughs, the FUN! with your children. It is still going to be a lot of work, just a different one. You'll be the very own, personal teacher of some special little ones.
Advantages? Rest? Fun? Life is a serious business.
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I crafted - I did the handwork that never gets done because you never had time. Tiles were laid on the balcony, walls where painted, kitchens were scrubbed from top to bottom, cupboards were built... It actually made me happy to get up in the morning, knowing the tools were gladly waiting for me to use them once again.
That's more like it. Atta girl!

Note to those horrified souls who would love to pour fire and brimstone over me. I'm a Brit. DB is a Brit.
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Old 22.05.2017, 16:55
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

If you're someone who enjoys working and being productive, it is very hard.

One tip: if the RAV offer to send you on any courses, go. I thought it would be useless and was a bit irritated at first, but not only is it something to do, but you learn a lot about the Swiss job market, have a structured place to work on your application materials, and meet other people in the same situation, which can lead to future networking/friendships.
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Old 22.05.2017, 17:06
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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I don't believe it. Replies like this...
Advantages? Rest? Fun? Life is a serious business.
I'll throw it out there: if you lose your job while being the sole or the primary breadwinner, and are in a country where you have nominal unemployment benefits and zero social safety net (like it happens in a lot of countries, sadly), but still have financial commitments, yes, life is a serious business.

On the other hand, if you are in Switzerland and can benefit from a very generous social safety net when you lose your job, which you have earned with your work and are 100% entitled to, it takes a lot of stress out. I cannot imagine anyone being happy about losing their job, but look, no matter what happens, you know that you can keep looking with the confidence that you will have a guaranteed paycheck for X amount of time while doing so.

So yes, I stand by the "advantages, rest and fun" part, as in: making the most of your current situation, while not ideal, and while looking for the next opportunity.
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Old 22.05.2017, 17:09
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

I was unemployed three times before, whether staff numbers were run down or I quit. While I'm a complete workaholic when I do work I - to everybodys surprise - loved each time big time!

While I searched for jobs of course - and apparently a lot more actively than other umemployed - I enjoyed the freedom. Also I had all this time to study/research/spend on those things that are "not important", "have to wait", "waste of time, not bringing in money".

Two times I did an extra education just for the fun of it. One I never made use of later but was very interesting, one that led me to a new field later. Both I payed myself as RAV said "doesn't fit the picture".

Two times I was single with no obligations to anybody and like adrianlondon I can spend the money big time or live on very little just as happily. One time I had a husband who managed his money badly and it was a bit harder on my nerves to juggle it all but I did.

I'm not one who needs "structures". I had people tell me they wouldn't have the discipline to be organized and reliable when I had my office at home working for a company in the French part, covering the German part for 8 years. Never understood that either. But the freeer I am, the harder I work

There is a time every day to look for jobs and write applications. The rest is to live because one thing - a workaholic - learns during unemployment is how much more there is to life! And it's a darn good lesson too.

Each unemployment lead me into totally new work fields. That was the other advantage in my case. I was so open minded that those breaks changed my work life eacht time. I wold not want it any other way, looking back.

So, it all depends on what your problem exactly is now.
I imagine it is partly fear as you have a family. This is legitimate. The problem will not get smaller though if you let it eat you up all day. If you invest a certain amount of time in looking for a new job and the rest in your family and hobbies you will not only come accross more relaxed and competent when you do have an interview, you will also be more open minded about what else you are capable of and is possible "out there".

Some people get bored when not employed. This I can not comment as I seriously do not understand it. And from what I read from you on here over the past year, I doubt that's a problem for you.

The main thing is to keep the spirit up. By that I mean set your mind on finding work but not 24/7. Enjoy the time you have to invest into all these "useless" things as - and I know that for a fact - they can lead to whole new work-possibilities.
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Old 22.05.2017, 17:14
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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I concur with what the others have said.

In my case I found it also helped to do difficult stuff. I started learning a new language. That requires a certain commitment timewise every day to do the exercises, learn the vocab etc. And you may yet be heppy you did as you wil never find the time between job and family to do it so effectively.

If learning languages isn't your thing, how about learning a new musical instrument or a handcraft?

Only of course in terms of raising the value of your CV, a language is better than any of these.

Or take up yodelling! Not many have this on their CV...will catch a Swiss employer's attention, most definitely!


More seriously, I don't know how old you are DB, but I was unemployed for several months as a newly wed, in the U.K. (so sod all nothing to live on), was sent in crap "training and vocational courses" by the Job Centre, but at least I learnt to type, a skill that still impresses my colleagues to this day.
I felt super demoralised, but some good friends found a way to take me out. Having to get up, even for some stupid course, did at least give me a structure to the day.
We've got friends around who are now almost two years into their unemployment and, because they are over 50, know their chances of getting a job where they have settled are pretty slim. After the initial feeling of freedom and having time for yourself, the reality of mortgage payment and what will happen next kicked in.
So whatever you do, don't wait too long to start your battle.


Shouldn't there be, here on EF, a special thread: "Job offers for the over 50s", just to show CH how NOT to discriminate on the ground of age? I am sure that there are several of you out there with their own skills who could combine their resources and come up with a salutary and innovative concept for Switzerland!
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Old 22.05.2017, 17:44
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

Wish you the best and I hope it works out. As for me, it hasn't happened yet but the backlog of things I would like to work on, do and generally find time to find out more about is pretty long. I would hate it back home but here with the RAV safety blanket, not so much.
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Old 22.05.2017, 18:11
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

Approach it as a mental health break. Set yourself some goals. Discuss with your partner what their expectations are. Keep up your responsibilities around the house and negotiate with your partner on how you will do the new style 'two parents at home' parenting. We've been-there-done that.

Look at your calendar, make to-do-lists, schedule in some fitness activities, and look at hobbies, projects or just simply 'spring cleaning' that could be done...

And if you do feel yourself moving into depression or anxiety, get some help from a trusted friend, or your doctor or a therapist.

And don't be afraid to pump your networks for opportunities and ideas - you might not like their suggestions, but so many jobs go through networks rather than being advertised up-front.

I've been in your situation somewhat, husband's 3 year contract ended without renewal or notice, negotiated 4 months pay in lieu of proper notice, facing imminent financial household collapse, oh yeah, and I was pregnant, and our landlord terminated our lease right before Christmas... moved house with a 10 day old baby, three days later the older sibling was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes...8 months later we landed in Switzerland.

Do these things have a way of working out ? Well...yes...they must!

At that point my husband had a swimming teaching qualification and could pick up some casual work as a swimming teacher. It didn't pay all our bills, but it slowed the decline... then I was able to get more work and work from home with the new baby, and then we took a loan to get us out of there and into the new job in Switzerland...
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Old 22.05.2017, 19:17
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

The most important thing is to stick to a routine, keeping your sleep pattern as if you were employed. Keep the alarm set as before. I know from experience that it is very easy to get absorbed in TV, pubs, internet etc. because you don't have to be up for work in the morning. I guess that a wife and children will help in that respect.

Don't get so absorbed in job hunting that it dominates your time. Be selective about the jobs that you apply for. Applying for jobs that there is only a remote possibility of being selected for just increases the chances of rejection and demoralisation. I saw once that the chances of securing a position more than 10% above or below your current salary is very remote. I think that there is some truth in this.

As others mentioned, find an activity to fill the remaining time: DIY, fitness, exploring the area more, learning a new skill. Apart from keeping your mind active, it shows employers that you haven't been wasting your time.
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Old 22.05.2017, 19:21
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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The most important thing is to stick to a routine,
Why? The best thing about not having to do something every day at a set time is ... not having to do something every day at a set time.
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Old 22.05.2017, 19:29
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Re: Advantages of unemployment

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Why? The best thing about not having to do something every day at a set time is ... not having to do something every day at a set time.
I was particularly referring to the time people get up and go to bed. Within the day it is less important. It may seem great in the short term, and is fine if it is a fixed period between contracts or a holiday, for example. The trouble is that it can be the slippery slope to lethargy and despondency. Any advantages of the extra time available are soon lost.
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