My present condition is alarming plush for a man in his mid-30’s: unemployed and nary a concern in the world because I live with my parents, free of rent and most food costs. It’s not to say I’ve taken advantage of my situation. I’ve spent the past 18 months diligently looking for work (in all the wrong places.) Or maybe I wasn’t diligently looking hard enough. I only applied to three or four jobs a week (mostly government, as I believed they would be least concerned with my spotty work history) and have netted only a handful of interviews.
A smart person would have had a job lined up before quitting from the last company. In my defense, the situation there was unbearable and given the hard time I’ve had finding work since then, I doubt I could have lasted the interminable time there waiting for something else to come along (although being currently employed does make a prospect much more attractive to other employers.) I remember, on my last day, someone asked where I was going and I wryly replied “anywhere but here” (to which he responded “considering your boss, I don’t blame you.”) I had no idea at the time what that would entail.
So I’m pulling up stakes and heading out west. I’m leaving the humiliatingly easy life I’ve had, in a place where work should have been assured, and going somewhere with less of a job market to share a place with a couple of old friends. To any smart person–the same who wouldn’t be unemployed at this point–this is a terrible plan.
So why am I doing it? I have several reasons:
- Being elsewhere should provide for some unique new experiences.
- Now that I’ll be paying for food I rent, I should be less picky on looking for work, and less inclined to jump ship (without a backup) if the work I find is unsuitable to me.
- I’ll be living with people other than family members, which is something I’ve never done before. They should have different mindsets, providing me the opportunity to see life from different perspectives.
- It’s a chance to get away from here without completely cutting myself off from a support network.
A decision doesn’t necessarily have to be pragmatic to be beneficial. Even if I’m forced to retreat back to my parents’ place a year from now, penniless and even more ashamed, I’ll have some new experiences to show for it.
- 4 Common Problems When Living with Friends @ Oh My Apartment
- Roommates @ Cracked
- Tips for Living with Roommates & Friends @ Practice of Madness