I have a new job starting Monday. It’s full time, in an office, with set hours. That means I might actually have an opportunity to blog more consistently in the evenings and on Friday afternoon. I’m looking forward to re-establishing a regular schedule.
Lessons learned from this season of unemployment/underemployment:
1. I don’t want a retail career, at least not with a large chain store. The hours are too unpredictable, and there are simply too many variables with which to contend, especially if you’re at the cash register. When any one of 50,000+ products can come across your counter on a given day and the store in question doesn’t have bar code scanners, you have to know which of the four or five possible departments the item came from and whether or not it’s on sale that week, all while politely interacting with the customer and keying in the price, department and discount. I lived in constant concern that I was going to make a mistake and either over- or undercharge someone, attribute the item to the wrong department, or give someone back the wrong change. In the week and a half I worked registers, I made all of those mistakes. Fortunately, my register seemed to balance out at the end of each day, but still, I didn’t enjoy that pressure one bit.
2. Being unemployed does not enhance productivity. I thought with all the extra time on my hands, I would get more done – finish craft projects, edit stories that need attention, launch the freelance career, hoop more, work on the Etsy shop, etc. All while hunting for that next day job, of course. Don’t get me wrong; I did do some of that. Just not as much as I thought I would. It seems the more time you have, the more time you waste.
3. I make a lousy boss. See #2 for why.
That’s not to say I could never be self-employed. I suppose I could, but it would require funds to live off while I got established, as well as better time management and discipline. And drive – more drive than I apparently have at present. It’s something I’m working on, but God made me a 5-foot tall walking paradox – shy yet outgoing, assertive yet passive, Type A yet laid back, etc. – so it takes time to negotiate the psychological and emotional maze that is me and develop the passion and drive to keep going in the face of obstacles.
Being unemployed for three months revealed much to me about myself, and if it hadn’t been for the need to pay bills, I might have actually enjoyed it and been able to focus on all the things I wanted to do. Still, I can say that the time away from a steady job was a gift from God, and this new season of having a steady job is also a gift from Him. I’m grateful for both.