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Unexpected Benefits of Unemployment???

October 25th, 2012

On my JibberJobber LinkedIn Group I saw a Discussion from Marcia LaReau titled The (unexpected) Benefits of Unemployment.  She is pointing to her blog post with the same title. I love this topic because while being unemployed can have a lot of negative consequences, there are a lot of benefits.

Yes, you read that right.

For me, the unexpected benefit of unemployment was that I was “forced” into a new career direction, and that turned out to be pretty good 😉

For my brother, it was a time to spend on his physical health, which he had neglected while working crazy hours.

For some people, it’s a time to downsize their spending and debt (which might seem hard at first but from what I hear, it’s a great life-changing move!)

For others, it’s a time to make life-changing career moves, like going from high-stress (big money) to something they enjoy more. Even earning less they can be okay if they are more fullfilled in life by where they spend their time.

Others take the time to regroup, restrategize, and many times come out with stronger career management skills (career management is the new “job security”).

What are the unexpected benefits of unemployment that you have seen, whether from your own transition or that of someone you’ve known?

(Here’s my secondary message: if you are down in the dumps, take some time right now… 30 minutes… and brainstorm what the unexpected benefits are to you right now.  If you can’t think of anything, identify some that you want to pursue, and go after them!)

3 Comments »

3 responses to “Unexpected Benefits of Unemployment???”

  1. ruth says:

    The main unexpected benefit to my DH’s layoff was that our marriage is so much better! It was not on the brink of failing or anything before, but now we spend much more time together than ever before. He also has a lot more understanding as to what I go through trying to run a home and work full time. Our communication is not rushed and we find a lot more to talk about. We don’t take each other for granted near as much either! I love my husband so much!

  2. Paul says:

    Jason,

    Sometimes, unemployment can help you, or force you to change direction. I agree.

    However, what if you are supporting a family, let alone yourself, and for various reasons, you do not have the funds to last too long?

    There is too much of that now. As you published, the unemployment rate is way higher than the official numbers. That is a lot of hurt out there.

    When recent college graduates have unemployment rates at 50%, including taking jobs at the malls, that could lead to changes in the society – not just what an individual wants.

    Jason, you used your unemployment to start an excellent business. I think most people end up going back into a company that will lay them off the next time the wind blows in the wrong direction.

    For those that do find satisfying work with sufficient pay – congratulations. I would guess that is not what is happening. We live in a society that for the most part still thinks you take some job, they pay you, and give you benefits. I think that is working less and less.

    Good luck to all that face a period of unemployment and may the best come out of it.

  3. Jason Alba says:

    @Ruth, I can say that my relationship with my family, especially my kids (who didn’t get to see me as much as my wife did when I was working), definitely strengthened. Thanks for the reminder :)

    @Paul – I sense pain from your comment. Which is okay, because that’s real, and I want to keep it real on this blog.

    My intention was not to get all Polyanna on this post. I know how bad a job search can go. Mine was bad. I was depressed.

    I also know that there are positives that happens, or can happen, and I just wanted to pay tribute to that concept in this post.

    Here’s a topic/theme I’ve thought about in my last job, and in my job search: flowers growing out of manure