I’ve been unemployed for the past 100 days.
Since July 1, for the first time since graduating from college, I’ve found myself without a job.
June 30th was my last day of employment at a good paying job with health insurance and three weeks of paid vacation.
I could have stayed with my then current employer but wanted to live closer to my wonderful girlfriend!
I moved to a Columbus, Ohio where I only knew a handful of people and had no job.
Not having a job has been scary, frustrating, educational, enjoyable, and inspiring.
So what have I been up to?
I went backpacking with my brother in Colorado, visited my parents, watched all four seasons of Prison Break and have gotten to spend a lot of time promoting and writing for this website.
I was also able to do a lot of work at my girlfriend’s condo like painting and repairs.
I’ve gotten to trade options and watch the markets throughout the day, which despite my unsuccessful September, I still enjoy!
Most importantly I get to see my girlfriend several times per week!
I’ve had to live off my savings and whatever money I could earn with side jobs and hustles. I have not applied for and am not receiving any unemployment benefits.
It’s difficult to go from having a decent amount of cash flow from a monthly paycheck to almost none. Thoughts like “Will I ever find a job?” and “How am I going to pay for rent?” and others go through my head and it is easy to get negative or discouraged if I’m not careful!
I’ve bought health insurance and have been covered the entire time I’ve been unemployed but I worry about what would happen if something did happen to me since I have a higher deductible. The answer is I would pay the deductible out of my health savings account and other savings, but for some reason it is something I think about.
I’ve applied to dozens of jobs; I talk to recruiters and most of the time I don’t hear back. I have a strong resume in the IT industry and haven’t had trouble finding jobs in the past. It’s tough when you limit your job search to one city and hiring is slow.
Little cash flow means I don’t have additional money to invest and soon I will need to start selling some of my investments to pay for basic needs, which I find frustrating since I want to be GROWING my wealth.
I’m not able to contribute as much money to the charities I support and I’ve cut back on virtually all my discretionary spending.
It’s also tough not being able to treat my girlfriend as much.
I definitely have much more appreciation for those times when I did have steady income. I’ve had a good paying full time job for about six years and have had some type of job for most of the time before that when I was in college and high school. So while I’ve worked hard and provided a lot of value to my employers, I realize now that I’ve taken that income for granted.
I’ve gotten better at cooking. When I was working I would eat out a lot. Most of the time in fact. To save money I do a lot more grocery shopping and cooking.
I’ve also learned that I can get by with about $1,500 per month. Most of that goes towards rent and food. If I moved in with a roommate I could get by on even less. I’m still enjoying my single apartment for now!
I’ve been able to spend a lot of time working on this website and I believe it is possible that with enough readership this website could provide some monthly income.
It’s great when someone signs up for one of my affiliate opportunities. A reader recently signed up for the bitcoin arbitrage fund that pays over 10% and I’ll get a nice bonus from that this month.
I’ve had a lot more time for meaningful introspection and reflection whilst unemployed. I’ve thought about what it is I want to do for a career and what my long term goals in life are.
The difficulty in finding work in my field inspired me to expanded my job search and as a result I’ve been extended an OFFER to work in the financial services industry contingent on getting the appropriate licenses in this state.
As evidenced by this website, financial services is an area that I’ve been passionate about for a long time but something was always holding me back from making the switch in my day job.
It reminds of a quote from one of my favorite movies The Hunt for Red October.
“When he reached the New World, Cortès burned his ships. As a result his men were well motivated.”
Moving to Columbus and not having a job has made me well motivated!
I’m very blessed in that I have the savings to weather this period without much hardship. Being unemployed has it’s perks but on the whole it’s tough. As I work on the licensing needed to take the job I was offered I realize that being unemployed for a time may turn out to be one of the greatest gifts in my career.
John, this is a very revealing and informative newsletter.
Thank you. I appreciate you reading!