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Unemployed life

It’s been twelve days since I was laid off from my job at Tumblr and I’ve been doing my best to keep sane.

The first 48 hours after losing my job, I was was pretty upset and cried a lot. I let myself feel emotion and process, but I didn’t fall into depression. I was sad to lose a job at a company I loved so much with my favorite people, but I wasn’t depressed about it. I wrote a goodbye letter to my former coworkers, which was cathartic but tough. I didn’t feel guilty over my emotions.

After that initial 48 hours, I woke up ready for something new. I stopped being upset and looked forward with a huge smile on my face. Of course, some of this was helped by a conveniently timed trip for Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, which helped keep me busy and was something to focus on.

I knew after that trip I’d need to be proactive about not falling into depression, though. If I allowed myself to sleep in and relax around the house all day every day, I’d fall into deep depression. This is something would happen regardless of my employment situation. I can be like that for a weekend at a time, but any more more than that tends to pull me down.

I wasn’t ready to start actively looking for a job instantly. I’m still not, to be honest. I did make sure to reply to emails immediately, however. I’ve had a lot of recruiters and friends of friends reaching out to me about jobs so I’ve replied to them and moved along with them to not have them just sitting there. But I’m not initiating much right now. For the most part, I want to take some time and enjoy life. My severance package was quite generous and allows me to put off a job search for a little bit.

In my ideal situation, I’d start a new job in September and take the summer to work on personal projects and travel a little. I’d also like to do some stuff around the apartment like reorganize the pantry and clean out the closets. There are always so many things I want to do and never have time for so now’s the time, right?

I’m mostly trying to keep a normal schedule each day. I get up at the same time I used to and try to leave the house around the same time as well. If I’m running, I still try to get up extra early to run in the morning. I mean, it’s summer so morning running is a must anyway. Instead of going to the office, I go to a coffee shop and work on stuff now. I make breakfast, lunch, and coffee dates with people. If it’s particularly nice out, I’ll work in the park.

My goal is to spend at least four hours a day working on stuff outside of the house. That should be enough to stave off the depression.

So far, it’s been pretty nice. I’ve gotten a lot of things done and felt really productive. I’ve also had a lot of fun meeting up with people and galavanting around the city.

I loved my job, truly, but I can’t control that Verizon decided to lay me off. What I can do, however, is take advantage of the time and the severance to have an amazing summer. I haven’t been unemployed in 15 years, since the summer after my first year of college, so it’s been a while since I’ve had this much free time. I’m not going to waste it.

6 Comments

  1. Good for you! I am an expert at wasting time, and the depression usually comes along for the ride, but I think this post is exactly what I needed to hear (or read, I guess, but I heard it in my head, so that counts right?). Thank you for continuing to inspire!

  2. Great way to look at it! I am in a transition period from a company I worked for over eight years. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. Do you. Take the time while you still can!

  3. I can relate. When we moved and I found myself unemployed, I wanted to take so much advantage of it. Ultimately, I ended up relaxing more than I cleaning but I enjoyed the time.

    The situation stinks completely, but I’m glad you are able to take full advantage of it. I’m so glad I got to see you the other day!

  4. Hi Amelia!

    I’m really sorry to hear about you being laid off. The whole Verizon acquisition seems like a terrible thing to me, especially to the more quirky companies like Tumblr.
    I recently went through a (vaguely) similar situation at my prior employer where I was basically encouraged to leave, in part due to my trans status.

    I imagine this probably won’t be a great option for you, but I’m really enjoying my new employer, they’re hiring aggressively, and I’d love to work with you 🙂

    Pros:
    * Good pay (I make $150k + $22.5k bonus + equity)
    * Friendly people
    * Low pressure/stress environment
    * You know you won’t be the only trans woman there

    Cons:
    * Low percentage of women in eng — I think it’s around 8% 🙁
    * The company’s in Boston, and I imagine you’re not looking to leave the NYC area anytime soon

    No time pressure on this — please enjoy your summer, and let me know whenever if you’d like to hear more. I’d be very happy to put in a referral if you are interested.

    Good luck wherever your future takes you!
    Jess

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