You may have noticed by now that this post is being published later than usual…
I’m sorry for that but it’s because I have some bad news: I got a job again…at the same major bank that I just left a couple months ago. After a 2 month “break,” today was my first day back. I’ve gone from unemployed to underemployed…I sure am moving up in the world!
Here are some things that I would have done differently if given the chance. Hopefully you can learn something from my experiences and incorporate them into your escape plan.
- I would have had a better plan. I knew what I didn’t want to do (be a teller,) but I didn’t know what I wanted to do instead. I almost did an internship “because it would look good on a resume” but that was basically the only reason why I thought it would be a good idea. Instead, I would have focused on pursuing something that makes me happy that could eventually provide me with enough income to support my fiancee and I.
- I would have said no to the internship sooner. I decided to decline the internship only 2 days before it was supposed to start but I got a gut feeling that it just wasn’t for me a couple of weeks before. I tried to put up a front and “suck it up” because that’s what I thought I was “supposed” to do. This was the dumbest thing I could have done. I wasn’t being honest with myself and with my fiancee who has supported me through thick and thin. I was transitioning from a job that made me miserable to an internship that probably would have made me miserable. I should have listened to my gut because it would have saved me from lots of headaches.
- I would have had a couple back-up plans. My mindset was basically internship or nothing. When I quit my job, the internship was the only option that I gave myself. I put all I had into the internship but looking back, I should have had a few ideas I could explore just in case the internship didn’t work out. You know that over-used quote, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” Well that’s what I did and it bit me in the ass.
- I would have gotten to work sooner. Because I didn’t have any back-up plans, I didn’t know what to do. So I did nothing. I wasted a good week or so just playing video games all day. It wasn’t until about a month into my unemployment that I got “serious” and decided that I wanted to spend time writing this blog. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to have gotten a job so soon if I didn’t waste so much time?
- I would have spent less time feeling sorry for myself. I used to have an agreement with myself: if something bad happens, you have the rest of the day to feel sorry about yourself but come morning, you have to stop and you just have to move on. I didn’t do this so I didn’t realize the awesome opportunity I had in front of me with my new found “free” time. I didn’t get anywhere feeling sorry for myself. Life goes on, the bills won’t wait for you to get your shit together.
- I would have more money saved up. My fiancee and I had enough money saved up to cover our expenses minus her paychecks for about 6 months. Unfortunately, that didn’t account for anything extra like fun activities and getting a dog. But shit happens. We realized that we didn’t want to put our lives on hold. We decided to “just go with it” and be happy. We didn’t focus on the finances as much as we used to and that made things easier. If I were to do it all over again, I’d have at least 9 months of expenses saved up plus some sort of percentage extra for unplanned expenses/emergencies.
So yeah, I’m pretty bummed that I’m in the current position that I’m in, but it makes me even hungrier to become self-employed. Just like anything, I can look at me getting a job as a blessing or a curse. It’ll be an even bigger challenge now to reach self-employment but if you can learn something from my mishaps and if I can overcome being miserable just for a paycheck, you can too.
I didn’t take the opportunity of all the time I had to get shit done and now I’ll do anything to get it back. It’s a hard lesson that I’m starting to learn. Stay tuned to see how this works out for me.