Modern life often has us on a treadmill that can make enjoying life a challenge. Our time typically falls into two categories throughout our careers. Gross oversimplification, but I’m talking about time employed and time unemployed. But there is a third category that arises once every few years for many people.
TIME WHILE EMPLOYED
“Time employed” is the default state of most adult lives with respect to where their time goes. You may have the money to live and enjoy life, but you don’t have the time. Even if you secure the time with an approved vacation, the time is often limited. Many office workers these days are uncomfortable taking more than 5 consecutive days off at a time.
This is at least partially for fear of losing their job. “If the company can get by without me for two weeks, maybe they’ll realize they don’t really need me” the thinking goes. The other rationale seems to be with keeping up the image and playing the game so to speak.
Even if you are brave and make your happiness and health a priority securing an extended two-week vacation, there is unintended baggage coming with you on your travels. Whether you check your luggage or do carry-on you’ll likely be bringing an unintended co-passenger; Workplace stress.
Even on a vacation, it takes some time to let go, unwind and truly relax. Even if you can relax and let it go, in the back of your mind is the knowledge that when you return, you’ll have 500 emails to catch up with and the dreaded return to the daily grind awaits.
Time off is great but it often creates a backlog of work that needs to be done when you return. A vacation is great but is there a better way? I think so. But first, let’s discuss the other time period.
TIME WHILE UNEMPLOYED
You’re unemployed. At last, you finally have some free time to come and go as you please. You can truly let go of all your work stresses and enjoy life. Travel and exploration is a possibility. Right?
Well, that would be the case except for one thing. You’ve likely occupied with finding your next job. You spend your days sending resumes, scheduling interviews, re-writing the resume. Good times for sure.
And while the free time being unemployed provides is great, it’s just not the time most of us feel comfortable spending any money since our next pay date is likey unknown.
THE GOLDEN EXCEPTION
Except for when we do know. This is what we might refer to as a golden time in life. The time when you’ve secured a new job but have not yet started. You’re not tied down to employment but you almost certainly have a paycheck in your near future. This time period can vary significantly but it’s usually between one week and a month by my estimates.
If there was ever a time to celebrate it’s in these two to four week period of employment limbo.
Here’s what I’m saying: Savor this time. It’s doesn’t typically happen so frequently in life for most of us. The time where you’re unencumbered by the constraints of current employment, yet secure in your career and financial future with a signed offer letter. Do all you can to stretch this time out as much as possible. If there was ever a time to celebrate it’s in this two to four weeks employment limbo.
Good fortune has shined on me as I have a free weeks before my next work project so travel will follow. I’ll post my findings with pics.
A night in Vancouver.
Some time in Taiwan
Some time in Hanoi, Vietnam
photo credit: pni Digital Colouring Exercise (Woman Computer with Microscope and Calculator) via photopin(license)