Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Everything is New

I was talking with a coworker the other day who’s also been laid off. We were discussing options -- specifically, how strenuously we should be looking for a new job.

I’ve been firing off resumes almost from the moment I heard the news. But between my severance, unemployment and savings, I do have a cushion to live on for quite a while. Some people have told me, as they have my coworker, that we should use those resources and take time to be creative, find the right job or career path, and not rush into any life changes purely for the sake of security.

I’m just not sure what to think about that.

I enjoy security. I really like to know where my next meal is coming from. Backing away from the job search to mull over my future prospects, and maybe do some creative experimentation, seems like rather dangerous lassitude in the face of an urgent situation.

But on the other hand, how urgent is the situation, really? Although red flashing strobes are going off in my brain, I’m fine -- really I am. For months and months. I could live on severance alone well into the middle of next year, without even touching my savings.

There are also a host of variables complicating my future.

It won’t surprise any of you that I’m thinking about moving to New Jersey. Dave and I have talked about the possibilities, and I’m already looking for jobs there. It seems like a good solution for both of us, allowing us to save money and enrich our lives together.

But if I move to New Jersey, I’d need a car -- and what would I do with my Manhattan apartment? Should I rent it, or do I want to sell it and be rid of New York altogether?

I guess I shouldn’t tangle all these issues together, and I shouldn’t think about them all at once. As the Berbers say, “Imiks imiks ikshim aram tagdoult” -- or “Little by little, the camel goes into the pot.” I’ll just play it by ear. When I have job nibbles in New York, I’ll stay in New York, and if things happen in New Jersey I’ll stay with Dave and work on those opportunities. I’ll just see what happens. If anything, I’m fortunate because I could go in any direction, and I have time to breathe, enjoy life and make the right decisions.

(Photo: Sunrise over a parking lot, East Brunswick, N.J., Monday.)


  1. I think it's the perfect time for lassitude! You haven't had that chance for a very long time, and you might not have it again for a couple more decades. Savor it.

  2. If I were in your situation, I would probably try to line up a job, but leave a break in between the two jobs and plan a trip to an exciting place or take an intensive class or do something to mark this milestone in my life.

    Could you rent your condo in Manhattan? That might be a better approach while the real estate market is depressed.

    It's exciting to think that you have so many options, while having the security of your relationship with Dave. You will choose wisely I'm sure. I'll bet you will actually be happy the layoff forced you to make some big life changes.

  3. I firmly believe that life will come to you if you let it.

  4. You'll move through this exactly as you need to, Steve. I do think the early to mid 40's are a great time to take a break from 9-5, rethink priorities, but you can certainly ruminate inbetween sending out resumes.

    You're great! You will prevail and triumph and be so much the better for it all.


  5. It is hard in this situation not to give in and do the most practical thing...but it is important to look at options, and if you have the luxury of time, take it. Your gut instinct rarely fails...

  6. I...

    "mull over my future prospects, and maybe do some creative experimentation"

    ...WHILE at my current job! Booyahh!