I'm starting a new job on June 1st! By that time I'll have been unemployed for a little less than two months. It's the longest period I have ever involuntarily gone without a job, but also the first time I've been unemployed and only looking for high skill jobs.
Aside from the slight hassle with the unemployment agency described earlier it's been a generally rewarding experience. I've had the opportunity to rest, for one. I've done a lot of programming, especially in the first couple of weeks. The kind of projects that had been bottled up and waiting for some free time to be realised.
I've binged series, which isn't generally something I do.
I came back to reading. Then I lost that habit again when I got tired of the book I was reading and started watching series instead. I'm thinking I'm going to try to get back into it again now. We'll see if Sense and Sensibility turns out to be a page turner; otherwise I'll have to find a book that is. Tips are always welcome, of course.
For a long time I've said that I'd be happy to retire from work right now if I could. After this experience I'm revising that a bit. Having a lot of time off is nice, but not if you have to spend all that time alone. When friends and spouse are working and kids are in school the days aren't always wonderful. Sometimes they seem to last forever, filled with nothing of consequence.
Being intentionally idle can be very constructive and healthy. Becoming idle simply because you don't know what to spend your time on is, in my experience, rather destructive. That void easily fills up with unwelcome thoughts and emotions, driven by an overwhelming feeling that you should really be doing something useful. Idleness, as everything else, is best enjoyed in moderation.
After working remotely for two years I'm also looking forward to having an office to go to. I've been pretty adamant about not ever wanting to have to commute ever again, but this is also a view that has changed for me. I'll have a 30-35 minutes bike commute each day I choose to be at the office. That's time I willingly spend on my bike anyway. The office is right on top of one of my favourite tea shops, and I can do my grocery shopping on my way home. The commute time doesn't really "cost" me anything, since I would spend that time in motion regularly anyway. With the times I'll be working I reckon I can still fit 3 to 4 runs a week as well. Especially since I can choose to work from home should I want to.
The spring and summer are the best seasons to have an office to go to. The commute is pleasurable and the office has AC and filtered ventilation (no pollen!), both of which are commodities I lack at home.
It's a very win-win-win situation. And on May 25th I'll finally receive my full severance from my previous job.
The new job comes with a higher pay check too. Not an extreme raise by any measure. The new salary is very much in line with what someone in my position and experience can expect and I was already pretty close to that. I'm increasing my work hours from 75% to 80% of full time (but because of some administrative differences between this and my last employer I won't actually work more, which is quite magical). That coupled with the slightly higher salary actually means a 10% increase in gross income! It's insane, quite frankly.
It does give a sense of economic security in these times of high inflation. I reckon the next few years will see most people losing money even when getting raises.
My gripes with the unemployment agency.
-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal