When I lost my last job and didn’t find myself diving into a new one straight away, I spent few months “in between” and promised myself that once its over I’ll write about it, so i don’t forget what this time meant to me.
Not having an employment contract, monthly salary and daily routine is only one side of losing your job. Finding yourself on the edge of vulnerability, learning how to ask for and accept the help of others, having to deal with change, expectations, uncertainty, reinventing yourself and going far outside your comfort zone is what you really get. Here are few things I’ve (re)learned during this time and why it was worth not having a job to do so.
Have you ever felt shivering inside when hearing an idea that you disagree deeply with? That’s how I feel when I hear “job is only a job” saying. And I know what people mean. It’s not that job is not important, but it’s just saying that there are more important things in life. Reminder of priorities. I get it. But I still disagree. If you spend doing something 8 hours a day, regardless if it pays you or not – that IS your life. You can extend it to 14 hours or reduce to 4 hours but it is still big part of your living.
Now think about all the things you enjoy in life. Things that keep you feeling alive. A food for thought for each one of us, so I’ll stick to my own answers here.
So these are the things that make me feel alive:
- Curiosity, having my mind confused and challenged, moments of new realizations, constant learning.
- Beauty of moments, emotions, feelings. When everything is turning inside as you witness kindness, courage, determination, honesty.
- Having fun, laughing, randomness, enjoying it.
- Having like-minded people around, having people I love around, having people around that challenge me to be a better me.
- Witnessing and causing a positive change. A little or a big one, as long as it is meaningful to someone out there.
(now think about what makes YOU feel alive)
How can we add more of those things to our job? How can we make our living not having those things waiting for ‘after hours’? Instead of ignoring work/job and hiding it behind ‘priorities’, mix it up and make it part of your priorities, because you’re enjoying it so much, it actually becomes important.
We live in times when we are finally talking a lot about work/life balance and we finally understand that it is not enough. We now started talking about work-life integration – “Do what you like and you won’t have to work a day in your life”. However it’s not only about what we do, but mostly about how we do it. Who do we surround ourselves with, what emotions we get in touch with,are we motivated by the outcome of our work, what is the rhythm of our work lives, how do we feel before/during/after. Think of the answer to the question earlier, and step by step make it part of your working experience. No matter if flexible hours or 9-to-5 – make them happy and enjoyable. Live a little. Live all the time!