The illusion of time

Published on Jun 04, 2024 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Being Out of Work

Although this problem was more common many years ago when there were more corporate layoffs, I still from time to time see members waste the first 6 months of their job search. It’s not that they “goof off,” it’s more that they feel they have the luxury of time.

As a sailor, I can assure you that time and tide wait for no man. Neither does the job market and more importantly the marketability of your career.

Among the many things I hope are communicated in our newsletter are all the things you shouldn’t waste your time doing. Things such as mass mailings to recruiters or contacting accounting firms and lawyers you may know are generally not a good use of your time. Most of these folks will do the worst thing possible which is to appear to be helpful, but not actually be helpful. Very simply, it is called “follow the money.” Why would they introduce you to their source of income when the best result may be that they won’t lose their client?

While many will caution you to let yourself decompress from that bad job or go through the grieving process after leaving a company you have called home for most of your career, I suggest you move with all dispatch to find yourself a job. If you are over the age of 50-55, the urgency is even greater.

The truth is that no matter how fat the severance package is or how soon you might be eligible to receive your retirement package, if you want to work again it is vitally important that you find yourself a job. Almost any job will due. I am not suggesting you accept a miserable job requiring long hours, a horrible commute and work with terrible people. A nice job with a good title, but perhaps at a big cut in pay, will allow you to create the illusion of your employability.

Most people you know will not ask what you are earning in your new job. It would be kind of rude to do so. The fact that you can find work at your advanced years will allow you to do the one thing I hope you like to do and that is practice your skill set.

This thinking is not appropriate for those in their early 40’s. For those of you blessed with youth, planning the next stages of your career is more important than accepting any job that comes along.

If you have had a job for a long period of time, you will find that job search is a painful process. In part, your desire not to have to do this again soon will cause you to keep looking for that perfect job that will take you through to retirement. Trust me, there is no such animal.

Your ticket to working until you want to stop is creating a skill at finding new assignments.

The illusion of having the time to “do it right this time” is largely offset by the reality of the job market. Long service opportunities are few and far between. To wait for those perfect situations is to be kidding yourself.

Attack the market with all the energy you had in your youth. In truth, your needs are different than those early in their careers and so are your many skills and talents. Put your thinking cap on and find some work.

It is always better to be working. At what it almost doesn’t much matter.

Regards, Matt