On Being Off

Today marks one year since I’ve had a Day Job. I’m reminded of that keen observation re: parenthood — “the days are long and the years are short.” Well, this has been the shortest year ever.

Thought I’d post this in the event that a) one of you might know of a Day Job for me and/or b) these thoughts on joblessness are of some value to you or someone else In with whom you’re also Linked.

I was asked yesterday how I have been “keeping” myself. An idiom which sounded as strange then as it reads now.

Keeping myself busy — traveling, volunteering, guest lecturing, interviewing, consulting, conferencing, cooking, reading, writing, researching, yoga-ing, and spending more time with my wife and sons than they might have hoped for. Probably too much time left to my own (electronic) devices.

Keeping myself on task — to do one thing personally and one thing professionally every day. No washboard abs or guitar virtuosity, but I’m making the most of it most of the time.

Keeping myself grateful. We have our health. And as joblessness goes, I know mine’s a first-world problem — good fortune, no burned bridges, with a generous package that funds my figuring out what’s next. Could be worse.

Keeping myself focused. No radical lifechange has come to mind yet, tempting as it may seem to change one’s parachute color at this stage. Ready for more of the same — Marketing and Management through challenging strategic assignments for fun media brands with inspiring people. I envy the Entrepreneur, sure, but am either too self-aware or too chickenshit to pull the trigger.

Keeping myself from uttering the N-word — “Networking.” Oh, I’ve networked plenty; I’ve just had the good sense to not be perceived as ever doing so. No one likes an overt networker. Sick of Starbucks by now, but excited hearing about the great things that my professional friends are accomplishing, and just plain honored that they’re in my corner.

Keeping myself optimistic. Sure, there are frustrations — news of industry layoffs, discourteous HR wonks, awkward manifestations of concern from loved ones — but you gotta have faith. (George Michael as lifecoach. Yikes.)

And when I get that next Day Job, you’ll be the first to know. Via a boastful LinkedIn profile update.

In the meantime, if you want to network chat, or meet for a drink anywhere other than Starbucks, I’m at roodjohnrood@gmail.com.

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