Tuesday 20 March 2012

No Job, No Job Title

I've been asked a few times in the last week what my occupation is. Since finishing work on VR, I'm finding it a bit difficult to answer this question. Technically, I don't class myself as unemployed and won't be signing on. So what am I?

So far a few suggestions have been:
  • International Man of leisure or iMol for short (thanks to my girlfriend for that one)
  • Wannabe adventurer
  • Daytime TV watcher
  • Part time fitness enthusiast (gym goer!!!)
  • Professional sofa surfer
  • Retired (this was a slip of the tongue by me & didn't go down too well with the girlfriend oops!)
So why am I asking?
When I've been asked what I do for a living, I've replied with I don't work and I'm having the rest of the year off, this has led to some strange reactions. It's made me realise that job titles or occupations are commonly used to define how others initially perceive you. It seems strange that we are defined by a simple job title and that people judge you for what you are, not who you are.

If I had won the lottery or inherited a wad of cash from a long lost relative and did not have to work, would this be the same situation?

Students can say they are having a gap year and the older generation can say they are retired, but what can a middle aged man who's just taking a career break say?

Answers on a postcard...


Tuesday 13 March 2012

Goodbye Rat Race (well for now)

So today was my last day at work for 2012!

Let me explain why. The company I worked for wanted to “downsize” and save some money in these economically challenging times. To entice employees to leave they offered voluntary redundancy (VR) with an enhanced package. This was too good an opportunity to pass on.

I applied for VR. They accepted it.

So after 8 years and 6 days with the company, we’ve parted ways. It’s also the first time since leaving university that I’ve not been in full time employment. I’m not sad about leaving the job or company, but I do have a tinge of sadness knowing that I’ll no longer be part of the office banter. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in a great team, with some talented people and made some good friends over the years, many of them I intend to stay in touch with.

As for having the rest of the year off, I thought it might be difficult to find a permanent job that would allow me to take 4 months out to go on my trips, so I’m treating the rest of 2012 as an extended sabbatical.

What next for me in 2012?

Well, I’m intending to put my time to good use. I’ll use it to prepare for the trips, get fitter, go hill walking, cycle, hone my photography skills, learn a language, improve at climbing, catch up with friends & family and have a thoroughly relaxing time. With all of this, I’m not sure how I ever had time for work!

So it’s goodbye to the rat race (well for now). I can honestly say that I won’t miss the 9 to 5, filling in timesheets, team meetings or performance reviews, but I’ll be back in 2013, refreshed and raring to go.

Exciting times ahead!


PS If anyone has any free time and wants to meet up for a walk, climb, have a chat or beer then let me know, I’m sure I can find an opening in my diary :-)