June 8, 2009
Are you one of the happily funemployed?
I saw this post whiz by on Twitter the other day:
"I feel so guilty about enjoying my funemployment, but I am."
Among the Twitterer's recent activities: hiking, biking, and the Sasquatch music festival.
Proof that she wasn't alone? A recent Los Angeles Times article called "For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome."
It shouldn't come as any shock that many of those viewing their unemployment as a welcome vacation are in their twenties and thirties, able to live on less, and not saddled with parenting duties or costs. But I've also met folks in their forties and up who are crossing their fingers that their job won't make the cut next time layoffs roll around.
It may not be popular in this economic climate to kick up your heels and yelp, "Woohoo! I don't have to work this week!" Or, "I'm praying for a layoff. Cross your fingers for me!" But as an overachiever who's worked herself into a tizzy on more than one occasion lately, I can't really blame folks wanting to step off the work-spend-consume hamster wheel awhile (though I wouldn't object if they lowered their voices a little).
Of course, funemployment only works if you have a parent, partner, or fat severance package or savings account to keep you and any dependents you're responsible for afloat. You probably won't find many single parents who live close to the bone or single homeowners with a hefty mortgage shouting from the rooftops about the wonders of not having to work this week.
But perhaps the real question for the happily funemployed is this: Will you stick with your current bare-bones budget and newfound work/life balance even after we make it out of this recession? Or when the next decent-paying, full-time job comes along will you return to those heftier spending patterns and higher stress levels of yesteryear?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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