Resting. (or, “Holy Crap. I’m Unemployed!”)

It’s a long story, and I won’t get into it now.

It involves all of the plot elements of a good high-budget dramatic movie. I’d like to think that after I finally sell the script to David Lynch, my character will be played by Janeane Garafalo. It will be a romantic comedy, filled with dry wit and poetry, and it will document all of the laughter and tears in the latest chapter of my most tumultuous love affair: my relationship with the tech industry.

The film will end with me sitting at the top of Nob Hill, looking out over a sparkling, thriving city with a shaken longing in my eyes. And after a few minutes of thoughtful silence, I will take a deep breath and say, “Holy crap. I’m unemployed!”

And as the screen fades to black and the credits start to roll, the music will be soft, and a heavy sigh will be heard through the darkness. It will be followed by three words in the same intense voice : “It’s about time.”

Back to reality for a moment. I suddenly have no income. I’ve said goodbye a team that I’ve been calling “family.” I’ve transitioned out of exciting projects with valuable clients that I adored. No, these things do not make me happy.

But there is a relief that comes with change. There is a blank piece of paper in front of me, and I haven’t even picked out my pen yet. There is a time to rest.

And there are also many questions to answer. So let’s get them out of the way now.

The “Sarah is Unemployed” Fall ’07 FAQ

Q: Are you okay?

A: Yes.

Q: What was your job?

A: I was the Project Manager and Technical Writer for a new partnership between two firms, overseeing the production of high-end internal websites for large corporations. In other words, I was the “details person” for a startup.

Q: Were you an employee or a contractor?

A: I was a contractor. I haven’t been an employee anywhere in about 3 years. My autonomy and flexibility are very important to me. So is my ability to legally work eight hours without a break. :)

A: ::sighs:: You’re giving me that look my mother gives me, aren’t you. Yes, I buy my own health insurance. No, it doesn’t cost that much. And my level of job security is no worse that it would be anywhere else in the tech industry.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I’m taking a few weeks off to rest, volunteer, write, and reacquaint myself my plans and goals.

Q: Don’t you think you should be looking for work right away?

A: To be honest, work seems to be looking for me. I’ve only been out of work for a week, I haven’t asked for any help, and I’ve already received 10 nudges/leads/offers for new work. This tells me that the tech industry is alive and well, and I don’t have much to worry about.

Q: I know someone who needs a website. I’ll send the request your way, okay?

A: Hold that thought! While I appreciate all leads and adore the spirit of community, I’m not in a position to be building websites right now, and will have to decline the request. I’ll let you know if that changes. I am, however, happy to offer suggestions for where to get assistance with your web needs — especially if you don’t mind me blogging the advice for the general public to see, too.

Q: But isn’t building websites your thing?

A: It used to be, back when simple designs and static page content were considered “high-end websites.” Now there is so much more that can (and should) be done with a website, and I’m far more interested in managing and documenting the vision and process than I am in learning new programming languages. Consider me a Project Manager and Technical Writer now. And while, yes, I could manage and document the details around your web development project, I don’t currently have a team on hand for building that website. If you have that team, we should talk.

sdopplaughing.jpgQ: Are you, um, going to grow your hair out now?

A: Nope.

Q: Okay, I mean, it’s a good look on you. So anyway, what are you looking for right now?

A: Open space. Inspiration. Coffee dates with people who are living lives of their own design. Calls for submissions to publications. A good yoga class. Resources for improving my financial literacy. Lunch dates with people who have outlandish dreams and want to scheme the details. Tech conferences that I can get into for free or cheap. Meetups. The motivation to fix up and reorganize my home office. A renewed connection with the blogosphere. Lots of time and space and focus to write.

There’s more to come, I’m sure.

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3 Responses to “Resting. (or, “Holy Crap. I’m Unemployed!”)”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    Will you continue to go to school?

  2. sarah Says:

    Yep. I’ve been taking it one night class at a time. The one I’m in right now is Grantwriting — very useful.

  3. Kat Says:

    i can has coffee date?