It seems somewhat counterintuitive to go on vacation when you don’t have a job. And, as I’ve written before, the concept of not working grates on me a bit, so going on vacation means studying the guilt complex that comes with it. That said, I did go on vacation during last week’s school vacation and I’ve had an interesting response since I’ve come back.
I felt somewhat compelled while I was gone to step away from my daily routine of job searching, connecting, learning. I mean, I was on vacation, right? Coming back on Saturday meant Sunday was wide open to prepare for the week or jump back into ‘real life.’ Yet I wanted to preserve the feeling of freedom I had while away so pushed off all but the imperative ‘real life’ jobs (you know, like grocery shopping so we could eat, and paying bills to keep the house above our head).
Once I got around that transition day, Monday stared me in the face with the big question – “Now what?” I didn’t have the normal mountain of work waiting for me since I have no deadlines for projects or work product so that pressure was gone which I appreciated. That also meant my motivation for moving forward had to be internal and jumpstarting that was a tad tough. I had a plan before I left and yet somehow the time away left everything floating, waiting to be directed.
My confidence also took a hit, interestingly enough. My approach of doing a bit every day to move the job search forward was interrupted and in getting back into it, I found I needed to prop myself up a bit, whereas before leaving town, I knew my skills and felt confident in what I bring to the table. The last few days included reminding myself of my story and worth.
I was surprised by the need to give myself a push to get moving again after being away for a week. I am a self-motivated person but apparently need to structure some of my to-do’s to have some urgency in this incredibly unstructured world of the job search. Even things like these posts got pushed back as I got back into the game and started my normal brain functionality of prioritizing.
I let go of the guilt of going ‘on vacation’ and took the time this morning to look at my response to coming back to day to day life. All the little pieces that make us who we are shift and change, though I believe the foundational pieces remain the same. But sometimes those little shifts can be a learning experience as we move forward.