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Yesterday I Resigned. Will I Ever “Work” Again?

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I fully expected to type that title... I just didn't expect to type it now. I figured in 2-3 years it would be appropriate. If I typed it before that, it would be a joyous occasion - followed by the popping of champaign Champagne. So now I type it, but there is no champaign. Truth be told, I spent much of last night choking back tears... Why?

The company I worked for decided things weren't working out and gave me the option to respectfully resign. It came a little bit as a shock simply because I had been there a year and other than a feeling that I wasn't completely pulling my weight hadn't received much of a warning. At the same time, I'm not dumb (at least most of the time) and if you don't pull your weight and do your share, this is the likely result.

As I write this, it's just four hours after I've received the fateful news. I'm still sorting out thoughts and emotions. My first thought was, "Was this preventable?" The answer to that is, "Of course." I simply needed to focus on doing a better a job. It didn't take a lot of time for me to move on from the question of "what if" to a different question.

What now? There are no shortages of software engineer jobs in Silicon Valley. I could probably have 5 interviews lined-up by the time you are reading this. However, we are going on our honeymoon in 3 weeks. Is this the proper time to be looking for a new job? I talked it over with my wife, and an obvious question came up, what if I didn't look for a job right away? Money would tighter, but exactly "tight" as my wife makes a very generous salary - and the health insurance. What if I wrote more often and perhaps tried to... wait for it... blog for money? It's too early to think such thoughts, isn't it? For now, we're thinking in a different direction...

It's time to think about survival mode. What areas can we save money in? We certainly won't be buying any robot vacuums or FoodSavers. Our food bill will go up as I won't be eating at free at work anymore. Our car expenses will go down slightly since I won't be driving to and from work. As far as I can tell everything else will remain the same. However, our housing expense will be only around 23% of our take home - and that is by far our biggest expense. Thus perhaps we don't need to be too much in "survival mode", which is dangerous for me.

Why is it so dangerous? I'm tittering teetering on the edge of being depressed about the days' events. I could very easily spend the next couple of months wearing out the couch. Or I could utilize the time to do one or more of the following a) find my dream job b) explore new business opportunities and actually act on them c) exercise d) learn all the computer science skills that I should have learned a long time ago e) make reading my writing the highlight of your day.

Last updated on October 15, 2007.

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47 Responses to “Yesterday I Resigned. Will I Ever “Work” Again?”

  1. David says:

    Sorry to hear about that LazyMan, but who knows, it could end up being the best thing that ever happened. Good luck!

  2. MFJ says:

    So sorry to hear about the resignation….I’m sure you will land and on your feet and be much better off for it in the long run anyway. Just curious on the resignation vs firing, doesn’t this make it easier for the company. I have no idea how things work but if you wanted/need to claim unemployment wouldn’t it hurt your case that your resigned vs being let go.

    Anyway best of luck to you and first and foremost make sure you have fun on your honeymoon. While it’s probably a big deal to your right now, the job loss in the grand scheme of things is probably pretty trivial.

    Best of luck to you.

    MFJ

  3. Lazy Man says:

    That is an outstanding question about the unemployment. They said they wouldn’t fight an unemployment claim. I’m not sure if I’m going to apply or not, simply because of my blogging income. It’s something that I will definitely look into.

    I didn’t want it on my record that I was fired. It really was a situation where the decision to part ways was mutual.

  4. Sorry to hear about that Lazy. Perhaps you can look at your situation with a different light. You now have the chance to look for a better job or other opportunities. Perhaps 5 years down the road, this will be the best thing that could have happened.

  5. guinness416 says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, but it sounds like you have options.

    FWIW, my husband was laid off a couple of months ago, and we’re thriving on my salary alone – and our mortgage/property tax is more like 30% of my take home. We’re also surprised to find that the quality of our life has increased a lot with him only doing some part time weekend work – among other changes he’s accompanied me on business trips, is bonding with the neighbours and is in the best physical shape I’ve seen him in years, and the pressure to do all the cooking/shopping/bills/etc when we get home at 8pm is gone. We’re having great fun. So it’s funny how things work out.

  6. Xias says:

    Sorry to hear that lazy man, but from the sound of it you really are not bad off and have a variety of options available to you.

    If you have the time and ability to try different things, I definitely say go for it!

    Best of luck.

  7. RateLadder says:

    Sorry to hear. Enjoy your honeymoon. Things will work out…

  8. Leroy Brown says:

    No worries. It’s a pain to lose a job, but sometimes it’s more of a positive than a negative. Perhaps blogging will provide you enough of an income to avoid finding a new job. Working for yourself has plenty of perks, no? It’s not *all* about the money, after all.

  9. Dave says:

    Sorry to hear about your situation. It is not uncommon however and that is why I did my seminars – so folks can become self-reliant.
    Anyway, too many folks think they can make a living just from Internet income. I just posted an article discussing one persons results which I feel are typical.
    http://seminar7.vox.com/library/post/can-you-make-money-using-the-internet.html

  10. paidtwice says:

    Man, that sucks. :(

    I hope that 6 months from now you look back and think “THat was the best thing that ever happened to me, besides marrying my wife of course, because now I’m…”

    Much sympathy and here’s to landing right on your feet.

  11. Money Socket says:

    Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. If you would have stayed at there you likely wouldn’t have been happy and there would be tension if they didn’t give you the choice to resign. I say take this opportunity and explore businesses, you live in one of the most entrepreneurial areas in the world! Good luck to you

  12. Mike-TWA says:

    Sorry about the circumstances. But how about the contract approach to work? Flexibility with a semi-regular source of income. Sounds like you’re in the field for it.

    Best of luck

  13. OH MY GAWD!! WHAT!!??? I am seriously taken aback. Wow. Let me compose myself so I can write something that makes more sense….

  14. MoneyNing says:

    Just like everyone else, I’m sorry to hear about this. I think it’s best if you start applying for a job. You can always have interviews lined up after the honeymoon but waiting is never a good idea. You can always decline the interviews if you get them but the longer you wait, the more you are less inclined to do something. Blogging for money is not the easiest thing to do as you know either so think twice about it before you commit!

  15. Lazy Man says:

    I want to thank everyone with their sympathies thus far. I wonder if you are actually more concerned than I am over this.

    Mike mentioned contract work, and that’s a strong possibility. It is pretty idea since my wife has the health coverage. I just wonder if I’d had the focus to work at home. It’s one thing for me to blog or do something I’m interested in, but another to work for “the man.”

    I’m not entirely serious about blogging for money as I’m not a good enough writer for that at this stage. My income isn’t necessary for us to get by and live quite well, so even if it’s a grand failure (or just is what it is now, which isn’t bad), it’s not the worst thing in the world financially.

  16. Lazy Man says:

    Dave: Fortunately I do much better than that person does. I’ve got a 18th month head start over many people. I’m not recommending that people quit there job and try to make money just from the Internet – in fact I’ve spoken against that in the past. However, there are a few people who can actually do it.

    Money Socket: You are right, I wasn’t even when I was there and there was some tension. I shrugged off that because the pay was good. As for exploring entrepreneurial ideas, sadly, I’m Lazy so that might not work out :-).

  17. Wow, that is a shocker. Sorry to hear about that. I personally would wait to look for a job. Take sometime and collect yourself, meet you marriage head on. The best thing is to greet the situation as an opportunity. Learn what got you into the predicament, and create an action plan. Use the free time to explore were you want to go as a ‘family’, and focus on your marriage. It could be a great growth opportunity.

    Always half full!

    -The Happy Rock

  18. Irina says:

    LazyMan, you will be better off without a job that you did’t enjoyed. Just think about the things you do love and enjoy and that will be your next money-maker.

    Take my case for example. I used to work in tech PR and I didn’t enjoy that at all. By the time I was ASKED to GO, I came up with an idea that I will earn money by twisting balloon animals. And that is what I do, twisting balloon animals and it pays my bills just fine.
    (see my blog at http://mylifeandart.typepad.com) The funny thing is, I was asked to COME BACK now several times by that PR agency. But I said, Thanks! but NO, Thanks. I am happy with my balloon animals now.

  19. Patrick says:

    Sorry to hear the news, Lazy Man. I would definitely wait until after your honeymoon before scheduling any interviews. It will give you time to decompress and figure some things out.

    Didn’t you also mention the other day that a certain company known for their search engine requested your resume? Now might be a good time to brush up on it.

  20. Mrs. Micah says:

    That sucks. Not necessarily that it’s bad you have new opportunities, but it’s nice to either resign of your own idea or at least have lots of nice discussions with the company so that your resignation is basically your idea. Rejection hurts.

    You’re an engaging writer and other people have suggested contract work. Or Patrick mentioned Google….I hope you end up with an even better opportunity until you’re ready to retire.

  21. Matt Wolfe says:

    Yea. That’s a bummer. It’s probably all for the best in the long run though. It’s gives you the opportunity to explore new avenues and probably find something that’s more suitable for you.

  22. DJ says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but it looks like you’ll make it out ok :)

  23. Laura says:

    Sorry, to hear the news. You seem to be pretty level headed, so I think you’ll be able to work through this.

  24. Jonathan says:

    I doesn’t sound like you were really enjoying yourself, so it feels like more of accelerated version of your own self plan. I would that spending all day blogging would certainly feel like ‘work’ to me :)

  25. Flexo says:

    It sounds like this was a good move for you — or at least, you have a good attitude about it. No day job means you’ll have some time to focus on yourself …. maybe you’ll get a chance to experiment a little and see what really works for you. Best of luck, and let me know if you need anything! Looking forward to see the paths you take.

  26. JM says:

    “I wasn’t completely pulling my weight”

    “My first thought was, “Was this preventable?” The answer to that is, “Of course.” I simply needed to focus on doing a better a job.”

    “learn all the computer science skills that I should have learned a long time ago ”

    This self assessment is kind of troubling to me, maybe because it feels very much like how I would assess myself. I work in IT, but didn’t really have any formal training in it so sometimes I can feel more than a little inadequate. I basically talked myself into a sweet tech job 7 years ago at a time when that was what people were doing. I have 7 years of experience now, and actually like working in IT, but there are still some things that I don’t know that kind of bother me. Not that a comp sci degree is necessarily what I need.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, not knowing your personal situation, you (and I too) don’t necessarily have to feel inadequate about these things. A small part of any career is what you know (credentials), but a lot of it is based on who you know (networking) and what you have done (experience).

    It sounds like you may have just been given a golden opportunity to figure out what you want to do with your life based on what appeals *to you*, not necessarily how society says you should/can make a living. A lot of people don’t get that opportunity period.

    Also, don’t pass up unemployment, and sign up for it as soon as possible, preferably today. Its money you paid into the system, not some kind of welfare, and you can’t count on your former employer holding to their word that they won’t contest your claim, so you will be better off getting it right away before they change their mind. If you don’t feel you need this free money for your day-to-day, then for flip sake drop it all into an IRA, or piss it away on iphones and candy. Just don’t piss it away on nothing at all, which is what you are doing by not claiming it.

  27. wealthy_1 says:

    Dear LazyMan,

    I’m sorry to hear about your job loss, but like Money Socket, I believe everything happens for a reason.

    You say you are lazy, but it doesn’t seem like it to me. You take the time to write TWO blogs, you are focused on building your net worth and earning alternative income. I think that you are underestimating yourself.

    It sounds like you have a very supportive wife too. You are truly blessed. Perhaps your honeymoon vacation can be an opportunity to clear you head and consider the rewards of being an entrepreneur.

  28. Wow, sorry to hear that! Being let-go/fired/whatever without warning is not a pleasant way to go. Just imagine the possibilities now! Good luck.

  29. Ana says:

    Congrats! Seriously, although you may be in a state of shock right now, this will probably be one of the better things that has ever happened to you. Quiting my job about six years ago opened up so many more possibilities for me–after I quit I actually had time to develop multiple sources of income which is what (very comfortably) pays the bills for our family to this day. Working a 9-5 job leaves very little time for anything else including spending time with family, developing your own business or working on projects that are most important to you. Plus, many people think about what they would do if they didn’t have to work but are too terrified to try it–you got kicked out of the nest just like a baby bird and now you will have the opportunity to fly!

  30. fubek says:

    Wow! Welcome to freedom!

    I’ve been there, let me tell you to just stop worrying. Whatever the reasons for this are, they are past. Take a long walk and focus on the beauty of nature. Put worries aside. Things will work out. As they always have, haven’t they? Smile.

    I’m subscribing to your RSS feed now just to see how thing are going to work out. :-)

  31. Maria says:

    Hang in there, Lazy Man. Ten years and two months ago, I was fired from my job of 10 months and received 2 weeks’ severance, a cab voucher, and my box of stuff delivered to my house by a courier. It took me 11 months to get my next job, in part because I needed to lick my wounds from the previous one. I also knew that I wanted my next job to be one that held some meaning for me, not just one that paid a lot so I could buy more crap.

    I’ve now been at that “next job” for over 9 years. The soul searching that I did during that time really paid off. Taking my current job required me to take a pay cut of 50 percent from my previous job. But now, I make twice as much as I did at the last job.

    Having been in your shoes to some degree, here’s my $0.02: one, I wouldn’t bother spending the time before your honeymoon looking for a new job. You probably could use the mental break from the trauma that comes from losing a job. Two, when you’re ready, do some soul searching relative to what went wrong. It seems like you’ve done some of that already. I was in denial about getting fired for a long time, and believed that nothing that I did contributed to my termination. The truth was that I had a massive sense of entitlement and did stupid things that caused me to get canned. Realizing this was humbling and helped me a lot going forward.

    On the financial side, it is possible to stay afloat when you’re unemployed. I didn’t have any credit card debt when I lost my job, and I didn’t go into debt during my bout of unemployment. I kept myself in the black through a combination of consulting for an old boss, working as a friend’s secretary for a few trying months, participating in market research studies, and collecting unemployment checks (adjusted, of course, for the periods in which I worked). I also took advantage of every free source of entertainment here in Boston, and there’s a lot of those. I did lose a year of saving for retirement, but I’ve made up for that since then.

    Best of luck to you, L.M. You *will* work again.

  32. Velvet Jones says:

    Hi there. I just started reading your blog this week. I’m very, very sorry to hear about your situation. I wish I had something wonderfully uplifting to say, but I don’t. I do wish you luck and hope your next job…or whatever you do…is better then what you resigned from.

  33. vh says:

    It’s hard to look on the bright side when you have to deal with the insult to your pride of being asked to leave. Also, many people have their personal identities so invested in their jobs that being unemployed is a real psychological challenge. But often these things do work out for the best…if you weren’t “pulling your weight,” as you admit, you must not have felt very enthusiastic about the job. And who needs to spend upwards of 9 hours a day at something that doesn’t turn them on?

    If you’re going to stay in the tech industry, you probably should send out some applications pretty soon, ’cause those skills get stale very fast when you’re not on the job. Since you’re in a position where you don’t have to earn a ton of dough, consider government jobs: pay can be low but. . .well. . .so is the workload. >;-) Benefits are good to excellent (esp. with the feds and with some states), and government entities abide by rules that force bosses to treat you fairly. And then some: my secretary is a dangerous moron, but I can’t fire her without going through the tortures of the damned, so she just sits there ticking her way toward retirement.

    On the other hand, if you found you were less than enthusiastic about the job because tech work itself (as opposed to that specific employer) is unsatisfying, this is a great opportunity to explore some other ways to make a living.

  34. PinoyTech says:

    I would go with the “make reading my writing the highlight of your day” choice.

    On a more serious note, I have been reading bloggers even quitting their job and I believe that with a big response from your readers that you are having right now, you can do it.

  35. Super Saver says:

    Lazy Man,

    Sorry to hear about the job loss. Sound like you’re prepared with alternative income, and your future spouse’s income being able to cover expenses. Good luck on your next position, whether that be with a company or on your own.

  36. Belated sympathies on the job loss. But I was very happy to read that you’re feeling better than you thought you would. It sounds like you have the financial resources to take some time to sort things out, which can only mean you’ll be able to make the best decisions for yourself and your wife. Good luck! I look forward to reading about the path you take and wish you much success!

  37. Yan says:

    Sounds like exciting times! I left full time jobs and then was coming back to employment a couple of times. Things are very different when you are on your own. Good luck!

  38. ESM says:

    My husband and I were in the exact same situation last year. He was laid off six weeks before our wedding. Take the time off right now because any traction you gain before the wedding will disappear because you will be caught up in wedding prep. and the honeymoon.
    I think you need to have a frank discussion with your fiancee about how she feels about being the main breadwinner and having that load on her. While you may think she is ready and agrees to it, has she said it verbally? Being newlyweds is hard enough without different ideas about who is pulling what weight economically in the marriage. I have had to be the main support as my husband is still looking for his job. (We decided to use this as an opportunity to move and his industry is notorious for a lack of good positions.) I like to work, so it is not that I mind at all. But, we have had to put a lot of life plans on hold due to our uncertainty. Be prepared for your fiancee to have a roller coaster worth of emotions, and she will bear the brunt of your job loss as people will go to her for updates on your situation so as not to upset you. Careerjournal.com has a really good column on a diary of a job loss.
    Finally, enjoy the time up to your wedding. Don’t let that happy day get lost in this temporary setback.

  39. Lazy Man says:

    Thanks for the comments ESM, I just want to clarify a couple of points.

    – We are already married, just having a delayed honeymoon.
    – I’ve had this frank discussion with my wife. This is just a trial and I will be working to catch up in that bread-winning department. She doesn’t have to do anything differently and it takes an Act of Congress (literally) to fire her, so it’s not like she has to live on edge.

  40. FJK says:

    A couple of quick corrections first.

    It’s spelled “Champagne” not “Champaign” (as in Illinois).
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_(wine)

    Also it’s not “Tittering” it’s “Teetering”
    See http://www.allwords.com/word-teetering.html

    OK now that’s out of the way I have one quick question – because you resigned I assume you didn’t get unemployment benefits? The reason I ask is that if you were truly fired without warning I’m guessing you could fight the dismissal perhaps – or at least threaten to so they would make yours a “layoff” thus getting you a bit more income.

    Also is there any chance something you wrote on this blog contributed to your situation? Having an employee who blogs as “Lazy Man” seems like asking for trouble IMHO.

    Best,

    -F

  41. Lazy Man says:

    My spell check changed those. I thought it didn’t look right, but spelling check is usually better than me.

    They said they wouldn’t fight unemployment case, but I need to look into what the rules for unemployment are. Right now, I do make money with this website, so in a sense I’m employed. I have been unemployed in the past and collected, but it was a very clear cut layoff, not this murky situation and in a different state, with likely slightly different rules.

    There’s a chance that something written in the blog could have contributed to the situation, but then they are a fairly uninformed company. The best software engineers are lazy and program things so that they don’t need to maintain them. It’s a very well known thing in the software engineering circles. This is what the “Lazy” refers to in my name, not the negative connotation that most people have.

  42. FJK says:

    HI Lazy Man,

    I’m a software engineer myself so I can relate to what you say about “Lazy”. The best engineers do indeed automate everything!

    FYI when you start looking for a job the first place to check is http://www.indeed.com – it aggregates jobs from a number of sites e.g. Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice.com
    and it’s much faster and more quickly usable than those sites to boot!

    Best of luck,

    -F

  43. Joseph Sangl says:

    The greatest day of my life was September 20, 2006 when I fired myself from Corporate America and went on a crusade to help others win with their money!

    Here’s to you going and doing exactly what you have been put on earth to do – regardless of the income potential!!! The income always seems to follow those who are most passionate about what they do!

  44. Job Resource Consultant Casey says:

    Hello Lazy Man;

    I am so sorry to hear about your recent job loss.

    I work with people who have recently been “re-organized.” I know how incredibly difficult this time can be for even the most talented professionals.

    Take this time to find the right “fit.” It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future employeer. Good luck.

  45. mapgirl says:

    Hey Lazy Man, I’ve just started catching up. I am sorry to hear about this situation, but as they say, Crisis = Opportunity. It sounds like you are staying positive and upbeat and open to the possibilities that await you.

    In CA there are funny rules about unemployment. The labor laws there are generally strict and trying, so be really clear in understanding what your former company will and will not do about the unemployment payments.

    I wish you a lot of luck. If you’re looking for work in SiliValley, and you’re not on LinkedIn, you might try that. I find the quality of the contacts to be high there, at least from my tech friends and former co-workers.

  46. ah, here’s the post. yes, check out my post tomorrow and you’ll see we have a lot in common.

    good luck with the non-work thing and don’t worry too much about how things will work out. they will. just enjoy your honeymoon.

  47. Matt says:

    I had the same thing happen to me but I think I might have jumped back on the work wagon too quickly. All in all the severance check allowed me to pay down some debt and get engaged so it was a good thing. You’ve got the opportunity to work on growing your alternate income.

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