I was recently at a bar at the Jersey Shore - that's New Jersey to us Yanks - as opposed to Jersey in the Channel Islands! - where an amusing new term was being passed around: fun-employment.
There's even a website:
The definition? It's basically how it sounds: having fun while unemployed. The above website offers a bevy of affordable social activities for people who are currently out of work in San Francisco, Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York. Or as the Washington DC site explains, the website is also meant to target "the unpaid interns, the exploited, the indebted and the just plain cheap."
Happily, I am not unemployed but I have been spending time with a few people who are. And they are absolutely loving life. Rather than wallow in self-pity about being the victim of company lay-offs, they're taking advantage of everything the summer has to offer: the beach (last I checked most of them are free), happy hours (who can beat $1.50 oysters and $5.00 martinis?) and free outdoor concerts. And heck, if they get the yen for a nice lunch or dinner, their severance package has to go somewhere, right?
Just the other day, I had lunch with a former colleague who was let go after 15 years. She was actually happy about it! Turns out, conditions at the company had gotten so bad after it had been bought out that people were begging to be fired. And now that she's out of work, she's enjoying the first chunk of real down time she's had in years including spending quality time with family and friends.
Another former co-worker of mine left the troubled company before she could be made redundant. After working there 8 years, she barely got a goodbye from the new powers-that-be. Talk about a lack of employee recognition...
So for any of our readers who are experiencing lay-offs or have simply told their bosses to take this job and shove it, fear not: what lies ahead doesn't necessarily have to be scary. Just make the best of these warm summer months and start looking in the Fall.