Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

I'm semi-unemployed, not really

Yesterday, I dropped my second son, and my youngest, off to Penn State to begin his education in engineering. He's a sweet young man and he said thank you to us before he turned and walked, without looking back, toward his dorm. Of course, his mother cried. I'm proud of him and of us as parents.

I'm semi-unemployed, not really

Yesterday, I dropped my second son, and my youngest, off to Penn State to begin his education in engineering. He's a sweet young man and he said thank you to us before he turned and walked, without looking back, toward his dorm. Of course, his mother cried. I'm proud of him and of us as parents.

But, now, in a way, I'm unemployed. Many of you, like me, have or have had jobs that keep you busy more than eight hours a day. Many of you, like me, have gradually trimmed your lives to keeping a job and raising a family. Well, that family part has gone from full time to part time. That's why, in an odd way, I'm finding Ford R. Myers book, "Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Hiring" very compelling. You can read my Q&A with him in today's Inquirer by linking here. And at noon, I'll be chatting online with him.

I say oddly because the majority of these books are repackaged common sense, usually with one little wrinkle that is perhaps worth the cost. Generally though, I wonder why anyone would pay money for the common sense ideas in these books. This one isn't much different. But, the lesson that I'm learning from this is that as ridiculous as I find these books, when they hit you at the right time, they resonate. 

Here is what is resonating with me: I'm thinking about his idea of imagining the perfect day at work. Myers, a local career counselor, suggests that you write it out, starting from the a.m. Don't be specific about the name of the job but try to focus on what the day is like. I'm doing that now with my "new life." This morning I was thinking about what mornings will be like, now that, for the first time in 15 years, we don't need to drive someone to school. That leaves me more time. Time for what? How can I enhance my life and my job with this extra time?  I want to envision each aspect, because I don't want to drift.

As I write this, I must apologize to people who have really lost their jobs. My rambling is complete idiocy because at least I have a job and this exercise can be delightfully self-indulgent. To those of you who are unemployed, I still think this book is worth reading. You need to find some structure and this book has a reasonable plan, plus online components.

I'll be blogging off and on about this book all week.

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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