I’m on my honeymoon this week and my good friend (and best man) Mike has agreed to step in and do some guest posts. He blogs regularly at The Bleacher Seats (a blog about Ranger’s baseball) and has some great insights into life, work, and unemployment. Show him lots of love, he’s good people. This is part 1 of a three part series. Check out part 2 on Thursday
I can’t predict the future. I want to be upfront about that.
The closest I can get to clairvoyance is to tell you what I think probably happened sometime after I wrote this
First, Alex got married to a beautiful girl named Rachel. I was probably at the wedding acting as the greatest Best Man the world has ever known. It’s also probable that I tried to eat my weight in delicious wedding cake, because there is almost no food better than wedding cake.
Then Alex flew off (and hopefully he took Rachel with him) to somewhere sunny and left me to provide a week’s worth of content in his absence.
No doubt Alex wrote a nice little intro for me at the top of the page, but there are a few things I’d like to make sure you know about me before I really get rolling.
My name is Mike (and it’s nice to meet you). I am 25 years old, a college graduate, and have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio, TV, & Film, with an emphasis on production.
(I’m also single, in case any of you ladies were looking for a guy who lives with his parents and might occasionally try to eat an entire wedding cake by himself.)
When I originally went to school, I wanted to be in “the biz” as a writer/director. As college wore on, I did very little writing and even less directing. What I did realize is that it isn’t just those two facets of production that excite me, but production as a whole. It’s being on set that I enjoy, even if I’m just pulling cables or setting up lights for someone else.
Coming out of college I had a plan to look for that kind of work, but it hasn’t been easy to find it in these economic times. Thus I remain unemployed.
(Truthfully, I didn’t start looking for production jobs right away, which will be elaborated on later in the week.)
A friend of mine (we’ll call him Mark) went to school for the same reasons I did, but when he graduated he got a cubicle job to pay the bills. When Mark talks about my situation, he likes to say that I’m funemployed, which does sound like fun, doesn’t it?
Well, as the title suggests, it isn’t.
A lot of people seem to think that they would be happier if they didn’t have to go to work every day. I can tell you with confidence that those people don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.
To speak from personal experience, two years is a long time to have nothing to do. I’ve tried to fill up my days with video games or TV or whatever other distractions I can find for myself, but those things aren’t satisfying if they’re my whole day. They don’t challenge me and they don’t leave me with a real sense of purpose.
(Aside from Fallout: New Vegas and reruns of Pawn Stars, I have spent a lot of my time recently growing a pretty stellar beard. Seriously, this is one impressive beard. [ed note: it is indeed an impressive beard])
Of course, I didn’t have a job when I was in college either, but at least I was doing something then. I went to class and wrote papers and felt like my life was moving forward in some tangible way. There was growth.
Since graduation I haven’t done much of anything and it’s worn on me. The last two years have led to a lot of doubt and self-loathing, which is another thing that I will elaborate on later.
For now, let me make my point that you and I and everyone else need to have some kind of purpose. We need to do something that makes us feel like we’re making our lives (or the lives of those around us) better.
You might think that sitting on your couch all day, not worrying about your job or your bills, would make life easier, but for me it has been one boring, pointless day after another. There isn’t any fulfillment in being retired in your mid-20s.
If you hate your job, then you need a new job. I can’t really help you with that except to say that a life of first-person shooters and cable TV wouldn’t be a solution. It would just be a different kind of problem.
Regardless of how appealing it might sound, there’s no such thing as funemployment. Not after the first couple of weeks, at least.
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments.
Personally, I realize that my situation will have to change before too much longer, so I’ve set a deadline for myself. If I can’t find the kind of work I want by mid-June, then I’m going to start looking for my own bill-paying cubicle job.
It may not be exactly what I want to be doing, but at least I’ll be doing something.