Like Hell You’ll Get to That, or Feeding Your Family

They're going to need heavier tackle and bigger bait.

They're going to need heavier tackle and bigger bait.

I turned down an offer for a good job for good pay, working with good people. Part of me wonders if I’m even allowed to turn down a job offer. Will they revoke my unemployment benefits?

I don’t have another job offer. I have been out of work for more than a month. What was I thinking? I was thinking I want to be able to support my family even if I no longer work for him.

An employer can dictate what you can and cannot do after they are no longer your employer. As long as you say yes when you take a job offer, then they can do that.

Most of the time, this is not a big deal. If you’re a consultant, they might say that you can’t be hired by a client for a year. That’s designed to keep the clients from hiring away their best people and turning the company into a staffing agency. I get that.

But this restriction went well beyond this and for much longer. The details don’t matter. They are protecting their interests. It’s up to me to protect mine. I know it was the right thing to do. I won’t let my family bear the kind of risk they were asking for.

So now what?

It’s quiet here.

There’s no boss, no meetings. No deadline.

I am the master of my own destiny.

I have full control of my time.

Finding a job is a full-time job, though, and this false freedom taunts me with all the things I never managed to get done on the weekends. Have I gotten all the things done that I wish I could have done when I was working if only I had had the time? Not even close.

On any given day, I’m presented the opportunity to sleep and spend time with my kids and garden and install the rain barrel and update my resume and write my blog and surf the web and set up some interviews and figure out what’s happening in the garage under the powder room and clean out the basement and organize a garage sale and check out job seeker web sites and network and put away all the stuff from my desk at my last job and pay bills and clean the house and repot my plants and visit friends and read a book and travel and clean off my desk and get some exercise and watch TV and go to the movies and call my family and paint a painting and repair the crib and do some consulting work and…

I have a few active opportunities. I have talked to companies who have expressed some interest in me. I am communicating with folks and trying to find the right place for me. The pond water isn’t completely stagnant.

But it looks I’m going to have to exercise my project management skills that are listed on my resume and create a schedule that fits in a full day of employment focus each day while carving out some time to get to at least some of the other things I never have time for.


So long, freedom. It was fun until the money ran out.