My previous post about travel being good for your career sparked me to do additional research on the topic. Interestingly I came across a related phenomenon -"Funemployment." According to a recent article on SFWeekly.com, some of the jobless in San Francisco are actually viewing unemployment as an opportunity to volunteer, travel, freelance and consider career shifts. (Notably these are folks who have savings and/or severance who did not get caught up in the real estate crisis.)
Alexis Mansinne, profiled in the article, had been an event planner for Dwell magazine until she was laid-off. Though shocked by her pink slip, Ms. Mansinne decided to take a refreshing perspective on her situation (helped by the 50 weeks of unemployment benefits she was about to receive) and see it as a chance to take a more "socially redeeming career path". She started a blog (Funemployment.blogspot.com) to share her thoughts on how to take advantage of being unemployed and has since decided to go back to school to become a school guidance counselor.
The article also mentions another interesting blog, Unemploymentality.com and one of it's founders, Tania Khadder who's quoted as saying, "Being unemployed, took my attention, which was spread over a lot of different things, and gave it focus. In a way, it derailed my financial plan. But it accelerated my professional plan." Ms. Khadder's plan is to attend graduate school focused on public policy.
I realize that no one wishes to be unemployed and that many are struggling to pay for even basic expenses even with unemployment checks. For those however who do have the means to invest in themselves and their futures careerwise, many are having fun exploring their interests, talents and passions. Share your thoughts on the upside to unemployment - positive perspectives welcome!