Funemployment: What It Is and Why You Need It

The summer before my senior year of college, I remember being very aware of the fact that it was my last “real” summer. Now, this might not be fully true. Granted, I was working (I was a nanny and camp counselor but that still counts), but it wasn’t a normal 9-5 job, and I didn’t have REAL responsibilities (besides, you know, taking care of children). I say it was my last “real” summer, because it was the last summer I would have before I graduated and entered the world of working year round.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I didn’t start my first big girl job (aka 8-5, yep that’s right collegiates- they trick you with that 9-5 stuff) right after graduating. So, I was able to have somewhat of a summer. I didn’t start real office life until August 2016. And once I started, there was no turning back. Until now.

A few months ago I came across a great career opportunity, and long story short I start a new job on Monday! I accepted my offer in the middle of May, with a start date scheduled for the beginning of July. I put in my two weeks at my previous job and ended there the first week in June. That left me with a month of, could it be…? SUMMER!

So, what would I do with those full four weeks off? The possibilities were endless! Ok, not really endless because it was a month with no paycheck… And a paycheck definitely equals more possibilities. But, I did take advantage of my time. And here’s why I recommend “funemployment” to all of you.

Why Everyone Should Consider Funemployment

1. Because you deserve it.

Honestly, there could be one reason on this list, and it would be this one. Disregarding everything else, you deserve a break. I was at my first job for almost 2 years, so for those of you that have been someplace 5+ or 10+ years, you especially deserve a break! I know we all take time off throughout the year. But this isn’t really for us. Its a vacation, with others, or holidays, with family. We never have an opportunity to uninterrupted, extended me time.

2. Because you can spend time with family.

This time off really could not have come at a better time for me, especially in regards to my family. My brother and mom both had operations in June, about a week a part. I was able to visit my brother more than I would’ve if I had been working, and I’ve basically been a nurse for my mom since she got home from her knee replacement. I have also been able to spend time with the rest of my family. My dad is a teacher, so he has off in the summer and I’ve been able to hang out with him a bit more. I went to our local parish fair/carnival with my brothers, sisters-in-law, and nieces, was able to spend a day at the zoo with my niece for her birthday, and watch my newest niece when her mommy went back to work. Nothing huge happened, but it didn’t need to. Getting to spend small moments with my family made the time worth it.

3. Because you can check in with friends.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned as I get older is just how hard it is to keep up with friends. We’re scattered: geographically, personally, and professionally. Two of my closest friends are in med school & nursing school, and we haven’t seen each other in months. So, we planned a girls night and spent hours talking and laughing. My neighbor, who happens to be one of my best friends since childhood, just graduated and is home for the time being. We haven’t both been home in six years, so it was nice to see more of each other. And on Wednesdays I got a chance to see all my old co-workers during our softball league. It can be tough to find time for friends as you get older, we all have busy lives. So, it was great to use this time to have some fun with them!

4. Because you can take a trip.

This is also tied in with #3, but I thought it deserved its own paragraph. About a week into my “funemployment” my college roommates and I took a little road trip! As you all know, Katie M. and I were roommates, but we also lived with our friend, Lizz, and are all still very close. Before we graduated we planned to get together for roomie trips every year, and this year worked out perfectly! Katie M. just moved back to Philly and is hard at work looking for a new job (anyone in communications, marketing, administrative work- hit her up!) and Lizz is a teacher so she has the summer off (when she’s not working at the local country club). So, we planned a three day trip to the Hamptons! I have always wanted to visit, and it did not disappoint (Hamptons guide coming soon). It was great to get away, spend time with my roomies, and be at the beach. It definitely set the tone for my funemployment.

5. Because you can do nothing.

Honestly, I personally think doing nothing is highly underrated. I don’t mean literally do nothing. I didn’t just sit and stare at the wall. But, I did take a lot of time to disconnect from the world and reconnect with myself. I read, I watched movies, I swam, I went to the gym, I started eating better (but also let myself indulge too). I took time to just be. It was nice to not be rushing around, and it made me realize I need to take advantage of those moments, especially when I get back to work.

I was really aware of how lucky I was and made a conscious effort to use the time to relax, but also be productive. I would 100% recommend taking time off before starting a new job. Even if it is 1-2 weeks, take what you can get. I really believe having this time off has allowed me to be more relaxed, ready, and excited going into my new job.

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