Day 1 of Unemployment

Date published: 14-May-2020
Date modified: 14-May-2020
6 min read / 1543 words
Author: David Lindahl

career
web development

Unemployment

Well that was sudden. One day I'm a gainfully employed UI Developer and the next, I'm not. So yesterday in what feels like a punch to the gut, I was laid off from my job as a UI Developer at a creative marketing agency called Indigo Slate. To be totally honest, I'm not sure the shock has totally settled in yet but here I am it’s 6am on day 1 and I’m fighting a myriad of emotions. As probably expected I didn't sleep all that well last night but also I’m not going to let the excuse of unemployment give me a chance to throw off my early bird schedule. (Yes I'm a crazy person and do my most productive work in the wee hours of the morning; which is straight up hearsay to all the developers out there). Which brings me to the point of this blog post I guess: I think I’m doing this to practice my underused writing skills, share a bit about my journey, and document for future David (who will hopefully look back at this time after getting a dream job with REI and say “whoa, how insane was 2020?!”).

Plan of Attack

Every good mission has a plan. And every good plan has steps. Here are my steps for how and what I’m going to do in this unknown world of jumping through interview hoops. And maybe it will help some future job seeking dev. Yesterday after getting the news I really wanted to jump into working on my own projects with my new allocation of time but I got advice from a fellow developer who we will call Alan. Alan said file for unemployment and then take the rest of the day off. So I did that, after downloading the necessary documents I needed like paychecks and tax docs, I filed for unemployment for the WA website and then took the afternoon to have self time (via pwning newbs in call of duty; lets be honest they pwned me).

Despite a burning desire to dive head first into the awesome side projects and my small business I’m going to at least take today to focus on myself and my marketability. (Yes, cooler heads prevailed on that debate). So here’s my plan for today:

  • Focus on building out my job hiring profiles and improve my profile on cool ‘job-market disrupter’ websites like Hired.com.
  • I did file for unemployment yesterday but I’ve heard the federal government has increased the payout so I need to check to make sure I qualify for that extra amount (that mortgage ain’t gonna pay for itself!).
  • Work on my resume and make sure it properly reflects my contributions (quantified where ever possible; this is hard to do when most of our work is under NDA) and my awesome-ness (yes thats a technical term)
  • Setup a daily schedule for work. This will be fairly easy because I usually do a rough bullet journal for the week. Although I stopped doing it religiously because then I would just plague my weeks with tons of small business and side project work which wasn’t healthy. But now I’ve “got all the time in the world”. HA!
  • I need to setup a routine of practicing logic and JavaScript. I recognize this is an area I’m not great in and even though I’d much rather be designing and building beautiful websites, this part is important to finding a job and excelling in a job. Sites like hackerrank.com will help me in this.
  • I recently redid my portfolio website using a gatsbyJS starter with the idea that I would circle back around and rebuild it from scratch with Gridsome or Nuxt (have I mentioned I love Vue?) and TailwindCSS when I have time… Oh hey, well look at that, I have more time all of a sudden! And I just realized this list was supposed to be for today, I’m just realizing this item isn’t for today but is a longer term goal. All well, I’m leaving it! (Whoa, stream of consciousness writing anyone?)
  • Lastly, if I can get a little meta, I want to write more. A famous person (probably) once wrote “writing is like food for your brain”. I used to really love the way I could string oddball words and quirky phrases together but lately its something that has been sitting unused in my mind’s toolshed, like that mitre saw we bought last summer (just kidding, I don’t even know what a mitre saw is but it sounds cool). So I need to start flexing again so I can restore my brain’s creativity with words to former glory. Also my ideal company would be a small startup where strong communication and creative juices are quite important. So for today, this blog post is a way to flex those creative juices and muscles and other things. One great example of how amazing writing is so important is Jack McDade, one of my heroes. His writing is amazing, hilarious, and someday I hope to be like Jack. (In more ways than one, he runs a fun and successful SaaS and has his personal branding super on point and super 80s).

Feelings

Being a male, raised with two other males, I’m learning about this whole let us talk about your feeling thing (shoutout to superwife for helping me with this). So here I am, titling a section on my fancy pants new blog with that F word. Yesterday was tough from a F word perspective. Basically part of me felt like channeling William Wallace and shouting Freedom (hey a new F word!) but the smarter part of me was like “hey you have financial obligations and responsibility and adults things like paying for a puppy this summer”. The part that was shouting Freedom was super excited to have so much more time that I could pour into my small business: rainier watch (affectionately referred to as RW). Building and running a small business, as many know, is a thing where you could literally spend all day and night and still have things to do. Well up until now running RW was something that happened outside business hours in very small chunks. Lately I’ve been working on building a smartphone app for RW which is super exciting to me! Basically I found out there’s thing called NativeScript which helps you use JavaScript (the language I know) to build native apps for both iOS and Android. Then I found out you can use Vue and TailwindCSS and it was heavenly. So my goal of launching a beta of the app this summer might actually happen which is pretty rad. But thats just one gazillion endeavor under the roof of RW… There’s also cool things like setting up marketing automations via DRIP emails, designing new apparel, and working on the e-commerce side of things (the ultimate rabbit hole of all rabbit holes). Okay okay I already feel my legs bouncing and my mind getting excited about all the things related to RW. So I’m going to get off that dopamine train for a second and return to the reason for this blog post: unemployment. Oh yeah, I dont have a “formal, 9-5, pay the bills” job right now. Okay, I should work on that.

Network

This is the vague new term that people throw around as your most useful thing when you are job hunting. Yes, it’s useful, yes it’s vague and yes it’s hard to do. So while I’ve shared on social media about my current status I also need to talk to friends, former coworkers and the like about the state of things for me. Part of me was hoping a dream company would magically see the posts from me on social media and swoop in like a savor bird saying “hop on and lets go to greatness”. But of course I’m no Wes Bos, or even Jack McDade, so the likelihood that happens is real slim. Besides what kind of bird could I fit on? So its time to fire up the networking gears of old and see what happens there. Uhm so I’m realizing this section is a bit vague because yea, I don’t really know what I’m doing here. I guess just talk to people and go to meet ups (oh wait, COVID canceled those).

Financials

I’m a financial nerd and obviously this will be a bit hit to our bottom line. So it's time to untangle the budget automation and restructure our income to help mitigate any risk of bad things happening. Also, to be fully transparent our financial plan hasn’t gotten much love because I’ve been lazy and we haven’t needed it being two DINKs. Well we are now those have been formerly known as DINKs so I need to dig into our spreadsheet budget, crunch some numbers and then probably collapse our fun budgets to basically nothing. No more fun! Woohoo!

El Fin

Well I think thats enough of my random, weird rambling for this episode. Don’t forget to hit that like and smash that subscribe button. 😆 Hopefully next time will be a little less depressing slash ‘whoa is me’ and have tangible information that might help someone out there in the interwebs world.