An out of EVE update, which I don’t think I have done for a while. Feel free to ignore.
As previously mentioned, I left my job in December last year. The TL;DR is that I’m still an unemployed bum.
I have no regrets on that decision. Since my departure the state office closed, the team I was in no longer exists, and all senior management of the time have gone.
I had planned to take 3 to 4 months off before concentrating on my next move, but that stretched out to July with my wife changing jobs.
A couple years ago we realised our decade long focus on the kids had allowed our careers and related options to really decline. The situation was more salvageable for my wife, and this second job change in two years has continued the positive impact on her resume and employment options we were targeting.
Over the transition period to this new job however she wasn’t able to help with the kids taxi requirements or care during the day, which fell to me.
It turns out I am a good stay at home parent. The house has never been so neat, clean or organised, the schedule is running smoothly and the kids have responded well to the consistency. My wife regularly gets home to a hot meal being served and has more free time now than she has had since the kids arrived. She pointedly remarks that she won’t be doing half the tasks I do when she is next in the stay at home role.
I struggle however with measuring my worth. For 20 years all I had to do was point at my financial contribution to the family, and everything else I did was icing on top. This is very different. Some comes down to gender and societies views. Whenever my wife has taken time off at home she has been applauded by friends and family. I instead get asked how are my holidays going and when am I ever going back to work.
Meanwhile I have been going through a very logical and structured midlife non-crisis.
I had known the job market would be very difficult – but it has been worse than expected. On average, there has been less than one position advertised a month in my area of expertise across the entire state – and not all of those seemed like real opportunities. From feedback, I know each quickly get a flood of apparently qualified applicants. I have had a couple interviews for one role which I declined to progress further with, but otherwise have gotten nowhere.
There is work interstate – and many of my past colleagues are having to commute to such jobs. That would not however work well for the family, and given there is no financial pressure for me to be working, it isn’t an option we have seriously looked at yet.
I’ve been meeting with past colleagues over the last 6 months. All of them have painted a horrid picture of where our industry is at, and none see a long-term future in it. This networking, or as I call it catching up with old friends, has produced a couple leads and opportunities that may go somewhere.
I had the expectation that I might not be able to continue with my career of the last 20 years – something I am viewed as being rather good at. Having the expectation and facing the reality of that however are two different things, and I’m feeling very odd about it.
I have looked at up or cross skilling – but there are so few jobs advertised that this would give me minimal extra opportunities. I have looked at retraining in new areas, but when you speak to the various professional associations, they all admit that it would be unlikely you would get hired for starting roles. Figures of 1 or 2% of hires in my age group are bantered around – with most of them already working for the companies in other roles and not starting there fresh. I’m not sure how you get into these other roles – even basic jobs to fill time require some sort of background that my current technical and niche resume is highly unlikely to get a look in at.
I guess that all might sound defeatist – but I am just being practical.
In amongst all this I’ve been looking into buying into a business, or more likely, a franchise. I’ve done a lot of research and spoken at length to multiple companies, two of which are at the point I could ask for contracts if I felt inclined. This is the most likely direction I will end up in – but I am suffering somewhat from analysis paralysis at the moment. I’m also finding it hard to draw a line through my old career.
On a more positive note – aside a much better running household, our daughters behaviour has also been much improved the second half of this year. It was getting so bad that her Paediatrician was testing if she had psychopath tendencies or not (I tell you that is confronting), and was within weeks of prescribing medication. Then, almost overnight, she went from 15 to 30 completely out of control tantrums a month to 1 or 2. We don’t fully understand why or how temporary this reprieve is, but we know part of the reason from her own feedback. She said she got sick of never getting her own way and always losing her screen time when she threw a tantrum. Dad’s ever consistent boundaries have been helpful. We have taken the opportunity with her more amenable attitude and got her back to seeing a psychologist. Her Speech Therapist sessions have also been far less of a battle.
While I am generally more relaxed, and find it easier to manage the kids, I have felt disappointed that after this much time off work I haven’t felt particularly refreshed. It doesn’t feel like I have had a holiday. Having said that – I’m not sure how many stay at home Mum’s feel like they are on holidays.
As far as gaming has been concerned – I am spending around the same, maybe a bit less on it than when I was working.
Although it might not seem like it, this is only a very short summary of what has been going on. So as I said, the TL;DR is that I’m still an unemployed bum.