https://francinemckenna.com/wp-content/francine-mckenna.png 0 0 Francine https://francinemckenna.com/wp-content/francine-mckenna.png Francine2008-10-04 13:08:002013-01-26 10:14:00Hmmmm, Do You Find Yourself, Suddenly, With A Lot of Free Time?
I am procrastinating on finishing some paying work. Now you know why I have a simple financial situation…
Lots of concerns voiced both in the comments and off-line to me about being suddenly out of a job. This concern is not limited to those auditors who are being or will be cut. It is, of course, felt throughout the economy, especially by those in the financial services sector.
So what to do?
Well, many will recommend the reasonable approach: Polish your resume, take advantage of any outplacement assistance offered, get out there and talk to/meet people, and get your next job before someone else does.
If you need to get a job soon because of financial and family responsibilities or you have visa issues, I can’t deny that the sooner you get going, the better off you’ll be. However, if you can take a breath and think a little, I might suggest some alternate paths.
Whether you have one year of experience or twenty, those of you who pursued accounting and financial careers are usually very Type-A, achievement oriented people. I saw interns at PwC a few years ago that were nice, earnest young people who had never had a chance to travel or read any books besides accounting texts in the last 4-5 years. I was interviewed recently at Jobs In The Money.com on this issue. Take a look at some of my previous posts on the “Accountant ” personality and how I got to where I am.
So here goes with a list of some other ways to use your new free time. Do some thinking and real reflecting on what, and who, you want to do things with next.
1) Get in the car and get on the road. Visit a friend in another state. Listen to music while driving to the other side of the country. Stay at cheap motels and read books at the bar of a neighborhood tavern at night. I highly recommend the road trip to clear your head. I’ve gone as far as Mexico. Next time I’m taking my Rottie.
2) Go back to school. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in one year. There are Executive MBA programs, Masters in Liberal Arts, (something I’m thinking about), Masters in Fine Arts, certification programs so you can take the CPA, and study groups so you can pass the CIA, CISA or CISSP. If you’re in Chicago, take a class at The Feltre School.
Do I guarantee you will get a bigger, better, higher paying job when you’re done? No. But if you apply yourself and don’t have the distraction of full time work, you can make yourself an intellectually richer person and, maybe, meet someone personally or professionally interesting along the way.
3) There’s one month left before the election in the US. Volunteer for the candidate of your choice. Go to Iowa and knock on doors. Go to your local city council member or alderman and volunteer to register voters or be an election judge. This is the campaign of a lifetime with real issues and problems that citizens should be conscious of. Be a part of the solution not one of the whiners.
4)Volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity project. I went to New Orleans on a drop-in basis and I heard that it’s the new hot stop on the backpacker circuit. I’m sure Galveston also needs help. Whether you are handy with tools or like to talk and write about the issues with like minded folks, you’ll find it all in places like the hostel that houses volunteers for practically no cost outside of New Orleans. Don’t go with an organized group or church, just drop in and hang, pick your crew, pick your project. Here’s another group in New Orleans you can check into.
5) Spend more time with your parents. Whatever your age or status. You don’t know how much longer they will be around. Get to know them. Take a video camera or a tape recorder and let them tell their stories. Whether it’s for your own private benefit or it’s content for a novel or short movie, it’s never too late until it’s too late.
6) Read some books. Go to your local Borders or Barnes and Nobel and check out the speaker series and book clubs. Feed your brain. Talk to people about something other than work. Write poems and short stories. Try something creative. Again, the idea is meeting people in an alternative setting, not focused on finding a job but on connecting with like-minded folks. Take the opportunity to be around people who share your other interests. Some of them may actually be business people.
7) Longer term options for a real break include joining the Peace Corps, becoming a substitute teacher in your public school system while writing your novel, and full time volunteering for six-months to a year at a charity of your choice, maybe not in your hometown.
8) Get out and go to things, alone preferably. Not the career oriented events or ones all your “friends” are going to. I mean events that interest you, perhaps related to the political environment, global climate change, history, yoga, foreign affairs, social media, education, or whatever issues you feel strongly about. Those in bigger cities have more choices. See #1.