Unemployment Nine: Should I feel guilty?

As anyone who either knows me or stumbled across this blog already knows, I was laid off Oct. 2 . I’ve been very vigilant about my job hunt, making a lot of suggested tweaks to my résumé, contacting just about everyone I know in the industry and applying for several jobs I’ve found online.

But I’ve also taken a few breaks over the past few days. I’ve been reading a fantastic old Stephen King book, The Regulators, written under the surname of Richard Bachman. I’ve gone for a couple of rides on my bike, figuring I’d better get them in before the weather turns too cold. I’ve run some personal errands that have nothing to do with the job hunt, such as getting my car cleaned and food shopping.

From I Can Has Cheezburger

From I Can Has Cheezburger

My question is: Why do I feel guilty about taking breaks?

I don’t feel like I’m on vacation, and I’m certainly not treating this like vacation time.

I guess part of it is that my last job was very intense. While I may not have worked 18-20 hours per day, I worked nonstop and really focused on getting everything done. So even though it’s only been a few days, I can’t shake the feeling that I should be getting things done and should be productive nearly every minute of the day.

But how much can you really do without going insane? There are only so many jobs out there that I think would be good fits. And how long can you stare at a résumé and the various iterations of a cover letter without completely losing it?

I guess I’m handling things well enough, and my break-to-productivity ratio is pretty satisfactory. But this is all so new to me that I also guess doubt is natural.

And sometimes I even think I’m doing too much when I see or hear the two snoring cat carcasses on the bed behind me. But then I remember that those two snoring cat carcasses depend on me, which helps to keep me grounded.

This is such a new experience for me, and it’s one that I hope doesn’t last much longer and doesn’t repeat itself again for quite a long time.

3 comments on “Unemployment Nine: Should I feel guilty?

  1. dkrauss999 says:

    I don’t believe you should feel guilty at all. You’ve been out for a short time you’re still very focused and that’s the way it should be. If you don’t take those short breaks you’ll freak out.

    The hard part is if you’re out for months how do you maintain your focus. I think you’re doing great for the amount of time you’ve been out of work. See what happens if your still looking in 4 months. . . . . thats when it gets tough.


  2. Chris says:

    Short breaks?????? Are you talking about watching midget porn instead of regular porn for a while??????

  3. […] results in lots of free time. This can be good, but it can also be bad, because I’ve started to second-guess myself and wonder if there are more productive things I could be doing. When it comes down to it, you can […]

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