Duchess Digest: Funemployment? Really?

funemploymentI recently read an article in the LA Times about young, single professionals having the time of their lives with the recent unemployment pandemic. In the June 4, 2009 L.A. Times, columnist Kimi Yoshino reported on many unemployed professionals who are deeming their layoff (or for some buyout) as the beginning of their “funemployment.”

The stats on the happily funemployed tend to be singles in their late twenties to thirties, without children or mortgages, who are enjoying their savings, severance and unemployment checks to the fullest. Trips to the beach, inexpensive travel, long stints at home with family and friends are all favored funemployent activities. Instead of stressing over their layoffs, they’re embracing the freedom and time off to its fullest. They are the blissfully unemployed who feel they’ve been given a chance to reevaluate.

Confused about just what constitutes funemployment?

UrbanDictionary.com defines it as, “The condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life.” Whether that’s for a few weeks, months or years, perhaps this isn’t the worst attitude?

Of course many will be suffering once the money accounts dry up. It’s kind of a modern take on the old biblical passage, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Still it’s an interesting perspective and attitude on what could otherwise be a devastating experience for young singles. I myself am enjoying what I suppose I could now call my own “funemployment.” I resigned from my corporate position to enjoy time with my family, assist with my father-in-law’s care during his terminal illness and to make a full time effort at writing and coaching. So while the terms of my funemployment are perhaps more weighty (and certainly without the buyout, unemployment checks and severance benefits) then the average person described in Urban Dictionary, I will stay say it feels wonderful to have the time and freedom to choose how I spend me day. And there are some nice funemployment trip perks thrown in there like Manhattan this weekend.

What do you think? Are the funemployed the great adaptable people, molding and bending with a good attitude during adversity? Or are they opportunists who should spend less time at the beach and more time sending out resumes?

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com


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