Unemployment Benefits

by Trudi Sampola



If you’ve ever lost a job, you’ll know what a shit thing it is to go through. If you’ve ever lost a job you loved, you can 10X that feeling.

That’s what happened to me last week when I lost my job as the General Manager of Marketing at Placie.

I work hard and I’m not embarrassed to say I enjoy that. When you have a sense of purpose at work, doing things that are challenging and interesting, what’s not to love?

Now, I realised, I would be looking at approximately fifty free hours in my week ahead. What the hell would I do with myself?

Suddenly there was no budget to manage, no data to analyse, no campaign to launch, no creative to think about or copy to write. Also (the hardest bit), no team to collaborate with.

I had forgotten how much admin goes into leaving a job! Devices, mobile contracts, paperwork…it really adds up. To be specific, it added up to 12 hours in those first days after I left Placie. Still, that left me with about 38 spare hours.

Want to know how I filled in week one Post Placie?


I loved and lost my job at Placie a week ago.


When a huge chunk of your identity suddenly disappears overnight, it feels like a blow to the body, heart and soul. It’s a strange experience to realise you will now have 38 hours in a week that are unscheduled.

Here is my account of what I did in my first week Post Placie (PP).


I wasn’t sure what to think, feel or do after waking up on Day 1 PP. Admittedly, my head and heart were really hurting. Was it due to the 127 gins I had dehydrated myself with? The family size triple cheese and pepperoni pizza I had single-handedly inhaled? Or was it that suddenly a huge part of my identity working on a business I loved had just been deleted. Probably a combination of all three.


My friends and loved ones wisely recommended taking a little time to digest and process everything.


After all, I had been working at carsales for 4.5 years, with the last 2+ years on Placie, a carsales start-up business.


Here’s how my week rolled.


Exorcise (no, that’s not a typo)

2 hours


I thought I had better flush out all the evil spirit I’d been guzzling so I kicked off Monday with a new personal trainer. We did a marathon two-hour session together (I know: the stuff of gym bunnies)! I was smashing those weights and boxing like a boss and geez I felt strong and really awesome!



I admit I was probably trying to a little too hard to show off to my new PT. The following day, I discovered I had overdone things and was mildly crippled for the next 48 hours. As a health precaution, I steered right away from the gym for the rest of the week just to make sure I was fully recovered.


Note to self: I’ll be going daily with my exercise habit. I love the BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits method for life so it’ll be far smaller and more manageable time blocks, but fitness and happiness are proven to be good friends.


Therapy

8 hours


I racked up about 8 hours on Instagram and given it’s EOFY, have been receiving all sorts of essential deliveries since – active wear, scatter cushions, avocado hair treatment (it rated 4.8 on Google with nearly 7K reviews!).


I nearly bought the Smart Planet Soft Pretzel Maker but I restrained myself as I kept hearing my Dad say, ‘You are going broke saving money, Trudi!’



Note to self: stick to reading books. My hair is fine, and the couch is very comfy as is. I’ve got a pile of great books to get cracking with and I have to finish reading Essentialism by Greg Mckeown which I can only describe as a life changing read. Thanks to my friend Amantha for this loaner.


The crib

10 hours


I watched literally hours of Masterclass and off the back of a two-and-a-half-hour interior design series, I spent about four hours rearranging every vase, picture frame, and chachka in the house. My husband was empathetic but quite confused.



I then watched a heap of YouTube videos on rose pruning before proceeding to channel my inner Costa Georgiadis onto my much-neglected rose bushes. I am now expecting a rose display this September to rival Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington.

Note to self: I’ve always loved gardening and find it incredibly satisfying. Right now, it also feels a like a metaphor for my working life. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be planning out my garden renovation, clearing out the weeds, making sure the soil is in good health, planting the right things and as all good gardeners know, you reap what you sow. I’ll be patient, trust the process and will be looking forward to Spring.


Community

18 hours


My bucket went from empty to overflowing last week. Awesome people leant in and in all sorts of different ways and put their proverbial arm around me. Some came as great listeners, some brought wisdom, and many simply sent me messages with wild expletives and an invitation which included the two beers emoji.



Note to self: If there is one legacy, I’ll be proudest of from my time at carsales, it won’t be my web copy or marketing campaign. It will be the community I have created and will be keeping with me wherever I go. How lucky am I!

So that is how I spent 38 hours last week.


What did you do when you were when you had time off between workplaces?

Hit me up with your best suggestions for making the most of it.


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