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15th March
2013
written by LS Girl

MIND THE GAP  –  Employment Gaps

Are pre-meditated gaps in employment counted against you?  I’m going to say:  Who cares.  Really.  Do you want to work for a person who doesn’t respect one’s ability to:

 

Plan ahead

Budget

Save money

Take a calculated risk

Think independently

Take responsibility

Follow through

Be a strategic thinker

Improve communication skills

Take on a challenge

 

Wait, those abilities are the same coveted skills found in many job descriptions. You’d think under the circumstances, more employment gaps would be better

Well, obviously, they could just up and leave… and I’d have to hire someone else, it’s a hassle, and it costs money!”

Yes.  But, this is true regardless of the person’s choice to take a break from the 9-5.  The fancy resume directly behind this rogue world traveler’s gap infested curriculum vitae probably has four or five “career moves” listed; how is that more satisfying? Additionally, if the world traveler didn’t want to work 9-5, they wouldn’t!  Clearly, they have the ability to function successfully without a steady income. 

Adverse responses to employment gaps are probably a combination of:

history – “that’s just how we see it

fear  – “what if they leave?”

jealousy –  “how the hell could this whipper-snapper take two years off, I have a doctorate, and I couldn’t swing that?

As my good friend says:  “You didn’t end up here because of one decision.  A lifetime of decision-making got you to this place”.  Now, “this place” could be in debt, big house, fancy cars, lots of monthly payments for “stuff”, maybe you still have a student loan for that PhD. Those are your decisions, and they have consequences that might make flitting off seem impossible.  But, these are not everyone’s decisions.  

At one time, my total monthly overhead expenses were below $540.  A bank account with ten thousand dollars in it could support you for a long time under such circumstances.  At a minimum, it would open up a world of possibilities for trying something new, or doing something you love and earning a lower wage.  What if we worked our back-sides off for five years, followed by two years of not working, or working part time?  During a two year planned outage, a percentage of people would find their true calling, and transition into a life of bliss.  Some might even change the world, write the Great American Novel, or script a compelling article for their local paper that helps one family.  Others, may spend two years volunteering.   

Husband and wife take 18 month break from high-powered jobs to attend soccer games and swim meets“.  Why do we expect this kind of information to be delivered as some shocking, teaser headline?  Why isn’t it…. boring, typical, or just another story about someone deciding how they want to live?

There are many books, blogs and assorted resources for being a minimalist, traveling, living/working on the road, and various unconventional ways of being.  Demographics range from “single guy” to “husband, and father of six.” It is all very interesting, and it is all very REAL.

employment gaps

 

Check out these incredible people (using the links below) and learn more about what employment gaps can looks like.  But, don’t plan on hiring these “rebels” any time soon, because they probably don’t want your 9-5 job.

Colin Wright, book

Colin Wright, minimalist

Grant Blakeman’s TED Talk:  http://youtu.be/ES_u5b1CAr4

The Minimalists – TV interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3IcINaecAA

Tim Ferriss – 4 hour work week

Tim Ferriss – Interview on iTunes, Meet the Author

 Bethany Butzer, PH.D. – Blog

Nomadic Matt – website

Leo Babauta – Zen Habits post

Chris Guillebeau – website – awesome guy, and index card fan 

 

Think of the possibilities…

 


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