You can get away without paying..

You can get away without paying..

Continuing the series of my lessons in my adventure to design my life.

This last week and a bit has been quite interesting. I feel like a lot of things have moved different ways. So here it goes, my few lessons.

Lesson 1. Creativity

Creativity comes at its strongest when you are restricted in some way, when you need to find options and/or when you give yourself the mindspace (no pun intended 🙂 ) to think. It also comes when least expected and rarely works if summoned. It cannot be forced. Actually, the least is actively engaged, the more powerful it is. At least for me.

Lesson 2. Leave yourself idle time daily

Goes hand in hand with lesson 1. I should leave myself at least 10 mins every day of not doing anything. Not even checking my phone. Because that is powerful. That is when my brain sifts through everything and nothing. That is when I come up with the craziest ideas. This is for anyone who was wondering where I get some stupid ideas from.

Lesson 3. Be careful with networking

Networking is great, going to different meetups is interesting, meeting people to tell them what you think can always be surprising. But. There is such thing as too much networking! Especially when you also need to get some things done. So, sometimes it can a be trap. Even one that you deliberately leave yourself to fall into just to avoid to do the “real” hands-on work. Plus, there are lots of time-wasters.

Lesson 4. There is no such thing as office work

When you work on your own project which involves a lot of validation, you won’t spend that much time in a chair. Actually, if you do, then you might be doing something wrong. Still learning.

Lesson 5. Don’t work in isolation

Set up a list of people willing to help with anything and who believe in your project. Consult them as much as possible, even with the risk of becoming annoying.

Lesson 6. Want something, just ask

It’s amazing what we put up with or live without sometimes just because we assume we can’t have. Asking sometimes will give you the most surprising results, like actually receiving 😀 . I asked for some documents in a restaurant and I received their recipes…

Lesson 7. You can get away without paying

This is more of a confession. I stole a bruschetta dish from Vapiano hahaha. I’m probably on their “most wanted” list now. I forgot to pay because I got distracted on my way out talking to the cashier about their allergy matrix. Funny thing is there was only one way out, through their gates and she forgot to ask me to pay, too. Might be something to explore for the future 😀 .

Lesson 8. Be careful with the privacy toggle when registering domains

You enable sharing your contact details when you register a domain, you get cold-called by companies every 5 mins. Big mistake!

Lesson 9. Listen to my own advice 🙂

I am good at writing all of the above, very inconsistent at following them

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How’s life after … employment?

I keep on being asked this question over and over again. It’s like I crossed on the other side and people want to know if the grass is as green as they are imagining it. 🙂

To give a bit of context, I have been working in the software development industry for almost 11 years. I’ve had a job with a startup (I co-founded, actually), then jumped into the corporate environment. Initially, I worked in an outsourcing/offshoring environment (“on the shore” side, so to speak 😀 ), in Romania. Still, working for big companies. Then I moved to London and worked for Gumtree, which is an eBay subsidiary. But no point in boring anyone with an experience they can read about. The bottom line is, I have been working continuously in medium-big companies for the last 9 years or so. 2 weeks in a row had been the longest vacation I had ever taken. Once. 😀

Then I quit my job to follow my passions and dreams.

So, to come back to your question…

Well, first of all, in theory, I’ve only had a couple of weeks of real, stay-at-home unemployment. Another couple of weeks I was away in Peru. Those don’t count because I was enjoying a vacation, instead of contemplating upon my situation :).

But if you want a “status update” (as the corporate environment puts it) …

I’m struggling in between two answers 😀 : one that will make you jealous as hell or the other that will get you thinking. Maybe I will give you both..

Make-you-jealous answer

Life after employment is a bliss.

  • I get to chill a lot
  • I get to wake up at any time I want and obviously go to bed at any time I want (especially after you are jet lagged from a vacation in Peru).
  • I get to see the sun during the day! Now I sound like a jailbreaker, but it’s true. Being in concrete offices all day is like being a groundhog.
  • I get to choose what I want to do whenever I want to do it.

It’s complete freedom!

Or maybe not..

Make-you-think answer

The first thing I realized is that initially (but while I was still part-timing), I wanted to chill, waste time, do nothing, watch movies, do nothing. Honeymoon period. That was definitely a rebellion against all the stress from before. I  got bored and over that phase in about 2-3 days.

Then after a few days of over-sleeping and late-sleeping, and especially with the jet leg, I started getting annoyed with my chaotic schedule. I am a person who is all about efficiency. Always highly organized, very active, I very quickly became annoyed with my tiredness during the day. So some structure needed to be put back in place. So now I am back to waking up early, going to bed (reasonably) late, eating at the right times, etc.

I started to think it’s too good to be true or that it won’t last for long. Because it won’t! (haha). For example, I know I have limited resources to live off of. Money starts becoming more and more relevant. With a reasonable consistent salary, I didn’t use to worry that much. And even though I did my maths before making this step, I did start being more calculated in my costs. Not to mention, the first few days (after the honeymoon 😛 ) I canceled all kinds of known and unknown subscriptions I had. Bye, bye Spotify Premium! I started calculating every purchase in “days of extra contribution” to my unemployment.

I started thinking about extra income on minimum effort or existing activities. And this is where creativity comes into play. For the right amount of pocket money (wink wink), I will share with you all the ideas that crossed my mind 😀 .

I have a few projects going on. One of which is a nutritional recommendation engine that you can read about here. Needless to say, I need to get those going asap. So, big to-do lists, meetings and a lot of work ahead. Yep, there you have it, another job!

So this ends my rant. What do you think?

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