Make this your “Summer of George”

Seinfeld fans out there know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who don’t, watch the video clip below. Most days Seinfeld character, George Castanza, is overflowing with useless information except in this episode where George gets laid off and decides that he’s going to make this the “Summer of George.” That he’s really going to do something with this time off and he’s going to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down his chin.

Maybe we should all follow in the footsteps of George. Why not? We’ll never get this time back and the minute we step back into our employed lives (wherever that may be), we don’t want to be kicking ourselves saying “I wish I had done more with my time off.”  It doesn’t mean we don’t still job hunt. It just means that we need to try to have a life outside the job-search and quit worrying the hell out of the day.

So what’s stopping you from making this YOUR “Summer of George?”

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14 Comments

Filed under Life, Sanity tips

14 responses to “Make this your “Summer of George”

  1. Occasionally George gives us some pretty good advice.

    Here are some of his other famous quotes:

    http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0010180/quotes

  2. Dave

    My comment isn’t really about this particular post, but I, like I’m sure many others, learned of your blog through the Seattle times and i wanted to say “Thanks.”

    After six months of involuntary unemployment, I returned to the work force (a little worse for wear). During my time of leisure, I often wondered I I was the only one conversing with my computer and getting excited about law and order marathons (well, really any marathon of reruns). Thank you for helping me realize I was in a much larger boat than I had thought and that I wasn’t paddling alone.

    I have no useful advice or clever inspirational sayings. I wish you (and all of the LOLs) luck in finding what makes you happy and hopefully it’ll pay a little something too.

  3. samrick06

    I think George is also somewhere right.

  4. I closed a startup a while back and was unemployed (I laid myself off, along with the rest of the team) for a bit. Not long after I as I was back to work (@ msft) the lost opportunity I had with that free time became clear.

    You will get another job. It won’t take *that* long, even if it feels fruitless and interminable now. It might not be on the career track you were on, or hope to be on. But you will almost certainly be able to rejoin the workforce before you slip into destitution.

    But you will not likely have another opportunity like this. You are free. Even if it doesn’t feel free, and you feel constrained by finances or commitments, or whatever, you have the opportunity to exercise an almost unparalleled freedom to go anywhere or doing anything.

    If you don’t jump into your Summer of George while the summer is in full swing in most of the northern hemisphere, I speak from experience that you’ll regret the reluctance that held you back on the couch, at the local coffee shop, and glued to job sites for longer than necessary.

  5. Hey!

    Read an article about you in the Seattle Times!!!

    I completely get where you are coming from.

    That’s why I set up Recession Camp – free social networking for job seekers.

    I am also ex-MS and I wanted to do something constructive and meet up with other job seekers in a social setting. No elevator pitch, no BS. Just hanging out with other people in the same boat. And if we get some networking done, well, great.

    Please check out http://www.recessioncamp.squarespace.com. I’d love to meet you at one of our events. how about joining us for a Theo’s chocolate tour tomorrow!

    Maryse

  6. Luey

    I was laid off after my company was seized by the feds. I am now living in my summer of George. Loving it but concerned about my lack of focus. I have 14 projects and nothing ever gets done because I lack deadlines.

    Keep up the blog it is a riot. I am a proud owner of 8 pairs of house pants and 2 house shorts. I rock them proudly.

  7. Luey

    Thought I would share my rules for avoiding the funk. This started with a list of rules I had on my fridge when I was unemployed last time. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS DURING A SUMMER OF GEORGE, IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF SUMMER OF GEORGE.

    Whatever you do avoid the funk. Because once you funk it is hard to go back. People don’t like to hire people in the funk because they are creepy. Also don’t be mad. They did not do this to you it just happened to you. It happens to everyone and how well you do is a test of will and character.

    25 Ways to Avoid the Unemployment Funk

    I honed this over 9months of unemployment and did well until 9/11 then the funk got me. Then my Mom took me to Vegas and I got a job the next week. Sometimes it takes Vegas with Mom to break a serious funk. Sticking to this list requires discipline, which I have none but it is worth a try. If you do half of these you are doing well.

    1. Get up in the AM BEFORE 9 EVERYDAY.

    2. Shower and dress even if you have no designation.

    3. Go outside. Even if it is rainy and gross.

    4. See people at least 3-5 times per week. The mailman does not count as a person.

    5. Get a hobby, something interesting that will make people want to talk to you. Making food is good. I made it my mission to learn to make bread. I never actually achieved good bread but I made a lot of bad bread. But I tried.

    6. DO not under any circumstances watch Maury, Dr Phil or judge shows. It is ok to watch Oprah, home improvement/cooking/educational shows on cable or news since you may learn something. You can watch Springer if you must but only for a few minutes to allow yourself to feel superior.

    7. If you see a TV ad for: personal injury lawyers, Kaplan or Bryman College more than once in an hour you are watching the wrong kind of TV, you need to shut off the TV and flee and do something from #13.

    8. Eat fruit. For that matter eat. Not crap, real food. And eat it off a real plate-with a fork.

    9. Sleep when it is dark, not before. An afternoon nap is not required unless you are under 5.

    10. Only watch movies at night.

    11. Take on a project you never thought you could do. I built a brick patio and 7 years later I am still amazed that I did it. Plus it gives you a great answer to “what have you been doing?”

    12. Feel free to now answer the following questions: “How is the hunt going”, “What are you doing with your time?” “It really sucks out there, huh?”, “What are you going to do?” They are asking because they care and they don’t realize the questions are making it worse. Come up with a good line that will make them laugh- “I am teaching box turtles to fly and we will be starting our world tour next month. I could hook you up with some tickets” This makes them realize their question was annoying and they tend to change the subject. This does not work on parents, sorry. But they may feed you so just answer the questions.

    13. Do free things: Go to the park, the gym (you already paid for it), library, fly kite, beach, book readings, check out the park and rec or a local grocery store for free classes

    14. Recognize weekdays and weekends are different.

    15. Look for a job at least an hour every day but never more than 5 because then you are obsessed.

    16. Don’t feel bad taking unemployment. It is your money. It is insurance and you paid into it.

    17. Hang out with stay at home Moms. They like the company and you can talk about other things since they have no job hunt reference. But don’t use this option daily or you will end up in a different weird funk, kind a revert to childhood, they are your friend not your mother. If you find yourself eating goldfish crackers out of Tupperware or drinking out of a sippy cup it is time to flee.

    18. Freelance/temp work is good but don’t let it rule your life so you can’t look for a long term job. Don’t let someone pressure you to take the wrong job. This is a phenomenon among your parent’s friends. They have an uncle that runs a dry goods store Puyallup and they need a truck driver, that is just up your alley right? Err not really.

    19. No matter what it costs keep your insurance. If you throw out your back trying to get off the couch you will be super screwed if you have no insurance.

    20. Sometimes you need to spend money. Hair cuts and nail care are required for job hunts. Gym and food is also required. Perhaps a new set of sheets is not critical unless you are planning to change professions.

    21. Clean your house, do your laundry, clean the closet. If you are not going to be clean now you will have to face it, you are just a slob.

    22. If your friends offer to pay, let them, when they are unemployed you get to pick up the bill.

    23. Do favors for the “workers”. You can wait for the cable guy or pick up daytime things. This will make the workers grateful and they may feed you.

    24. Have daytime mid-week parties for unemployed friends. It makes you seem like you are in a secret club. You can call it networking. Your Mom will be proud you are getting out there.

    25. Somedays you just need to take a day blow all the rules- everyone gets to take a me day.

  8. Jerome

    Congratulations on the blog. It is fun. I was laid off just before our daughter was born, and it has been a very special time.

  9. Audrey

    Ha! Doesn’t he end up breaking both legs :)

    Seriously, everyone deserves a Summer of George. We are, after all, kids at heart.

  10. Joni

    Summer of George! Loving it! Lots of sun, free books from the library, Burn Notice marathon on TV last week (18 hours!), free games online, plenty of time to go to the gym, getting yard work done, dog loves my company. Sigh….unemployed in the summer is good.

  11. Sometimes the “Summer of George” leads to your new career.

    If you can get back into what you used to do & would be happy, good luck, but now is the time to start a new business or break into a new field. After all, the odds are you got laid off because there’s an oversupply of workers in your old field and when the economy rebounds, that oversupply is going to be fighting with you for the new jobs. But in a totally new area … or an area that’s totally new to you … who knows what you’ll find?

    In a less chipper note, all unemployed white-collar workers need to read “Bait and Switch” by Barbara Ehrenreich … just so you know what you’re up against.

  12. Pingback: Make this your “Summer of George” « Bremerton Stake Job Blog

  13. burn notice and monk are two of USAs best shows

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