This is something that I learned from experience.
Once people learned that I wasn’t working, I got a number of emails from friends, colleagues and even from minor acquaintances offering to help me find another job. A full time job is such an integral part of who we are that for many it is unthinkable that someone may not want one.
They would often ask for a copy of my resume to pass along, and also suggest job openings that they felt I would be suitable for. (This reminded me of matchmakers who are pressuring their single friends to pair up.)
However, my plan was to try out a lot of other things that I had been unable to pursue when working full time. So I thanked these friends, but I didn’t send them my resume.
Because I didn't respond in the way they expected me to, the phone calls and the emails stopped. I quickly realized that I had unintentionally offended many of these people who had only wanted to help me.
Lesson: So here’s something to keep in mind when you drop out of work. Prepare a well formulated response (just 2 or 3 lines) to send back to those who offer to send your resume around. In your response be extremely tactful, acknowledge and express your appreciation of their desire to help and ask for time rather than refusing the help outright. This is how I would do it, knowing what I know now.
There is also something very positive that I noticed as this unfolded: I was very heartened by the fact that people have such an innate desire to help others.
A lesson in exchange for memorable photos
6 years ago