The 100 Days of Unemployment Experiment
5 min read by Chris Rodriguez
Getting Fired Is Like a Break-Up
I'm out of work, I got laid off, I got fired. There, I said it.
I don't know why I felt such a shame to share that I was out of work, especially back then, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. If I could pick a time where it was ok to broadcast your unemployment, 2020 would be the year.
The experience of getting fired from the company I worked for Telenor, felt almost like dating. We had this amazing time and suddenly we broke up due to circumstances. I got the "It's not you, it's me" speech. It was tough, I really enjoyed my team, the work & and my role as an Agile coach.
As this came just before the summer break I was in desperate need of finding a new job. But I realized I wasn't ready yet. So I took a well-needed break.
After taking the summer off, I started pondering the concept of working and having a job. I started reflecting and landed on three questions: Why do I need a job? What if I did something I truly enjoy doing instead of working? What are the opportunities of being unemployed?
The Experiment Was Born
I was stressing myself about finding a new job and wasn’t sure why. It was a combination of societal pressure and removing the feeling of rejection. Even if I got let go due to the circumstances, I blamed myself for not being good enough, I felt like a failure, and the only way to remove that feeling was to find a better job.
But finding work was impossible. So I decided to just be unemployed, or as I called it, actively unemployed. Instead of hiding the fact of not having a job, I embraced it, it became my badge of honor. And that’s when the experiment was born.
I decided to write about it on Linkedin, the biggest professional career platform out there. My goal was to normalize being unemployed. I knew that I wasn’t alone and others might have this feeling of rejection and shame that I was experiencing.
Instead of hiding the fact of not having a job, I embraced it, it became my badge of honor. And that’s when the experiment was born.
The rules were simple:
- I was going to commit for 100 days, which meant that even if I got job offers, I would respectfully decline them.
- I would share my experience and process on Linkedin and be as honest and truthful with the intent to inspire and connect with others.
- I would take this opportunity to do projects that I postponed when I had a job. This included learning how to draw, doing my own podcast, learning to code, and anything that I would enjoy.
The Result & Impact
- 100 000+ words in journaling, content & posts.
- 40+ Linkedin Posts with a total of 50 000+ views on my post.
- 10 recruiters contacted me the first week and wanted to interview me. (I said no).
- Guest Speaker in Sweden’s top Design School Berghs School of Communication
- Twitch Guest in the CJ Mindset.
- 3 Episode Spotify Podcast
- 20% increase in connections in my Linkedin (around 300 new connections)
- A person at my got inspired by me and quit his job, and now working for his dream company.
- My current role in H&M is thanks to this challenge. “You have balls” - quote from My Manager
- I got a girlfriend ❤️