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The 100 Days of Unemployment Experiment

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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.
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The Result & Impact

  1. 100 000+ words in journaling, content & posts.
  2. 40+ Linkedin Posts with a total of 50 000+ views on my post.
  3. 10 recruiters contacted me the first week and wanted to interview me. (I said no).
  4. Guest Speaker in Sweden’s top Design School Berghs School of Communication
  5. Twitch Guest in the CJ Mindset.
  6. 3 Episode Spotify Podcast
  7. 20% increase in connections in my Linkedin (around 300 new connections)
  8. A person at my got inspired by me and quit his job, and now working for his dream company.
  9. My current role in H&M is thanks to this challenge. “You have balls” - quote from My Manager
  10. I got a girlfriend ❤️

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