Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interview 1: The Map Maker

I'm sure it gets boring just reading about me. This is the first interview in a series that explores people's journeys in FUNemployment and what I like to call EmPLAYment, where people follow their passions to success. 

Our first interviewee is Karla, who was laid off in 2011, has embraced FUNemployment and is on her way to EmPLAYment!

Hi Karla! Welcome to FUNemployed, the blog. Can you tell me a little bit about how you became FUNemployed?
Sure, I was working in a large engineering firm for four years until a major business change triggered my layoff. I was very sad at the time but I've learned to make the best of a bad situation. 

Tell us how!
I gave up my apartment, put my stuff in storage and started going on adventures. I have been doing WWOOF during this time, which is worldwide opportunities on organic farms and is a work exchange program. I work 25-35 hours per week on a farm in exchange for food and board. As a lifelong city girl, I never thought I'd know how to milk goats and make cheese. Plus, I get to travel, use my hands and I've met tons of interesting people!

Did your friends and family want to have your head examined?
They definitely thought that I had a break from sanity. Luckily my friends and family are supportive and know that I have a good head on my shoulders. I just explained that it was like a forced summer break, except in winter.

Wow, that's great! Sounds like you really stepped out of your comfort zone. Do you think you'll ever go back to your old industry?
I always look to make connections in the engineering/map making world. I've attended seminars and conventions in Washington and Colorado and managed to find some volunteer work in Minnesota and New Mexico as well. I've been thinking of using my map making skills to help make guides so that people have an easier time of finding these organic farms.

You just may have stumbled upon a new aspect of your career. 
You know, you have a good point. I've always loved being healthy and this could be a way to do some good while also using my skills and making a living.

If you could go back and change anything about your layoff, would you?
In hindsight, no. It was terrible at the time, but I always felt like my old job wasn't my forever job. I've gained more new experiences in the past few months than I ever did at work. I love what I do but I don't know that being at a big firm is really what I want for the long haul. My new experiences have made me a more well-rounded person. I do wish I could whisper in the ear of recently laid off me and tell her that it will all be ok.

Thanks, Karla. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Please do keep us posted about your journey...and if anyone needs a map or organic fruits and vegetables, let her know!

If you're interested in being an interview subject, please send an email to kerrylquinn51674 at gmail (dot) com.

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