I am a few months back to being employed and I have some thoughts on the two or so months I spent unemployed.

1. I am not ready to retire yet. The one nice thing about being unemployed is all the free time you have. While this was nice originally, I mostly did the same thing I always do with my free hours: watch TV, play video games, and read books. It was awesome for a while, but after a month or so of gorging it begins to become unstimulating. While it is true I did work on some side projects, like an AMV or two and a Chex Quest cosplay, I mostly have little to show for my long break. This does not bode well for my early retirement plans. Consuming media is fun, but not rest of your life fun.

2. Job Hunting is hard. Even for a field in-demand like software engineering, job hunting was not an easy task. I applied to 50 places, had 10 phone screens, and three in person interviews. Part of the problem was geography, since a lot of work is in and around the city of Boston and I did not want to work there, but I feel the main issue was a disconnect between me and the applications I was viewing. While it is true not all the jobs I applied to were perfect fits for my experience and skillset, I felt most of the applications I submitted were good matches. Given the 20% contact rate the employers disagreed. This leads me to think their job postings were not accurate to what they wanted.

3. Youtube is awesome I started really using Youtube and subscribing to channels and there is quite a lot of good content to be found there. Some of my new favorites are: 1. Forgotten Weapons 2. LGR 3. Tank Museam 4. The Examined Life (of Gaming) 5. Spacedock

4. Baldur's Gate is awesome I had beat Baldur's Gate 1 (along with Tales of the Sword Coast) before I was "budget actioned", but all this new free time begged for long, involving RPGs. Thus began epic quest to rid the world of evil in Baldur's Gate Siege of Dragonspear, Baldur's Gate 2, and Baldur's Gate 2 Throne of Bhaal. Ultimately that is 100+ hours of classic D&D gaming. Overall I would say it was time well spent. The isometric graphics hold up well, the voice acting is solid (Irenicus portrayed by David Warner being the highlight), and the story being pretty compelling. I will say, I am still rubbish at the combat.

5. Gundam is awesome Surprising no one I started watching Gundam and it is as good as everyone always told me it was. I do get to cheat a little and watch just the good series though. That turned out to be Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (just the first two cours), and Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt. I would recommend those series if you are in the market for a mecha anime.

6. Unemployment Services are a pain I got my first taste of the MA safety net when I started to collect unemployment. What I did not know was I had to prove to the state that I was looking for work every week I wanted benefits. That was not a huge issue, even if the site for reporting what you did that week was slow and poorly formatted, but it does highlight an unfortunate gap. Specifically, if you have signed an offer, but have not started work yet you still have to be looking for work to get benefits. That seems rather disingenuous so I did not do that, but I missed out on two weeks worth of benefits. I also had to go to a unemployment class which was a huge waste of my time. I did not need a class to tell me MA offers a site to do job searches on.

7. Being unemployed hurts the ego Its pretty deflating to be unemployed. I very much enjoyed being a software engineer and having that title. Lacking it, is was a big bummer. It is strange, because I was still the same person, but it was harder to prove I was who I said I was without some sort of outside validation (like being employed).

8. The MA healthcare bureaucracy is vast I almost had to switch to MA healthcare and it was a huge pain. They wanted forms faxed (no online upload or emailing) and it took forever to hear back from them. One day I got two letters in the mail. One saying I had been denied health care and the other saying I had been accepted into the plan. It was all very confusing and I am glad to not have to deal with it now that I am back to work.

And that is my unemployment nutshell. I hung around the house for a bit, played some games, watched some anime, and then went back to work.