Although I lost my job back in November, the severance package worked out to be 3 month's pay. Rather than giving me that money in a single lump sum, the company elected to simply continue paying me for 3 more months. I deposited the final check yesterday.
Up till now, I've basically had an extended paid vacation. Now, I lose money. Well, technically, March 20 is the first date that I will have failed to receive a paycheck, so that is when I will really feel the difference.
I'll be honest; when I first lost my job, I thought I would have a new one by now. But the reality is that I just haven't found anything that interesting, and certainly not enough to warrant a lower salary than I previously had. I had a flurry of phone calls from recruiters in January, and even did a couple of phone interviews, but February has been pretty quiet. Few of the opportunities have been local, and most of the out-of-area opportunities have been in places with ridiculously high costs of living. I'm a long, long way from needing a job for the sake of bringing in a paycheck, so I'm not feel overly motivated to go do something that I don't find interesting. I don't want another job, I want a career. Only one single opportunity presented to me has represented a potential career, and due to the economy I won't find out if that opportunity still has life until April.
So I have mostly given up on the job search for the time being. That's not exclusively my decision, of course, as I haven't been getting too many recruiter phone calls lately. Instead, I've decided to focus my attention in a different direction.
Shortly after losing my job, I purchased an iPhone programming book, and have spent the time since trying to become an iPhone programmer. The learning curve has been brutal, and progress has been slow, but nonetheless I am making progress on my first iPhone app. I figure I'm another week or two away from having all of the raw functions that I want, then I will need to spend some time refining the interface. I have recently applied for the Apple iPhone developer program, which will allow me to conduct beta testing on phones, and eventually allow me to post my app on the store. If all goes well (and so far, it hasn't), I hope to have my first app posted by the end of March.
Assuming I do eventually get the app onto the store, I will then watch what happens for a few months. If it looks like I can bring in some money this way, then I may just give up on engineering altogether and focus on programming. Maybe I can make my own new career, rather than hoping someone else will provide me a good opportunity. I have plenty of time to find out. Wish me luck.