The Gift of Job Loss by Michael Froehls

A Practical Guide to Realizing the Most Rewarding Time of Your Life

Book Cover the Gift of Job Loss

On May 3rd, Tomoko and I were lucky to be able to attend a book signing for the new book The Gift of Job Loss by Michael Froehls.

The signing was held at the Gibson Bar in South Austin. It was a pleasant afternoon and we were able to chat with the author Michael Froehls and meet his publicist and several of his close friends.

After everyone had a chance to mingle and chat, Michael gave a brief talk on his experiences that led to the writing of this book. Like a lot of us, Michael had been quite ambitious and was working in a high profile financial position on Wall Street when the financial crisis hit. He lost his job along with about 100,000 of his closest friends and colleagues. However, rather than panicking and plunging immediately into what would have been a frustrating and fruitless job search, Michael took the opportunity to re-examine his life goals and think about how to use time strategically. This book chronicles this process and provides a lot of helpful practical material on how to go about planning and executing such a mid-career sabbatical.

For me, one of the strongest points of this book is the observation that time is perishable and a limited resource that can’t be recovered once wasted. This point seems obvious, but as the author points out, we all tend to get so immersed in the tree-details of our job and career that we lose sight of the time-going-by-forest.  How many people do you know who are plugging away at a job that they don’t necessarily like promising themselves that they are going to get around to all sorts of important things after they retire? In many cases, these people haven’t stopped to consider the obvious problem that some of these deferred activities may simply be too physically challenging once you reach retirement age. There is also the problem that one might get run over by a bus tomorrow.  On the other hand, for most of us there is no hard deadline that forbids us from working until age 66 instead of age 65. Why not add an extra year onto the end of your working life in exchange for a mid-career year to really go pursue some of these deferred goals?

I wasn’t actually fired. The paychecks were still being deposited in my bank account. However, the job I had once enjoyed greatly had morphed into an unrecognizable monster. It was eating me alive. It wasn’t my manager who summoned me to his office to dismiss me. Rather, it was my wife Tomoko who pointed out that the job was killing me and strongly suggested that I quit and take a sabbatical.

After the discussion with Tomoko, I began to look at our finances and think about what I really would want to do during a sabbatical. I had already come up with a list quite similar to the one in Michael Froehls’ book. The details of  my actual plan end up being slightly different from the approach recommended in the book. However, the spirit and intent of my plan matches the Michael Froehls concept completely. Quitting and reorganizing my life so that Tomoko and I can found our own company is exactly the sort of strategic re-allocation of time advocated in the book. I am an enthusiastic supporter of Michael Froehls’ message!

Further information about this book and about Michael Froehls is available in several places:

  1. The Amazon product page for the book:  The Gift of Job Loss contains extensive reviews (including one from me)
  2. Michael Froehls has his own web site http://thegiftofjobloss.com/
  3. Michael Froehls is a regular expert contributor at Ezine Articles. See Ezine Articles by Michael Froehls PhD
  4. There is a Facebook page for the book as well.

 

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