By choice, I hasten to add, in that I was the one who wrote the farewell letter and handed it to the boss, although not entirely by choice on the grounds that the job was wearing me out and that was a battle I was losing.

It’s not that the work, for a charity, was unpleasant, but that there were so many layers of approval for even the smallest things. I’d describe the process as not so much as too many cooks trying the spoil the broth, but as too many cooks taking ages to succeed at spoiling the broth.

I also ended up with a big responsibility that required more financial and technical support than was available — admittedly my fault for accepting the situation, but still stressful.

It’s been a difficult job and I’ve been in resignation mode for the past couple of years ever since I ended up on anti-depressants for a while. The only reason I didn’t leave back then was an unexpected opportunity to get back on the housing ladder (part rent/part buy), and a job change in the middle of that could scupper the mortgage application, which itself took way longer than expected due to fire cladding issues.

The CV dusted off almost as soon as the kettle was unpacked from the house move — it proved difficult to job hunt when coming home mentally exhausted. Writing cover letters and the like in such a state of mind just wasn’t happening.

Fortunately, I sold something modestly valuable in 2019, and while that money was supposed to be paying off a chunk of mortgage, it also offered a chance to take a bit of a risk, and I resigned in March without a job to go to, although we mutually agreed to defer the final day due to the pandemic lockdown.

I walked out of the office for the last time at lunchtime today.

Resigning without a job is a bad idea anytime, to do so at the beginning of a long recession is folly, but personal health sometimes has to come first.

I shall take a few months off work — mainly to mentally detox — and then I shall review the situation in the new year.

The break also gives me more time to spend on ianVisits (lockdown permitting). It would be perfect if ianVisits can generate enough income to be a job in itself, and while heading in that direction, it’s not there yet.

But here’s to a brighter future.

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72 comments on “Personal News: I’m unemployed
  1. Jamesthegill says:

    Best of luck, Ian.

  2. Josh says:

    Good luck, looking forward to you being able to spend more time on this!

  3. Sykobee says:

    Best of luck!

    Sounds like a period of time without responsibility to anything or anyone but yourself is what’s needed first.

  4. Peter Mitchell says:

    Health comes first Ian. Always enjoy your writings so take it easy, re charge and go again.

  5. Congratulations on the new home! Wishing you the very best during your break and in finding new employment.

  6. Ray says:

    Yep a brave act Ian, I wish you the best of luck in your job search

  7. Kevin says:

    Hope things get nice and chilled for you and that you come out the other side with good things

  8. Matt says:

    Good luck, always enjoy reading your blog, here’s to more of that!

  9. Kevin Too says:

    SNAP 😀 I submitted my letter of resignation last night, I technically finish on 31st October.

    Ian I wish you well for your future, health & happiness are far more important IMHO, all the best!

  10. Martin says:

    If you are seeking more supporters, it would be helpful to have an overview of the finances of the blog, like a Patreon. e.g. How much is currently committed monthly, and how much are you aiming at in order for this to be your job.

  11. Julian says:

    I have done this three times in my life, resigned without another job to go to. What I first thought was fear turned out to be exhilaration, and it allowed my life to go in new directions that I could not possibly have envisaged. I hope you will have a similar experience!

  12. Martin says:

    Good luck. Reading your stuff is an important part of my week. Thanks for all you do.

  13. Deborah says:

    Well done making that call. It sounds like you have everything in place to go forward. I had to make a similar decision for my mental health and well being and gave up a really secure job. It was hairy but looking back it was exhilarating following my passions. I wish you well for the future.

  14. Julia says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve had such a rough time Ian. Wishing you all the best for a relaxing recovery and amazing opportunities to come!

  15. Peter B says:

    I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago. Resigning was the best decision I ever made.

    A year off and now doing a couple of days a week working from home.

  16. Caroline says:

    Best of luck Ian and here’s to a better future. XX

  17. Susan Thornton says:

    Best of luck Ian

  18. Shannon says:

    Good luck! Quitting a job that was leading me deep into depression, without a backup, was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I hope it works out for you too.

  19. Wishing you good health in the future! Without doubt I have visited so many of your recommendations on Ian’s Visits! Thank you so much.

  20. Sarah Crofts says:

    Good luck. I always enjoy reading your pieces, so it would be great uf you have a bit more time to write more.

  21. Michael Browning says:

    Mirroring all the other comments here, very best of luck. With change comes opportunity. Love IanVisits btw.

  22. Tim Burns says:

    Admire your bold move! Dry best wishes for it working out

  23. Congratulations!

    What is your line of work / key skills, so I can keep you in mind if I see anything.

  24. Colin Day says:

    Brave move Ian, but well done. Your health must come first.

  25. Richard says:

    I have been feeling like this at work a lot this year so I entirely sympathise -all the best.

    The suggestion above about using Patreon to monetise the site seems like a good one to me.

  26. Mark says:

    Sounds like absolutely the right decision. Good luck with getting the finances from this site right. That would be a brilliant outcome.

    PS visiting the Maunsell forts with you many moons ago remains a treasured memory!

  27. Congratulations Ian! Best of luck ahead. I hope you can make the website a full-time thing. It’s much harder these days but it can be done!

  28. mexs says:

    what about kickstarter? to get more funds for your totally interesting website.

  29. John Fraser says:

    Congratulations on your new start! Thirty five years ago I quit a stressful job to become self employed in a totally unrelated field and have never been happier. I am now in my seventh decade with no thoughts of retirement. I like my customers and they like me, which is more than I could have said back then.

  30. Maurice Reed says:

    Bold move in these uncertain times. I’ve quit a number of jobs in the past usually with nothing in the pipeline. Can’t really do it again, resigning from being retired is a bit daft 😁
    Best wishes for the future.

  31. Tanya says:

    Good luck for the future. I had a similar experience and worth looking forward to the future. I hope you can carve out enough to survive by doing your blog. I love it.

  32. John Fraser says:

    Have we all increased our donations to this wonderful blog and if not, why not?

  33. Simon Drury says:

    Good for you!
    “As one door closes, another opens” etc etc
    But positive vibes often fuel future success.
    I think that you should consider making this a subscription based newsletter, now that you have more time to dedicate to it.

  34. Lionel says:

    Best of luck Ian, and thanks for your writings here. As other posters have said, how about setting up a patreon or Kickstarter?

  35. Toni says:

    Wishing you the best of luck Ian, I am sure you walked out feeling physically lighter. I haven’t read all the comments but I hope some of your many followers on Ian Visits have some useful suggestions. We all value you! Someone I know runs The London Historical Society and (I believe) makes a living from it, and a few weeks ago I did a “Meet” walk around Arundel. It was cheap (£4) and a lot of people (pre-covid new organised walk limit of 30). My friend was doing times tables of 4 on the numbers… I would have paid more, for a more in depth chat about what we were looking at. We really only followed him like sheep to be honest, but for an afternoon, he made a tidy bit. Enjoy your break!

  36. JP says:

    Health and happiness to you. Cash poor and time rich have their compensations.

  37. PG says:

    I was in very a similar situation and needed to resign without a job to go to. Leaving was empowering, completely removing the stress I thought I owed in return for a decent city wage. I’m still unemployed and have no regrets.

    Good luck to you Ian. Everyone who follows your posts appreciates what you do.

    Take the time you need, do what you love, and try and get paid for it.

  38. David says:

    Good Luck Ian, your health comes first.
    Do you have an IanVisits widget to promote yourself? If so I’d be happy to upload it to my sidebar. It might help.

  39. Ricolas says:

    Tonnes of luck for a new start, whatever that may be, and here’s to IanVisits going from strength to strength. It is a great resource and mine of information!

  40. Clive Brown says:

    Hope all goes well Ian. I did the same thing way back in 1984 when I was getting pissed off with my immediate boss in the City, and the daily commute from Heston was really getting me down. To be fair to the firm their recruitment manager was instrumental in getting me an interview in Yeovil which led to my relocation to Somerset, where I stayed for 35 years.

  41. Bob McIntyre says:

    Well done Ian! I did the same thing 20 years ago and took the leap to working for myself (I’m in IT too) and haven’t regretted it for a moment. There’s nothing more soul destroying than working for a bunch of tossers who neither understand nor care about the people below them. Her indoors says I became a much better, less stressed person for it.

    Keep up the good work on the blog; that, in itself, is a great advert for you and your skills, and may it help to find you what *you* want from life.

  42. Clare says:

    Best wishes, Ian.

  43. bob says:

    Good luck, maybe you and diamond geezer could set up a venture together

  44. Chas says:

    Astonished that you held down a job AND simultaneously ran this most professional and informative website!

  45. Bruce Wayne says:

    HI Ian

    That’s a very brave thing for you to do and come out with regarding the depression. I guess it affects us all at some point.

    Ive been in a similar situation but since i have trouble deciding about anything have struggled, it was hard enough switching jobs.

    The universe will sort its self out for you it you want it to

  46. John says:

    You cannot put a price on happiness and personal wellbeing. I left a job I didn’t enjoy at the end of July, where I’d suffered a lot of confidence issues and just wasn’t happy. Luckily I don’t need to find a job any time soon but it still feels strange to give up a paid job. But I’m so much happier!

    Enjoy your time off! Before I took the job I just left, I took some time to detox, it really was worthwhile.

  47. CityLover says:

    Good luck, looking forward to more on the website 🙂

  48. Kim says:

    Having worked for a historic buildings charity which constantly contradicted itself in terms of strategy and outcomes I understand very well how you must have felt. It’s a brave move, one I made two years ago. Result, I’m healthier, less stressed but poorer. I would not wind back the clock though. Take some time to relax and unwind. Your website is thoroughly dependable and very inspiring. I always look forward to it.

  49. martin watts says:

    Good morning Ian,
    You get towards a precipitate & having looked over you have to decide; I’m sure you’ve made the right decision.
    But please keep up the IanVisits, it’s the only blog I look at & I don’t know how you do it.
    Will make another donation.
    Martin

  50. David Winter says:

    Hi Ian. Sad to read of your situation. I certainly appreciate your blog.

    I join my voice to the many wishing you well for the future. I wonder if the Mayoral Robes would fit? 😊👍👍

  51. maggymoo says:

    Dear Ian, I’m sorry to learn you were forced to leave your job due to ineptitude of others and subsequent ill health. Is there any chance of a pay-off? Regardless, unemployment, tho’ costly, can be viewed as freedom and an opportunity to pause and take stock. Best wishes for a rosy future. And thanks for the blog.
    Maggy

  52. The Secret Landlord says:

    It’s great you reclaimed your life.

    You will now have more headspace to explore stuff – things maybe you never thought of before.

    New opportunities will arise because you are open to them.

    Good luck and keep open and willing to the wonders that await.

  53. Sandra Lawrence says:

    Ian, you have done a brave and potentially exciting thing. Not knowing what will turn up is a double-edged sword, terrifying and full of opportunity. Have you thought of doing a Masters degree (or PhD if you have one?) You could look at an MRes in studies of London – there are few that know more about what’s going in in the city right now like you do. Good luck in whatever you decide.

  54. Anne says:

    All the best, Ian.

    And thank you for producing this blog – I find there is always something interesting to read / new to discover. Like Martin, if you are seeking more supporters then it would be helpful to have an overview of the finances of the blog, like a Patreon.

  55. Sarah says:

    Your wise & brave actions will eventually reap dividends – good luck.

  56. john says:

    Best of luck Ian. Brave decision
    Thanks for you weekly list. Always interesting!

  57. Jo Musundi says:

    Well done, what a brave move. Wishing you all the best for your career prospects .

  58. Elizabeth says:

    Best of luck, and we shall be looking out for work opportunities which might appeal to you.

  59. Bill Wright says:

    Best wishes and continuing thanks for the originality the website and weekly mail brings ; I hope you find a suitable way of balancing health and occupation

  60. Jenny Lambert says:

    Thank you for what you do Ian, every good wish for the future. Be excited at this new stage in your life.

  61. KATE says:

    Good luck with your new future Ian and with continuing the unique IanVisits. IanVisits will be the cv that takes you to your next job.

  62. Mike Park says:

    Good luck Ian. So many people appreciate what you do in advertising adventures for us all.

  63. Mark Paterson says:

    Congratulations on making the leap.. small (recurring) acknowledgement in DonorBox!

  64. David Chapman says:

    I think you have done the right thing. I left teaching in 1986 with no immediate job to go to. (Government stupidity was making the job impossible and making me ill.) Had four jobs in the next 22 years, was made redudant twice in 12 months but ended up in a job I loved for 14 years – and retained health and sanity. So have faith in the future; I wish you every success. Love your weekly ‘Visits’. Do keep us updated with your personal comments – I’ve never met you but feel I know you!

  65. Ali E17 says:

    Good luck to you Ian, I partially understand what you’re going through. I’m in a similar position in adult social care. Many frustrations and thinking of going for 3 years but now decided the time is right. Leaving in 8 weeks, sadly and yet taking the leap and hoping otehr doors will open, with less responsibility and stress!

  66. Jacky Colliss Harvey says:

    Ian, as a writer, I have treasured your blog and the fascinating nuggets of information you pass along. I have thanked you in the acknowledgements for my most recent manuscript, a set of five walks around Pepys’s London, to be published in Spring ’21. I would love to see a book on London with your name on it – have you ever considered writing one? In the meantime I wish you the very best for the future – and yes, take, and enjoy, and make the very most of some time out now you have left the day-job behind you!

  67. Martin Nash says:

    Good luck in the future Ian. Your blog has always been required reading and I’ve had a number of fascinating visits following up your suggestions.

  68. Diana says:

    How about organising walks, study visits, outings?

  69. Adrian Betham says:

    Neither of my parents had a salaried job after demobilosation at the end of the war but were freelance self-employed as I have been for all my life barring a touch over four years in the 1970’s. That was a strange few years for me until a flat mate pointed out that having a job was probably a reason for my bank account always being in the black without constant attention.

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