Jon Kolbe agreed to write about his "dadness" at Cindy Kent's request. She's off to celebrate Father's Day with her own dad. Kolbe's creative use of social networking is engaging and effective. Today he shares with us how being a dad has changed since he lost his job.
My life is...almost perfect.
I've got a beautiful, caring and selfless wife; I have the two most beautiful girls. Ever. I have family, I have friends. Everyone is healthy, who could ask for more?
The only little teeny, tiny thing that is missing is: a job.
I've come to the realization that only after a job is gone can you fully appreciate it and what it really does for you.
I worked as a project manager for an architectural firm for 11 years. My two girls were born during a time of rampant construction, economic expansion and an economy that Kryptonite could not hinder. I worked, and I worked, at least until nightfall, sometimes later.
I'm not complaining. This was the way I was raised. My dad has always had his own business, his dad had his own business and his grandfather had his own business. This 'work til the job is done' ethic is ingrained deeply in me. Life was good, my wife was a stay at home mom and my kids were among the happiest around.
Cue the "bubble burst," "market correction," the "financial crisis," or as I refer to it: the implosion.
The one thing missing in my life during the "good days" was family time. Six day work weeks did not allow me to spend any amount of quality time with my family.
Now, between applying for jobs and the phone not ringing with offers, I have had time.
I have tried to capitalize on this opportunity by building strong bonds and one very cool lemonade stand.
I have changed more diapers in the last six months than I have in the last six years. I've made lunches, burned dinners, been to the playground, applied Band-Aids, removed splinters, walked to school in the rain, been stuck in the car line, spared the rod, spoiled the child and taught tic-tac-toe. I've had fevers, I've held their hands and given them baths when they had fevers. I've even collected hail in the middle of what I can only describe as a typhoon for a science lesson.
Even though the last six months have been enormously stressful and my finances look almost as good as Bear Stearns' (just prior to the JPMorgan Chase deal), I am thankful and even consider myself blessed to be able to have had this time.
In the time I have not been working, I have had the gift of my family. They've kept me grounded. They've kept me laughing. They've kept me focused. And most importantly, they've kept me positive.
This Sunday is Father's Day, and it's the first one that I, by my own judgment, truly deserve.
You can visit Jon Kolbe's web site to see how he's implementing his social networking skills to obtain employment, at Jonkolbe.com E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jonkolbe