Andy Trattner

September 1, 2021


One year ago, I stepped off the tech work treadmill and opened myself to opportunity. I was flaring after a year of focused labor to better understand my professional identity.

I’m pleased to reflect on my year of funemployment. It was difficult and ambiguous in many ways. Especially that first month, after accidentally resigning (i.e. being fired in a funny way), I struggled to open myself and find artistic direction. Of course I still struggle, however it’s less frictionful with each passing day. What is creativity but struggle?

In the last year, I published two books, moved to a new country, learned to scuba, started building a house, and committed to my first serious relationship. I also lost a million dollars, did some spiritual seeking, and got therapy. I’d say I lived more religiously in general.

In the process, I learned how underdeveloped the “life” part of “work-life” was for me. I was unaware of—and therefore had neglected to prioritize defining and growing—a healthy ecosystem of identity and community outside my single-minded school → work foci.

I didn’t understand commitment. I couldn’t see my life in systems.

These were difficult things to discover and verbalize, especially for someone like me who learns impatiently, often finds experience overrated, and generally isn’t so self-aware nor humble. It was such a fascinating, mind-blowing process that I had to make a project out of it—hence the short-lived podcast on thoughtful adulting.

For now, I’m feeling happy with where I’m at. I like where I’m going and how momentum is building to take me there. It looks like the funemployment will continue, a sustainable and indefinite work-life harmony.

About Andy Trattner