In a grandiose attempt to get as far away from my old accounting career as possible and to prove that I could be a risk-taker (the anti-accountant, I told myself), I started a business doing something I had never done before and knew very little about. Smart, right? It was definitely not something a conservative, practical accountant-type would do, but I think that’s what I was going for. This was a rebound job.
Much like a rebound relationship, a rebound job is something you jump into impulsively, shortly after the bitter end of a long-term job, while you’re feeling emotionally damaged and resentful. Rebound jobs, like rebound relationships, rarely last and usually end badly. But are they always a bad thing?
Rebounds are the opposite of what you had before. I went from sitting behind a desk as an accountant to treating patients as a medical spa owner. But after feeling like my old industry betrayed me, I was desperate for a change. While it was definitely outside of my comfort zone, it gave me the opportunity to learn things I wouldn’t have learned in my previous job, and it let me view the business world from a different perspective.
Rebounds are usually wrong for you. While the accounting industry might not be right for me, neither was the medical spa industry. But after impulsively jumping into it based on my limited options at the time, my expectations shouldn’t have been too high. However, if I hadn’t taken that blind leap of faith, I never would have known for sure if it was wrong for me. And why not try something new, even if it’s wrong, while you search for something right?
Rebounds are a distraction from your pain. I was hurt and bitter that I had devoted my career to my previous industry, and it had not reciprocated my dedication. I couldn’t live my life full of resentment any longer. Starting a new business gave me something positive to focus on and a way to channel my energy in a productive way. It was the distraction I needed to start rebuilding my career and stop dwelling in the past.
Rebounds keep you from being alone. I knew right away that the medical spa industry was not right for me, but with no better options at the time, it gave me something to do and kept me from being unemployed. Having no other job was like admitting that I was dependent on my old industry. By starting my new business, I proved to myself and everyone else that there were other options for me, and I was not afraid to explore them.
Rebounds usually end badly. Just as abruptly as I went into the medical spa industry, I was out of it. However, while I went into it optimistically and full of excitement, I went out of it full of anger and betrayal after being nearly forced out, unceremoniously. But I knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t last forever, so whether the timing was my choice or not, it was going to end eventually. And while emotions ran high through the duration of the business, my emotional ties to it were never as strong as with my previous career, so the pain would be short-lived.
Sure, there were negative aspects of my rebound job. But there were positives too. And really… what was the harm? Now, after my rebound job, I’m right back where I started: unemployed and trying to figure out what to do with my life. But now I have a broader view of what the world has to offer, more business experience than before, and less pain and resentment to hold me back. Rebound jobs (and relationships) might not always be grounded in logic and good decision-making, but they serve their purpose: They help you move on. And a rebound job might be just the spark you need to re-ignite your search for The One… the perfect job for you.