What’s the first thing you need to do when you decide to leave academia? Find a job. Any job.
But be sure you know the definition of a job. A job is “something done for 8 hours a day for pay” (Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must, 2015). It’s not your new field or line of work, your new calling, or your forever career.
When my museum career came to a screeching halt a few years back during the recession (and my first pregnancy), I made a very calculated and deliberate decision to come back to higher ed as my workplace of choice. A decision that came after a lot of processing of my feelings about my career and my work, and a lot of soul searching and reflection. If I had been able to be honest with myself (instead of clouded mind after having been laid off), I would have been able to say, “You know what? We’re just not suitable for each other anymore. It’s time to move on” to the museum profession.
I wish I had known this a long time ago, but just in case you don’t, a piece of advice.