Ryan Payne is a former investment banker who was laid off from his job at the Jordan Edmiston Group in April 2008 and has since remained unemployed. In the beginning, he sent out dozens of resumes and "would've done anything" to get his job back, which is ironic given how much he hated it when he had it, particularly the long hours and lack of a social life that resulted in him sleeping under his desk on his birthday in 2007. With over $100,000 in student loans and consumer debt, the Payne, who holds his JD/MBA, moved home and things were pretty dark for a while. "At one point, if I'd had a gun, I wouldn't be talking to you now," he told the LA Times. Then one day Payne said fuck this, pulled himself "out of the job orbit" and has never looked back.
Rather than being a slave to the man, or trying to vain be a slave to the man, Payne now makes his own rules. He wakes up early to trade commodities from his lap top and spends the rest of his free time doing whatever tickles his fancy. Typically that includes surfing, taking comedy classes, working out barefoot on the streets of Santa Monica, studying for the CFA and just generally centering himself ("I'm looking inward with yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and coping mechanisms that I didn't have before," he says). He also founded the Westside Unemployment Appreciation Team, which is comprised of about 70 young professionals sans job who meet up for some good times because "managing underperformance and diminished expectations should not be your new full-time gig!"
Mostly though, Payne has been using this time to figure out a few things about himself. What makes Ryan tick, etc. No longer his is "just trying to merely live, but really thrive." In the clip below, shot by a brilliant uncredited cinematographer whose genius it was to put the thing in four quadrants, the bottom two being the ones you'll want to keep your eyes on, we also learn that Ryan has been catching up on his reading (Mr. Nice: "He was Britain's most wanted man. He has just spent 7 years in America's toughest penitentiary. You'll like him."), will "no longer sacrifice who he is for a dollar or a boss," and that his soul is not the only thing benefiting from the time off. One lucky canine's making out pretty well for himself too.
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From Long Hours On Wall Street To Lots Of Free Time [LATimes]
Ryan Payne Unemployment Video [LATimes]