Losing one’s job means losing income, and that can be devastating on an emotional level in addition to a financial capacity. No one wants it to happen, few expect it to happen, and yet people are terminated / laid off every day in America. I lost my job earlier this month, which is partially why I have not been writing as often as I probably should be. It’s a frustrating and stressful situation, and it can be easy to be consumed by the anguish that can come from being unemployed. Before you go plunging into your savings to try to maintain your lifestyle however, take some time to read my thoughts on the matter and see if there are things here you can add to your game plan to get back on your feet and resume your journey on the way to financial freedom.
Go for a walk / run
Being hit with walking papers either through lay-off, termination, or contract dissolution is definitely not a pleasant experience. In fact, it can be traumatic, induce depression, and there are reported cases of individuals committing suicide after losing their job. Since finance involves mathematics, and mathematics requires a rational thought process, it stands to reason that we want a clear mind when dealing with circumstances that induce very powerful and overwhelming emotional responses to avoid snap judgments that can exacerbate the situation.
I’ve found that going for walks daily as well as running helps burn off steam, and the exercise benefits me by allowing me to clear my mind of the strain that not having consistent income brings. Plus, I get to enjoy the beautiful weather that we are experiencing here in Minnesota lately and have met quite a few new friends in the process.
Keep a journal
Writing down your experiences can help you process the emotions you experience, and that is all the more important in my opinion when it comes to losing a job. Putting your thoughts down on paper not only helps with working through the situation, but also it is a powerful tool that can be used to look back on and see patterns of thought along with being able to be referenced when moving forward to avoid any pitfalls such as identifying emotional triggers that can inhibit rational thought.
I write in my journal daily, and also will make side notes of the emotions I experience to identify any potential negative thought patterns to be worked on to use this experience as a means of personal growth. But unemployment doesn’t just impact our minds, it impacts our wallets. As we address the emotions, we must also address the financial side of things.
Use your savings sparingly
Personally speaking, I’m not a huge advocate of diving into one’s savings to maintain their lifestyle during times of unemployment as that can lead to adverse spending habits and mitigate the positive savings habits one has worked so hard to build. That being said, one should have money set aside in an emergency fund specifically for this occurrence to tide them over until they have found a new line of work. Now is a good time to take stock of any unnecessary or frivolous expenses and cut them out temporarily (they can be picked up again later if desired) to make one’s savings last as long as possible.
As challenging as it has been, I’ve canceled Netflix and switched to a cheaper phone line as well as quit smoking (very challenging) and going out to eat at sit down restaurants to name a few to make each dollar last. I’ve also done quite a bit of work on my car myself (thanks YouTube!) to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars instead of taking it to the shop. Making savings last is vital to weathering the storm, but we also need to make income in some form or fashion until new employment opportunities arise which brings us closer to ourselves, understanding the power of our creativity.
Monetize your skill sets
We all have particular skills and hobbies that we use on a daily basis, but did you know that there are people who are willing to pay to learn something new or receive assistance with a project? There are many avenues for a person to leverage their talents and hobbies for income, Fiverr is a place where people offer services to a pre-made market, Patreon is another that allows donations and monthly subscriptions. If you like to write, you could freelance as an editor or help someone build a resume for a small fee as one example. You can also reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to see if they have odd jobs to do or if they would like to learn something new.
This website is one of my hobbies that I leverage as WordPress and PayPal are free, and free is a beautiful thing! Finances aren’t just numbers, they involve a concept called social capital. That is a valuable resource in times of financial uncertainty.
Tap your Social Capital
Social capital is defined as “the interpersonal relationships, institutions, and other social assets of a society or group that be used to gain advantage”. This encompasses many aspects including the personal relationships we currently have with friends, family, and neighbors as well as former co-workers. We all have people in our lives that fit into one of those categories, and using your social capital to find new employment opportunities or generate temporary income is essential to addressing a loss of employment. When you monetize your skill sets and hobbies for temporary income (that might just turn into a profitable business), you will need a consumer base to build off of. What better place to start than the groups of people in our lives who care about our well-being?
Some of my closest friends are my best clients, and word of mouth about endeavors such as this website spreads. Don’t be afraid to work with those closest to you, they are your strongest allies!
I hope this article contains tidbits of information that you can use to help if you recently suffered a job loss, as always thanks for reading and if you would like to contribute to the continuation of this website you can do so by clicking the button below.