This post was written by Kimberly Studdard, a talented writer that has experienced and handled job loss.
When you are fired or laid off from a job, it may seem like the end of the world. But what if I told you that you can not only survive, but thrive after losing your job? I am proof that you can turn a job loss into a new opportunity, and even a thriving business (if that’s what you want to do!)
A bit of background on me: I lost my job in August 2016, and since then I have worked my butt off to grow my side hustle into my own business. I am excited to say that I have succeeded, and I hope to continue to grow as I gain more exposure and experience in my journey. So how was I able to handle a job loss and accomplish this in just one month? I’m glad you asked.
While I didn’t know that I would be let go, I knew that I didn’t want to be at my current job longer than the end of 2016. For this reason, I started planning for the future to make sure that I’d still be able to pay bills and support my family. I began saving a little bit of extra money from each paycheck, saving all of my side hustle income, and cut back on any expenses that I could in my day to day life.
Now, you may not see a job loss coming, so my advice would be to just start preparing now. You never know what will happen in the future. As an employee, you are at the grace and mercy of your employer, and they can let you go at anytime (often without a reason). The better prepared you are, the longer you will be able to handle your job loss, and sustain your lifestyle before finding a new job.
It’s okay to be sad or upset about losing your job, but don’t stay upset for too long. I cried over my job for about two minutes before I realized that it was a relief to not have to worry about going into a place I didn’t enjoy working at.
If you loved your job, or if you are just afraid of the outcome of losing your job, it is okay to cry a bit and let out any negative feelings that you have. It’s natural to have those feelings after an abrupt change. The feelings while handling a job loss will look different for everyone, but I encourage you to not let it affect you so much that it negatively impacts your health or sanity.
Decide How You Want To Proceed
If you decide that you want another traditional job, the best time to start looking is IMMEDIATELY. Although our economy is a tad better than it was in 2008, it may still take some time to find a job that matches what you need/want.
Like myself, you may not want to go down the traditional job route again. I decided to focus on growing my own business, and I am happy to report that I haven’t had to look for a new job since being let go last month.
If you decide that you would rather become an entrepreneur, you will need to spend your time researching how to start your business the legal and right way. You will need to be able to answer questions like does your state require a license, are you planning on being a contractor, what will you do about health insurance? Having a business plan and an actionable list will make things easier on you.
Complete Odd Jobs While You Rebuild
Starting over from scratch doesn’t have to mean you aren’t bringing in an income. When I was first let go, I had a few side hustles that would bring in a small income while I decided the next step I wanted to take.
Once I decided to go into business for myself, I began reaching out to my network and those in my community to see if I could pick up a few clients and jobs that would bring in even more money. Imagine my surprise when I picked up 5 clients within two weeks for my new virtual assistant business! The great thing is, now these clients are referring me to others, and in return my income is growing as well.
You may not want to go into business yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make money on the side. Are you good at mowing lawns? Awesome, spread it around your community. Do you have an Etsy store on the side? Great, start putting in a little more time and effort into it to bring in some cash while you search for a job. You can even take surveys for gift cards or cash!
The odd job money may not seem like much, but it will help give you a few extra bucks to save or spend on necessities while you job search.
Know That You Are Not Alone
I remember coming home early to tell my fiance that I lost my job. I had never been fired before, and my ego was a bit bruised. His response was “Sweetheart, almost everyone has been fired at least once. It’s not the end of the world.”
What? I’m not alone here? A lot of other people have been let go, even when they were perfectly capable workers? My response actually made him laugh because he could tell that I was genuinely surprised.
You are not the first, nor the last person to be let go, laid off, or fired from a job. A job loss really isn’t the end of the world. It may seem like it at first, but you can always bounce back. It may take a month, or even a few months, but eventually you will look back and wonder why you were so afraid to be let go.
Don’t be afraid to talk to other people who have experienced with what you are going through. They can help provide insight and knowledge that you may need during your transition. It may still seem like an awkward taboo like topic, but job loss is more common than you think. Reaching out to others will help you feel a little less lonely and more prepared while you handle your job loss.
Being fired from my job was a blessing in disguise, and I am so happy to see how things are turning out. I promise you, that you are strong enough to handle a job loss, even if you may not want to. We all have scary times, but the sun always shines in the morning.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.