Reinventing Ourselves After a Job Loss
The Land of Work
When I first joined the banking world in NY during the 1970s, being young, ambitious and easily awed, I, like my peers, a few who are still my friends, thought we had job security for life. Why not? We saw many of our coworkers getting retired and since we were the head dept. of international banking who dealt with the wealthiest clients in the world, a few who are well known Kings in their country, earnings were good which translated into nice bonuses, good salary increases and cushy benefits for the staff.
Alas, life had surprises for many of us as the years went by. Being young, we did not realize that nothing in life is permanent, everything is in a constant flow of change, and that change can include being faced with having one's job eliminated down the road whether it be through downsizing, being fired or our choice in leaving a job that has become too stressful.
When I suddenly found myself unemployed for the first time in my adult life after working non stop for 28 years, sometimes I had two jobs, I felt as if a death had taken place, because it did. My paycheck, my daily routine, the familiar faces had come to an end, and my sense of independence was shaky; compounding the situation, this was in the aftermath of the 9/11 in NY. There were almost no existent jobs at the time especially for a woman starting her baby boomer years and with a hearing disability.
I wrote to every government representative I could think of, asking for help because by law, the government was supposed to help me find work. "The New York Times" heard about me through an agency that helped me financially, and interviewed me; the article was published on a Sunday, so millions of readers read about my job hunt and trials, and yet with this exposure I received two job offers that I did not qualify for, several emails from people of all walks of life thanking me for the interview as it helped them with their own job struggles, and a few date proposals.
Still no job.
Being Practical while Reiventing Myself
I learned during this change in my life, that no matter how long we have worked in our chosen field and find ourselves at point zero as to what to do with the rest of our lives, the universe, especially with the technology and Internet we have available today provides with ample opportunities to reinvent ourselves, especially when doors do not seem to open in securing a permanent, traditional 9-5 job. However, the mistake a lot of people make when starting a business, is they think over the top, they like to call it ambition, drive, thinking big, which is all good, but I found that focusing in terms of earning a monthly salary with a business becomes a more realistic goal.
And we need patience and trust.
Once we have allowed the sprouting of our ideas to bloom and bear fruit, we can then expand our vision and goals. The reason for this, is when we are in a state of lack, worried about paying the rent, we are not going to very inspired if we don't see a financial result with our endeavors. I am all for being positive, which I turned the volume up in my difficult times, by meditating, saying my affirmations, and praying, but I also have my practical side, we live in a physical world, and we need to eat and pay our bills.
Hubs I Recommend- will be adding more as I find them
Hyponodude's hubs are filled with empowering tools for life!
2.Tatjana's hub is filled with wisdom:
3. An honest hub beautifully written by a Social Worker who suddenly found himself without his long time career.
4. A fantastic hub that talks about going back to basics to become self-sustaining.
Personal Examples of Life After a Job Loss
My sister was fired from her management job with an Import and Export company in Manhattan, NY in the early 1990's, due to politics. She was their logistics expert and popular with clients which senior management found threatening.
My mate was an engineer for over 18 years, built missiles for the government, solar homes and a host of other projects but he decided to quit because he wanted to try something new, not because he was unhappy or mistreated (lucky him!)
My online friend whom I taught how to read the tarot cards via IM, and gave her spiritual counseling, left her stressful job as a social worker.
So where are we all?
Where are We Now?- Thinking Out of The Box
My sister was selling in Ebay as a side source of income while working at her full time job. It's a blessing she did this, because when she was suddenly unemployed, she dedicated herself to selling full time in Ebay. At the time, pashminas were the rage in fashion and very few sellers knew how to import them. She made about $200,000 in sales during the first year and a half, then it slowed down as competitors caught on and undersold her. But yup, she earned this income after being fired!
I know... I know... not all of us can do this, and the 90's was a better economy, but the point here is that she took her skills in import and export, found a trend, and took advantage of it by selling it.
My s/o, Phil, loves to fix things, and started to dabble in home remodeling as a creative project; an older neighbor asked for a favor and had him do repair work in her home, and from this customer, he was led to another who worked for a doctor's office, who led him to yet more customers. Before he knew it, his creative project became a successful business locally where he had appointments booked a few months in advance. How did he become successful? He charged very cheaply for his labor and did it well, so his reputation grew. He earned his income with volume instead charging a high fee and thus having fewer customers. He closed the business 5 years ago, to go on another adventure, a spiritual retreat and semi-retirement which he is coming off now.
My online friend, makes about $2,000 a month doing readings, something I didn't accomplish when I was doing readings. The reason for this, is she has passion; was absolutely sure, she never wanted to go back to working for others. She not only did spiritual readings but signed up at local spiritual centers to give classes, and by word of mouth she became sought after.
As for me... I was lucky that I received a very early retirement pension because of my hearing problem. I felt odd being retired when I had just started my 40's, but took the opportunity to do spiritual readings, sell in Ebay to supplement my income as it was drastically reduced by roughly 70%, and I was still living in expensive New York.
Nowadays, Phil and I own www.thelemonadediet.com which we purchased from my sister recently, and its a business that is growing and keeps us busy. In the meantime, I have another website in the works that is spiritual in nature, I need to feel I am making a spiritual difference and this site fulfills this part of my nature.
None of us were financially independent, we relied on our salaries to meet our financial obligations or in the case of Phil could be out of work for a few years as he lives very simply, and has a mortgage free home, but had the understanding he would have to work again when his savings would start to dwindle.
As I observe and interact with friends, in my offline life and online, I notice we all have skills, something we love, are good at, or can be good at, and we need to be able to see this, to think outside the box; best to to deal with change proactively, even if it means simplifying our lives and making a conscious choice to let go of fear. I found that it was okay to grieve, to be scared, to be angry when finding myself suddenly unemployed, best to let our emotions out, but as I moved on, I made adjustments in life style.
I told a friend of mine who recently was downsized that while she is looking for employment, to also focus on a side business. I tell my friends who are STILL employed to learn how to supplement their income away from the job -- we all need to learn how to be resourceful as jobs are not secure.
I am thankful everyday, I am not part of the rat race subjected to the rules and tantrums of management or peers; I struggled for a while with being unemployed as I didn't have financial security at the time, but nowadays I am truly free; free from the fear that I cannot sustain myself somehow, and free to express my life however I wish.
And so can the next person who finds themselves suddenly unemployed, life will support us all perhaps not in the lifestyle we were used to, but the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and be free is there for us all.