Losing a job can be a very scary event in one’s life. Nobody wants to go through that situation. No matter how the employer sugar coats the message, you still have a huge range of emotions flooding through your head. Emotions like fear, intimidation, anger, anxiety, bitterness, grief, guilt, you name it – they all hit you at one point or another. Will you be able to provide for your family? Will you find another job? How will you pay the bills? What should you do now?
For the most part, one simple thing determines your success after a job loss. Attitude. Vivian Greene said, “Life is not about waiting for storms to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” When you develop an attitude of gratitude for the blessings you have, you learn to not sweat the small stuff so much.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Preparedness also goes a long way. At the time I lost my job we were prepared with six months of expenses in the bank for just this type of emergency. We had no debt except the house. We reworked the budget and slashed our spending to almost nothing in order to free up cash. We became much more familiar with thrift shops, discount grocery chains and generic brands than we were ever comfortable with in the past. With a lot of frugal planning and the determination to succeed, we were able to stretch out our last two paychecks (one month’s wages) to pay for over two months of expenses. We filed our taxes early and had another two months of expenses. Five months into the unemployed period we had not even touched our emergency fund.
Finding Income Again
I had no doubt that with my skills and experience I was highly marketable and could find another job in a related field. But I was never very happy in my past career so why would I pursue more of it? I felt there was another option. You might say it was a calling. Prior to losing my job I had been coaching clients on a part time basis. I loved doing it but never had enough time to seriously devote needed attention to the business. When my former employer graciously opened up my schedule for me, we decided to focus on growing the business with intensity and hard work. Slowly but surely it began to grow and produce a meaningful income. While growing that business, I had the opportunity to start another business. With a lot of hard work and dedication, it began to flourish as well.
Blessings in Disguise
Today I look back and I am grateful for the blessing of losing my job. Through the seeming tragedy of that door closing in my life I have found so many other open doors. I lost my traditional job and I was just fine. I didn’t wait for the government to save me. I went out and did something about my situation. In short, I have learned to dance in the rain. The reward has been tremendous.
How can you survive a job loss? First, be prepared. Second, adjust your attitude. Third, accept responsibility and do something to improve your situation.Matt Wegner survived a job loss by starting a business. Today he is a personal finance, small business and leadership coach focused on teaching his clients the tools for L.I.F.E. (Living In Financial Excellence). Learn more about Living In Financial Excellence!