Being fired sucks!
And I’ve been in this boat on more than a few occasions.
If you’ve ever worked for anyone you’ve agreed to the life-altering possibility that is being an at-will employee.
As my wise mother always says: as long as you’re not the employer, you’re always an at-will employee.
When someone controls your money, they control you. This is an issue no one will discuss or admit. Because we live in a Capitalistic society, we all need money to manage our lives, provide care and security for our loved ones and set our selves up for a life of peace once we are no longer punching a clock.
Since everyone involved in the game knows about money’s impact and power, it is also wise to be aware of all the things that you, as an employee, can control.
While you may or may not be the one who decides it is time for you to move along, your bosses are in the business of keeping the doors open. A large part of keeping the doors open involves looking at cutting costs and figuring out what each employee is costing the company.
Here’s a little unknown secret that bosses don’t want you to know …
They control your financial future unless you design a self protective plan.
If you need to earn an income and protect yourself, it’s wise to create six steps to ensure you stay stress free and protected.
Step 1 Pay Yourself first- Get Thy Purse to fattening. While this is a reliable and proven way of living, most people don’t follow it. This is a very basic concept. Automate those savings and fund that just-in-case nest egg. When you get paid, have a small portion of those funds siphoned into an account which is only to be touched in the event of a sudden life changing event (firing, sickness). If your company matches your contribution, i.e. a 401k program, all the better.
Step 2 Create an exit strategy this is necessary and sufficient. One of the major benefits of developing an exit strategy is the elimination of chronic stress. An exit strategy doesn’t mean you drastically change your life today. It means you have some idea as to what you’d do if things suddenely changed. Where would you live? Is that credit card balance at 0? Do you know how many months you’d be able to survive without your current income?
Step 3 Update your resume. It is important to add to it constantly and look for ways to share it (when appropriate) with your network. To add to your resume, look for ways to take on new projects that require additional skills. Sign up for classes and get a reputation for being a lifelong learner and someone open to feedback. Seek out a professional resume writing service and get feedback on whether or not your resume pops or is a serious snoozefest. Take classes based on what you’d do next if the unthinkable occured.
Step 4 Strengthen your network. Strengthening your network is an ongoing process which should be happening way before you need to tap into it. What does strengething your network look like? Everyone has a different approach. Here’s a two step process that works: Focus on building long term relationships, offer to help others first (what do you need and how can I help?) then ask: how can we collaborate to create something remarkable? People give networking a bad rap and I’m here to say STOP IT! Look at it as necessary and an opportunity to build relationships while giving and gettting pivotal insight that can be used to deal with challenges and create success stories.
Step 5 Investigate a side hustle- Do you bake wonderful pies? Love data entry? Write great reviews of Neflix programming? These are all money makers and great side hustles. We are now in the sharing economy. Uber, Lyft and Postmates are all entities which allow the everyday citizen to clear an additional $500 per month. $500 may not break the bank and it is an additional amount that can be added to the money pile.
Step 6 Realize that a you are your best asset and you are the CEO of your business. This means that it is imperative that you remain vigilant about all the things you will need to maintain your life should your employment status suddenly change. Stay aware that a pandemic, a less than productive business quarter or a drastic shift in staff may result in you becoming unemployed. To combat a sudden change, check out this link by Lisa Rangel, she hosts the podcast Pretend You’re Fired Today.
It is easy to do nothing and hope for the best. Nobody wants to turn in their keys and get the boot. No hiring manager has ever thought: I will eventually let this person go. Nor has any potential employee ever had the passing thought (Mid-Interview) that one day I’m gonna get canned.
But if nothing else, COVID can serve as a reminder that there are no guarantees in life and things can change with no warning.
And if this was the apocalypse, you survived it.
Will you be ready for a life-changing decision or will you be a victim and begin practicing your culinay skills by mastering a recipe from the 100 Ways to Prepare Alpo and Love It cookbook?