As most of you already know, 26 days ago I left my job after over a decade. Earlier this year they dropped my hours from full time, to only 27 hours a week. At first this was okay because I was burned out from working so much without a vacation. Before this drop in hours, I went to Suffern, New York for about a week. During my time in Suffern, New York I got some much needed rest and relaxation.
When I got back, I went from being debt-free to bills starting to pile up. Working part-time and not having much saved in the bank, it became impossible to pay this debt off.
That’s when the job search began. I interviewed with this one company in downtown Rochester, New York. The position that I was suppose to have was totally different than the one I ended up receiving. Nothing that was discussed or promised was actually true. The company pulled a fast one on me and things didn’t work out as planned. Instead of getting a great job, I ended up Unemployed.
The biggest mistake that I made during my employment search was, not researching the company fully enough. I didn’t read any online reviews from current or former employees about how it was to work there. Another mistake was not asking to see the whole facility including the break room. The place was extremely dirty with a lousy break area. Talking to the current employees at the time would have also been useful. It’s just that they all weren’t around during the interview. And the ones that I did finally get to talk to, seemed very scared to say much.
During my time of being unemployed, I learned some very valuable lessons that I’d like to share with you.
Always Have A Savings Nest Set Aside
My sweetheart has always yelled at me in the past to not spend so much money, and instead save. There were times when I’d go out and eat too much. Or spend too much at the grocery store for food. In the past I’ve even went overboard spending too much on clothes, and unnecessary luxuries such as bicycles. By the way I got rid of all of my bicycles except for the Brompton Folding Bicycle. What a complete waste of money.
If I would have had some money set aside in case of an emergency, I could have paid of all of my credit card debt. This would have relieved a lot of stress from not having to worry about how I was going to pay them off while looking for work. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 months of living income saved, just in case it takes that long to find employment. I know some people who have looked for over a year.
Starting A Side Gig Such As Blogging Is A Smart Choice Financially
Having a side gig such as this Blog is another great choice. One day I’d like to join the thousands of other bloggers who are working from home making thousands of dollars per month. Not only will I be able to make great money, I’ll also be able to spend more time with loves ones. When that day comes I’m going to take care of my loved ones because they mean everything to me.
During the time that I was working at my former job, a few of my friends would tell me that I could do better. That I was too smart to be working at a job like that. As soon as I got unemployed, they all disappeared. I wasn’t looking for any financial help, but I sure could have used some well needed emotional support. It was a very tough time, and I was very worried about what I was going to do. The credit card companies want their money and they don’t want to hear any excuses.
A few of my family members, and true friends really stepped up to the plate. My family helped me pay for necessary needs, and one friend even offered to get me an interview at the company he’s been working at for about 20 years. Former managers and coworkers gave me great references, and told me about their struggles when they also became unemployed. They told me how to survive during the time, and how everything will work out in the end.
Without all this amazing and helpful support, I have no idea as to how I would have survived.
Work Extra Hours And Pay Debt Off As Fast As Possible
The new job I’m going to be working at is 45 hours a week, and pays more than my former job by quite a bit. It’s going to be tough getting up at 5:30 in the morning to be there at 7:30. I don’t own a car and will be taking the bus. Hopefully the bus doesn’t run late causing me to be late, and losing this job before I pay the credit card off.
This whole month I’m going to pay the whole $1,600. I will end up with only $430 to my name, but it will get this debt off my back and avoid paying the high interest rates. After that, I will start saving money in order to avoid ever getting into this same situation ever again.
Never Take Having A Full Time Job For Granted Again
I never thought that my company would start dropping all the full time employees down to part time. For over 10 years I worked there, and took it for granted that I’d always be safe. What I learned from all of this is that any company can let you go for any reason. You can have a full time job today, and then tomorrow you can be unemployed and left with nothing.
Now I will never devote myself to a company completely. I’ll still go do my job to the best of my ability but I’ll never be completely loyal to them either. For now on I’ll always be on the lookout for better opportunities, because in the end the only one who’s going to be loyal to me, is ME.
Sometimes The Scariest Decisions Are The Best
For the longest time I was petrified of being unemployed. In fact I was so scared, that I lost out on a lot of stuff in my life in order to keep my job. I wasn’t able to attend my grandmothers funeral in Florida, because I couldn’t get time off. Same thing happened when a very good friend of mine died in the Bronx in New York City.
What I should have done is walked away from my job years ago when it started to get really bad. Things weren’t the same as when I first got out of college, and couldn’t find a job for over 2 years.
I not only turned into a dependable, hard worker who actually shows up to work everyday, my priorities have also changed. Now I have tons of work experience, and skills that many employers are looking for.
Even though my future is more unpredictable than ever, I still feel more free. I no longer have to be afraid of taking chances in life. The thing that I’ve feared the most has actually happened. During this scary period, I learned that there’s so much more out there than I realized. My fear was holding me back from getting out there and bettering myself. I learned that you have to take chances in life, because if you don’t you will never evolve as a person.
As they always say, confront your fears head on and you shall conquer them.
Hopefully my traumatic experience has helped you with some difficult issues you may be experiencing yourself. Or better yet, help you avoid having to deal with the same ones that I have dealt with.
Have you spent too much in the past while not saving enough for emergencies? Did you lose a job and worry that you might not find one for quite some time? How about having to pay back debt while facing unemployment?
Let’s Have A Little Recap Here
I will always have a savings nest set aside just in case emergencies com up.
Spending less will help me save more, possibly allowing me to retire sooner.
Working extra hours will allow me to pay off debt sooner.
Getting a side gig such as blogging can not only make me extra money, but also one day replace my income entirely.
I found out who my true friends and loves one were from all the support I received.
Never take a full time job for granted because no employment is ever fully secure.
Sometimes the scariest decisions are the best decisions.
We have to eventually face our fears in order to evolve as individuals.