I’ve been fired or laid off 11 times, and now I take 5 steps to protect myself should it happen again

I’ve been fired or laid off 11 times, and now I take 5 steps to protect myself should it happen again

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  • I’ve been fired or laid off from a job nearly a dozen times in 19 years of work.
  • Now, I strategize to make sure losing my job won’t be devastating.
  • I save, invest, side-hustle, and network to make sure I always have an income stream.

I’ve been working since the age of 18, and in my 19 years of being in the work force, I’ve been fired or laid off from 11 jobs.

The first seven were primarily due to my drug and alcohol addiction, but even after getting sober, I was laid off from multiple jobs due to the economy, restructuring of companies, or other factors outside of my control. Regardless of the fact that I’m an extremely hard worker, there’s no telling when a job will let me — or anyone else — go.

Fortunately, I realized how to take back control of the situation by always being prepared for job loss. These strategies have ensured that even when I’m not formally working for a company, I always have streams of income to support myself and my family.

1. I save and invest

Most importantly, I save and invest my money. I’m always prepared for job loss because I do all of the below-listed strategies between jobs as well as when I’m working full-time. I don’t know about you, but in all my years working, I’ve never had a job give me two-weeks notice that they’re getting rid of me.

Since I have no clue when it’s going to happen, I take a lot of the extra money I make and put it into my high-yield savings account or invest it. When I was laid off last year, I had a cushion that allowed me to survive between jobs while I also made money through side hustles and my social media content.

2. I’m constantly researching ways to make money

I realized a long time ago that there’s an endless amount of ways to make money. Although I criticize capitalism regularly, I also see its benefits. Our ability to exchange our time and skills for money has been a lifeline for me, but it takes time to figure out what people are willing to pay for and what’s worth my time.

For example, I wasn’t working earlier this year, but I learned that flipping old Lego sets could be quite lucrative. I spent dozens of hours researching what sets were valuable as well as how and where to sell them. This is only one way, too. I’ve spent hundreds of hours finding various ways I could do side hustles to bring in extra money.

3. I became an online influencer

I’ve been a writer since I was a teen, and after getting sober, I decided to write a book about my recovery journey. The problem was that I didn’t have anyone to sell it to. This is when I spent many hours researching how to reach people. I started a YouTube channel and created other social media pages on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I learned that if I provided the audience with valuable content, I could then sell my book, but that was just the start.

As my YouTube channel began to grow, I started making money each month from YouTube ad revenue, which didn’t cost my audience anything. I also learned about affiliate links, and some of these make me $200 for each person who signs up for a service by using my link. I’ve also managed to land a few paid sponsorships.

4. I parlay my skills into freelance work

In order to start branding myself on social media, I had to learn how to edit images, videos, and audio. I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours, developing these skills by watching tutorials, taking online courses, and practicing by creating my own content.

These skills are valuable to others, so on occasion, I take on side jobs creating content for other people. And since I’m a writer who has been honing my skills for decades now, I do paid freelance writing for various publications — like this piece you’re reading right now.

5. I’m always networking and building relationships

Aside from saving and investing, this is also one of the most valuable strategies I’ve developed. I’m a writer, YouTuber, podcaster, and much more, so I’m part of various communities. I’m always talking to others to share advice and build relationships. When I’m working, I’m always kind and friendly with as many people as possible as well. So, when the unexpected happens, I have hundreds of people I know who may give me leads to side work or new job opportunities. 

I’m someone who has always been prone to anxiety, so the stress of not knowing how long a job will last used to drive me up the wall and take its toll on my mental health. But now, I’ve taken back control by developing all of these ways to be prepared for job loss, and my life is so much better.

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