“Get a job!”
Easier said than done ain’t it? Maybe you got laid off. Maybe you got fired. Maybe you quit. It doesn’t matter why. You are looking for someone willing to give you money in exchange for you doing something resembling work. Here are some tips to help you transition from being employed to being unemployed to being employed.
1. Spend some time totally fucking off.
Once you’re finished with the job you are leaving don’t plunge right into the job search. You know you want to spend an entire day playing computer games. Or drinking beer. Or sitting in the park. Or hiking. Or reading a book. Get it all out of your system and do it. The first week of your freedom should be a mini-vacation.
2. Stop fucking off.
After week one the fucking off has to stop. You’re going to have to devote eight hours a day or more to securing your next form of income. Whether that form of income is getting a traditional “bend over” job, starting your own business, becoming a freelancer, or even selling your body for sex. Whatever you are going to do it’s going to take eight or more hours a day for you to make it happen.
3. Create a schedule for your time.
Now that you don’t have a 40 hour a week job you have flexibility with how you spend your time. Flexibility does not mean a lack of planning. Flexibility means planning which eight hours a day you’re going to devote to securing your next source of income. Set up a schedule for yourself with clearly defined time for you to seek your future, time for you to improve yourself, and time for your friends and family. Stick to the schedule.
4. Stop spending money.
It’s time for you to reduce your standard of living. Since you don’t have a steady income you need to stop spending money. When I was laid off from my previous job I made a video about this because I got tired of listening to unemployed people with Starbucks cups in their hands complaining about how they couldn’t pay their bills on unemployment insurance.
5. Don’t hang out with other unemployed people.
It’s been shown over and over that you will be like the people you are friends with. Even being fat has been linked to the company you keep. If you are unemployed the last thing you want to do is hang out with other unemployed people. Unless you want to stay unemployed. “But Skippy! Other people might have resources that would help me get a job.” Not if they’re unemployed they don’t. If unemployed people have resources that can help other people get jobs then those people would not be unemployed. They would use those resources to get jobs. Here in Fort Collins there is an organization called NoCoNet. I attended some of their meetings. What they are is a bunch of unemployed people who help other unemployed people get jobs. The leadership of NoCoNet is made up of unemployed people. Who are going to help you find a job. If they are good at finding jobs why don’t they have jobs? I have NoCoNet stories to tell and I might make an episode of The Truth Hurts about them one of these days.
6. Learn a new skill.
Have you heard it said “it’s easier for people to learn new skills when their younger”? Like many things you saw on the interwebz – that’s not true. It’s just as easy for “old” people to learn new skills. The reason it seems easier to learn new skills when you’re younger is because you have fewer distractions. This is why many retired people begin learning new skills. They don’t have the distractions of going to work 40 plus hours a week and putting up with all the workplace bullshit like you do. Rather like you “did”. Now that you’re unemployed and your priorities are different this is a great time for you to start learning a new skill. Something that will make you more valuable to an employer or put you in a position to become a freelancer or start your own business. Speaking from experience I can tell you that a traditional job hunt will not take eight hours a day. If it takes more than three hours a day you’re doing something wrong. Those other five hours need to be spent learning a new skill. A valuable new skill. Playing HALO does not count.
7. Ask yourself “What did I contribute to this situation?”
I bet you think the answer is “nothing.” You think you have nothing to do with the fact that you are unemployed. You think you are the most perfect employee in the world and life is totally unfair. Let’s say for the moment that’s true. You still contributed to the problem. How you ask? You did not have a backup plan. For some reason, likely stupidity, you thought you were living back in the year 1940 when a person would get a job for a company, work 40 years, and retire with a gold watch and full benefits. The Gold Watch Days are gone. There is no job security. The day after you start a job is the day you should begin looking for your next job. I don’t fucking mean that metaphorically. When you get a job start looking for the next one. If you expect a job security you are either a government employee or you are stupid. But I repeat myself. In all honesty even that’s not true. I and my entire department were laid off from Colorado State University. Even government jobs no longer offer lifetime security. Add to this the impending collapse of pension plans both government and private sector. Welcome to 2014.
8. Formulate your backup plan.
Even if you’re looking for a traditional job begin working on your backup plan. Your backup plan should be cultivating some skill set that will allow you to either have a greater choice when seeking traditional employment or will allow you to become a freelancer and work directly for clients. It could be graphic design. It could be plumbing. It could be bricklaying. It could be selling your body for sex. It can be anything that you can do well enough to get paid. Whatever traditional job you get next is a job you will one day lose.