I Was Laid Off Yesterday

2008 October 30
by Kyle Bumpus
from → Career and Jobs, Economy

Well, the financial crisis has finally hit close to home.  Yesterday, I was laid off along with half the rest of my group.  It happened just after lunch and came as a bit of a shock since there had been no indication of any trouble. 

This Is What Emergency Funds Are For

It’s times like this I’m glad I’ve always been a diligent saver.  After rewriting my resume, I sat down and conducted a detailed overview of my finances to make sure I was positioned to weather the unemployment storm.  Including severence pay and compensation for unused PTO, I estimate I have just under 12 months’ worth of cash on-hand.  If I’m able to cut expenses more than expected, I should be able to stretch things even longer; however, I’ve talked to several good recruiters and they think, given my resume, I should have no problem finding another job by Christmas.  In all likelihood, it would pay better to boot.  At least, that’s what I’m hoping.  In the meantime, here’s the interim plan:

  • Cut back expenses to the bone:  no eating out, no unnecessary trips, no going out except for networking purposes, etc
  • Liquidate stock mutual funds in my taxable account to shore up my cash reserves.  I’ll take a loss on the transaction after the past year, but at least I can use it to offset regular income this year.
  • Spend more time marketing and writing for this blog.  The goal is to double this blog’s income by the end of the year and again by the end of march.  It’s not nearly enough to make a living, but every little bit counts when money is tight and it will serve to lesson my dependence on The Man in the future.
  • Build more mini-sites for passive income.  My previous “mini-”site, Learn Spanish On Your Own, has been a moderate success.  It earns between $100-150 per month, mostly through Amazon book sales and requires virtually no maintenance.  The trick to building a profitable mini-site is to offer enough free, useful content to gain links from related sites and directories.  For my Spanish site, that link-bait happens to be my free spanish lessons section, which I plan to use some of my free time to expand.  I also intend to add a few more in-depth product reviews to drive more book sales.  As for new sites, my goal is to build and market one new site per week until I find a new job.  If I don’t see any progress on the job front after a few weeks, I will probably accelerate my pace.  After all, mini-site income tends to be very passive once you get it set up. 
  • Tap into my network to try to find new job opportunities.  This includes networking with former coworkers for leads and to get good references.
  • Look into doing some contract or freelance work to help make ends meet in the meantime.

Overall, I feel very good about the situation.  My financial position is relatively secure for now, and between my alternative income, unemployment insurance, and my new roommate, I just might be able to get the bills paid for the next few months without dipping into savings at all.  I certainly won’t be able to save or invest anything, but at least I should be able to pay for the bare essentials.  For the next few weeks, this blog will likely chronicle the unemployment/job search process and document my attempts to shore up my finances and develop more passive income streams while I search for a new job.  If anybody has any job search tips, passive income strategies, or just words of encouragement I would appreciate the info.  Wish me luck!

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17 Responses
  1. 2008 October 30
    Lise permalink

    Kyle, I’m so sorry to hear this! That said, it sounds like you’re in the best possible situation you could be in a layoff.

    I never realized Learn Spanish On Your Own was your own site! I went over to take a look at it – nice job! Were you raised bilingual, or did you learn Spanish as an adult?

    I am bilingual in French and English and this has given me some ideas for my own French-language site. Maybe I can link to yours :)

  2. 2008 October 30

    I’m sorry to hear that. My company says everything in fine, and just yesterday my department director says the company has a solid financial outlook. — But, I don’t trust them for one minute. I work for a financial services company. How long will it take for our banking customer to stop paying their bills? For now they are paying with government bailout money.

    I am in the process of building my emergency fund and passive income, in anticipation of a layoff within the next 1-2 years, but it could be tomorrow.

    I think everyone would be wise to also begin planning for a layoff. Even if you don’t get laid off, your brother or your friend might and when they do, they will be coming to you for help.

  3. 2008 October 30

    Kyle, so sorry to hear the news. I am sure you will bounce back and given your solid plan I think the time away from work may actually really benefit your blogging business. Like Curt, I too work in FS, so my job is a week to week proposition as well.

    Good luck on the job search and my only advice is to network, network, network. Most jobs in this market don’t even need to be advertised since it is an employers market and through their own employees they can find staff. So let all your friends/family know and it will put you one step ahead.

  4. 2008 October 30

    Lise, no not a native speaker. I learned when I was in college. French is probably an even better niche than Spanish but there may be more competition. Your best bet on that is to come up with some good free resources and get a link in the ODP. Let me know if you get something set up and I’ll definitely link to you.

    Curt, Andy, thanks for the encouragement. I spoke to a few recruiters and they all said with my resume, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a job even in this market but that I might have to take a temporary pay cut. Hopefully not too much of a cut, though.

  5. 2008 October 30
    Student Scrooge permalink

    Sorry to hear about your job — but you sound remarkably prepared and composed about it, so I’m sure you’ll come through it with flying colors.

  6. 2008 October 30

    Sorry to hear about that but at least it looks like you are prepared. Good for you.

  7. 2008 October 31

    That sucks!

    Good luck with the job search/mini-site building spree… :)

    Mike

  8. 2008 October 31

    I’m sorry to hear that Kyle. But looks like you have a solid plan. Good luck in your job search.

  9. 2008 November 3

    Sorry to hear about layof but I liked the way you are showing composure and planning inspite of under some stress. People like you can easily find jobs but many employees may find it difficult in the coming days.

  10. 2008 November 3

    Sorry to hear about that Kyle. I wish you all the best in finding a new job.

    Also good luck in increasing your alternative income streams. I hope that the double doubling of your alternative incomes will be enough to reach your previous salary.

    Best Regards,

    DGI

  11. 2008 November 3

    Thanks for all your encouragement and wise advice, guys!

  12. 2008 November 6

    Chin up, man! You have a great attitude and a great plan. Keep up the great work; you’ll find something in no time, and what if you don’t? A year’s worth of cash is VERY cool. I’d concentrate on the businesses you own right now, make them bigger, start other ones. If you want some really good resources, I’d be happy to share.

  13. 2008 November 11
    Michael Johnson permalink

    Baking bread has helped my family get through rough times, thought I’d share:

    Time: About 2 hours (Actual Work Time: about 15 minutes)
    *****************************************************
    BigatticHouse dinner rolls: (one dozen)
    4 cups flour
    1 1/4 cups warm water ( Water should be warm, but not boiling. )
    2 tablespoons yeast (or 2 packets)
    1/2 tablespoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar (or 1-2 Tablespoons if you want fluffier rolls)
    1-2 tablespoons cooking oil/olive oil/whatever

    1. dissolve yeast and sugar in water in large mixing bowl.
    2. mix yeast until dissolved.
    3. add 1 cup of flour and mix
    4. add salt
    5. continue to add flour 1/2 cup at a time mixing.
    6. flour will seem *VERY* wet, keep mixing. You can use a spatula to “fold” it.
    7. If you feel like a little exercise, oil your hands and knead in the bowl.
    8. The bread will “come together” after a few minutes, and feel “springy”. It will be smooth, If it looks like biscuit batter- keep kneading. Once it is smooth, it means the gluten has developed.
    9. Go ahead and knead the dough for a little while longer, you won’t hurt anything.
    10. Oil a glass or metal bowl. flop your dough into the bowl and flip over – so your dough is lightly covered in oil. Let sit 1 hour in a warm place. you may want to cover with seran-wrap to keep it moist/warm.

    **** After One Hour Rising ****
    11. Flour a surface.
    12. Punch the dough. Yes, punch it… all the air bubbles should deflate it.
    13. You can knead again if you want
    14. Cut the dough into four pieces
    15. Cut each piece into 3 pieces. This should give you 12 small balls of dough.
    16. Oil a muffin/cupcake pan, crisco works best , place one dough ball in each cup
    17. Place pan in a warm, draft-free place for 30-45 minutes.

    **** After 30-45 minutes rising ****
    **** Preheat oven to 425 ****
    18. When the oven gets to 425, Bake for 15 minutes. Rolls should swell about 3-5 times the size of the dough balls. They will start to brown after about 10 minutes, check every two minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
    19. Pop them out onto a wire rack to cool, or the bottoms will get slimy.
    20. Serve immediately with dinner, or as a snack. Careful they’re HOT!

    Note: Before putting in a bag, Let them cool completely (several hours at least) “stone cold”. They keep for 3 or 4 days in a plastic bag. 15-20 seconds in the microwave makes for a great snack.
    source: Mike Johnson of BigAtticHouse.com

  14. 2008 November 23

    Sorry about the job loss but looks like you’ll weather this just fine. Good luck!

  15. 2009 April 1
    Tweetypielori permalink

    I was laid off yesterday at 9:00 a.m. After 9 years. The pain was unreal. I wasn’t prepared. My supervisor didn’t even say goodbye, good luck, or I’m sorry. I probably cried a good 20 hours but now I know in my heart I have to do something. I have to find a job or lose my small condo and live in the street. It’s the fear factor. Being 52, single and getting laid off 2 days before your birthday blows and not the candles either. Why me I kept asking myself. I don’t even make what half of the people who are still there make. And you laid off me, but kept someone who tried stabbing her husband to death. Please. I’m in denial, angry and want to vent but really need to get moving and see if I can find something at least part time. As we all know unemployment doesn’t pay anything. Then well the insurance, I can’t afford that either so if I get sick, I hope I just die. A day in the life of just another laid off person sitting on the pitty pot. :(

  16. 2012 May 4

    Iam going through the same thing.Just trying to keep my head above water.

  17. 2012 June 20

    I was stabbed in the uterus by an otter last spring. I know how you feel.

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