What Being Close To “You’re Fired” Has Taught Me

I’ve heard people say that hearing “You’re Fired” is as bad as death… And they say that life plays like a movie when you’re close to death. People say that their entire life just flash before their eyes, making them re-think and even change some important aspects of their life, when they’re close to death.

Thank god I’ve never experienced it. Nor is what this blog post is about.

I decided to write this quick introductory post just to show you how some events in our lives make us rethink most of our actual choices and lifestyle.

A while ago I had a close experience to what some people would call “one of life’s worst nightmares”, which is being fired.

As we all know, being fired definitely plays a major role in most people’s life. Once someone incorporates a steady flow of income, suddenly losing all of that can be painful. Especially if you have the life of others in your hands.

Being fired, just like dying (ok, not so much), is listed as one of the most painful experiences. Needless to say that, after that, most people start to question themselves about the path they were taking in life.

Most choices, till now, are re-evaluated.

And this is exactly what happened to me.

A while back I was closed to being fired. Not due to my capacity, but due to internal company conflicts and restructuring.

And once I got faced with the fact that I could really lose my job, the only thing I could think of was “Wow”. That was it. I was actually frozen by the possibility of, out of nothing, losing my job.

After that, I started questioning myself “what now?”. What on earth will I do now?

Fact is, I really had to face a wall in which I DECIDED to put into practice everything I was postponing. And this are the things I believe you should be constantly updating in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Build A F**** Online Presence

Sorry bout my manners over here, but… There are some situations in which this F word is really important. And this is one of them.

I won’t lie to you and tell you that I didn’t know how important an online presence is nowadays. I actually knew it.

However, I did nothing about it. In fact, I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to appear.

Over those years I’ve started 3 blog, on 3 different subjects, only to give up on them a few months later. And then, go onto the next thing.

If those years taught me something is that consistency is key in everything that you do. When I look back and see how much I could have produced if I focused on just one brand I kind of want to hand myself from a wall (or apply for a quantum physics degree so I can build a time machine).

I had a very important mentor in my life (who also happened to be my boss) that said that, once you learn how to work without motivation, then, you’ll be successful. And that is key for everything that you do in life.

And having that channeled into a consistent and professional website can only do you good.

Here are some of the benefits of having a professional website or blog:

  1. Positions you as an authority on your niche
  2. Helps clients find YOU
  3. Gives you credibility
  4. Makes the hiring process so much easier
  5. Open up possibilities beyond the 9-5 job

Despite that, it is one of the first things an employer will look for when searching for all the job candidates.

Of course, a website can serve for different and multiple purposes. Find the one that aligns best with your current career goals and just go for it.

Have A 6-Month Savings In Living Expenses

This is definitely one of the most important things you could do when it comes to financial health. However, it is still a practice that very few people have.

How much money do you have in your savings account? If you have a good financial health, I expect this answer to be around 6 months in living expenses, at least.

This is something that should be obvious and will definitely prevent you from being in a squeeze situation.

But… What would be a squeeze situation?

Being fired means that you won’t have your steady paycheck anymore. Now, you have two options:

  1. Look for a new job in the right way
  2. Look for a new job in the wrong way

Needless to say that most people take the second path.

The closer you are to “running out of money” the easiest it will be for you to accept bad proposals, and take on that job that would represent a kickback in your career.

Besides that, it is almost impossible to keep calm while your last paycheck keeps being drowned by your day-to-day expenses. Anxiety kicks in and it makes the process for looking for a new job much more stressful.

With a 6-month savings in living expenses, it would be much easier and less-stressful for you to look for a new opportunity. Especially, if you follow the advice I give here in this blog.

Don’t EVER Stop Learning

We tend to get inside of a comfort bubble, especially if we’re always executing the same tasks at work. Inside our brains, what we do now will keep existing till forever.

This is exactly when we fall into the trap of stop learning.

Technology has never been faster. New techniques come out everyday. And if we don’t manage to keep up with (the kardashians? What, no) it, we tend to become obsolete.

This is why you should NEVER stop learning. Create the proactive habit of doing a new course from 2 to 2 months, for example.

Download some apps like Flipboard, check the interests related to your job and read the latest news. A 5 minute reading per day will definitely do the job and keep you aware of the latest trends of your industry.

A two-year frame, for example, can have profound changes in the way the internet and technology operates.

Last year, for example, Facebook was huge and now it lost almost $50 million in investments due to privacy issues. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

Ask For Recommendations

While in my previous job, I devoted a LOT of energy into doing an amazing job and making the environment good for everyone that came around me. And it did pay off.

The relationship with my boss was incredible and I couldn’t be happier to have built this kind of relationship.

And this is the starting point of asking for a recommendation. Ask them to write a quick text on how amazing you are. Ask them to tell others what is like to work with you. How you are as an employee.

You can ask them to endorse some of your skills on LinkedIn or even use LinkedIn to showcase your recommendations. Keep this a practice and don’t ask for it only when you think about leaving.

Leaving recommendations should be a natural thing and could work as a feedback as well. People like to be asked about those things. They feel important. They feel like the can contribute to others growth.

Keep Your Resume Up To Date

As soon as the thought of being laid off came to mind, I felt the urge to go looking for other jobs.

Soon, the first thing that came to my mind was “I need to send my Resume to companies”…

But…

I had no resume. I’ve worked with this company for a long time. My resume is totally outdated. WHAT NOW?

Surely, you don’t expect to get laid off of your jobs from 3 to 3 months (if you fit in this category, please, go look for help), so, do a resume update every year.

Take the beginning (or the end) of the year and update it with your latest experiences.

By doing that, you won’t have one more stressful task to update long years of experience. You’ll probably will just have to make some tweaks here and there to polish it and make it look good.

Check the following items and make sure everything is up to date:

  1. Social media profiles (especially LinkedIn)
  2. No grammatical errors
  3. No typos
  4. Phone number
  5. Latest job experiences
  6. Latest projects
  7. Profile picture

It could also be a great idea to hire a professional to write your resume. There are tons of professional resume writers that are specialized in taking your skills and making you look like a superstar. Definitely worth a shot.

Be Prepared To Scale It Down And Cut Expenses

I know we all want to live comfortably and, hell yeah, this is why we work after all huh?

However, when we get close to being laid off, we are in the verge of losing our steady paycheck. What now?

The first thing you need to be aware of is that you’ll have to cut off expenses. You need to be able to trash down any unnecessary expenses.

This is exactly what I thought. I really need to be honest here and tell you guys that I was wasting A LOT of money with unnecessary expenses. I must say my puppy was the one that was benefiting the most of it all lol

However, when I need to be serious I am. And I started cutting down everything I could.

Restaurants. Courses I’ve bought and never watched. Gifts. Parties. Almost everything.

I started to save A LOT more money and I still was able to do it all, just in a scaled down version. Of course, I can scale it down even more if I wanted, but this is not necessary for now.

Also, I need to advise you on this. If you’re an overspender, make sure that there are no psychological underlying issues there that might be causing you to overspend like you are. I was. And now I’m in a much better place than I was.

Be strategic about your financial planning. And smart.

What If The Worst Happens?

Then, that’s ok. That is really ok.

We’ve all have gone through that. You’re not alone. We all know how it sucks.

The good thing is: If you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have much higher chances of getting a new job fast. And that it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

However, as I’ve said before. We tend to get in a comfort zone again. And forget about aaaaaall of this once we get in a new job.

Don’t stop doing that. Imagine how much you’d get if you do it consistently for 5-10 years. You’ll be huge. And no one will be able to stop you.

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