Well, folks. Real life circumstances are going to have a heavy hand in some of the topics I cover over the next few months. My wife lost her job today (she’s a Landscape Architect). All of the news about the recession really doesn’t hit home until it impacts you directly. Today it has.
In her field, when companies can’t get sufficient credit to finance new projects, workload decreases. This all thanks to corporate greed and financial deregulation. Some of her colleagues lost their jobs as well. Unfortunately, working in a very niche profession in an economy like we’re facing today presents an even tougher challenge. I’m also concerned that things won’t turn around until 2010 or beyond.
Although this is a huge hit to our livelihood and financial situation, I am confident that we will get through things and come out better off in the long run. We’ve already developed a plan of ways to attack this.
How We are Fighting Unemployment
1. File for unemployment
We need to do further research on what % of her salary unemployment will cover and how long benefits are good for, but at least the paperwork process has begun.
2. What are Our Priorities
Our first choice is to stay local. We have a home and trying to sell it in this economy is not ideal. I like my job and don’t plan on finding a new one unless I have to. Secondly, we both have family about an hour away and would like to stay within the state, at least. Third, if we have to move, my employer does offer some relocation possibilities. This really is going to effect where she focuses her efforts in finding a new job, and we’ll probably work in this order:
- look locally
- expand out in a 30 mile radius
- if we are forced to expand beyond that, I will need to start looking for opportunities within my company
3. Keeping Dignity
Even though there’s a sense of urgency for her to find a new job, we have to keep reminding ourselves that it has to be the RIGHT situation. She shouldn’t rush to take just any job.
4. Update Resume and Portfolio
What better time, right?
She’s reaching out to everyone she knows to touch base with and throw her resume out there.
6. Create Lists
On this one, we will be creating a list of every possible employer out there within the area. This includes name of employer, contact name, number, website, etc. We’ll also be collecting a list of every possible job board, and check them weekly.
7. Extreme Frugality
I have been living the lessons I teach on this blog, but now I am forced to take them to the next level. I’m actually looking forward to this opportunity to see how much I can really cut back on in the next few months.
Next Steps in Unemployment
We’re tired, and it’s time to get some rest. The challenge is going to be to remind ourselves to be patient, take our time, and truly believe that things happen for a reason and we’ll come out better in the long run for going through this.
Ah. Wow. That really hurts, I’m sure. I would add you to my blogroll, but I already did weeks ago. ;-) I’ll certainly keep my eyes peeled and will reference new articles to my readers.
Hang in there, man. My prayers are with you and I’m sure you guys will make it through this. I’ve already forwarded your feed along to my mailing list =)
Its hard and stressful, but as long as you are supportive of her during this time it will only make things easier.
from the experience of a similar instance happening to a good friend, I would say that: positive attitude, support, and exercise help. The latter will help more than you would expect.
Things always turn around…keep positive!
You feed will be in my next newsletter.
My wife was unemployeed for about 5 months, and honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be, especially with her unemployement checks coming in. We live in the high-cost San Francisco Bay Area, but we managed to get, eat well, and still pay down debt on one income.
I think the key for us was giving up non-essential spending. We stopped eating out on weekends and started cooking as much as possible. That saved quite a bit of money. We actually increased our grocery budget a little so that we could buy good food every now and then. Having a tasty ribeye steak at home is expensive, but still way cheaper than going out. And having good food at home kept us from wanting to go out.
Other than that, tracking every expensense and getting rid of things you don’t need will help a lot. Good luck!
Sorry to hear that. I am a landscape architect as well. The ASLA posted this in their blog a month back. I hope it may help.
Sorry for that, the times are tough for everyone. I really recommend being active on LinkedIn. Join several groups related to your industry or niche and be active on discussions, as well as post discussions saying you are looking for a specific job in a specific area. I connected with someone and found an intern that way, and I know people have gotten jobs.
Sorry to hear that man. I have been reading your blog a quite some time now and I know that you are intelligent and I believe if you guys put your minds together something great will happen in the end. Maybe she will find work in the same field or who knows she might find a totally new career that she will love. It’s good to hear that you guys are strong and ready to fight through this.
As with everyone else, sorry to hear about this. It sounds like you two have a great handle on things, though, and that is one of your blessings.
It sounds like you two are handling this better then most, and you both have the right attitude. Good Luck!
My step-father was laid off from a government job a few years ago, and he and my mother (and their son, who was about 8 at the time) managed to get by on her beautician’s salary and his unemployment. I think part of the trick is deciding how long you are willing to hold out for a great job, or how much of your savings you are willing to go through before you take a job in retail or whatever else you can get just for the extra cash. Lots of sites have been recommending learning new skills – has she considered taking some time to go back to school, perhaps learn a new trade (if hers is a niche that may not be in demand for a few years) or take some management courses so that when she resumes work, she can quickly move up the ladder to (hopefully) a more stable job?
Best of luck to you both, you’re in my thoughts.
You are correct… eveything happens for a reason. I went through a layoff several years ago. I was devestated (my pride, that is). It took 6 months to find another job. Looking back, it was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me both personally and professionally. Yes, we had to cut back and dip into our savings, but we made it! You’ll never forget the experience… but that’s probably a good thing. You’ll be fine… just hang in there!