Why is that? I’ll tell you why: we follow in the footsteps of those who go before us. Those sensible, everyday people who get up for work, pay their bills and take the family to Florida every year.
Those sensible, everyday people who drive the Audis and Volvos. Who live in the house hunkered down outside the city in a subdivision better thought of as urban sprawl.
Those sensible, everyday people who rattle on about better pay, better positions and better benefits…
Ironic, given they’ve sold their souls in some measure.
Does Everybody Hate Their Job?
For every person who says they love their job in a certain organization there is a person who hates it. Unfortunately, they’ll probably never leave that job. Yet, they are afraid they are going to get fired or laid off.
If you’re like most Americans, unemployment scares the daylights out of you. Why wouldn’t it: you’re burdened with luxuries of middle-class America. Home loan, a car note or two and college savings to worry about.
And don’t forget you want to retire some day. All things you need employment to accomplish.
But have you ever wondered why you need those things in the first place? If you think about it, it’s actually those things that make you fear losing your job. Your expenses, and not unemployment, is what causes you anxiety.
What do you do about it? Here’s five ideas to get you started. They’ll help you put a bullet through the head of job loss anxiety. How do I know? Well, I’ve done two of them and working on the other three.
Enjoy and let me know what you think in the end.
1. Eliminate debt.
Pay off your car note, drive used cars [never buy brand new] and sell your cars rather than trade them in. If you have a credit card, pay it off every month. If you can’t do that, get rid of it.
Next, pay down your mortgage. Or simply sell it or rent it and move into a rental. You may be forsaking equity for the time being if you sold your house, but really, in this market, can any of us truly think about equity?
2. Reduce expenses.
Tone your monthly expenses WAY back. Ruthlessly evaluate the things you spend your money on and eliminate those things that you can live without.
If you can’t find the courage to do this, then you will forever fear losing your job. What’s worse: losing Direct TV or losing your job? When you don’t have all your money going out every month that little pink slip doesn’t mean nearly as much.
3. Save profusely.
Shove all that money that you were wasting into some type of investment. Look for good advice from credible consultants. You could buy gold coins or rental homes. Bonds or CDs. Stocks or just pile it up in your closet.
If you haven’t noticed, rainy days come. And they come often when you least expect it. If you’ve got your own little Fort Knox in your basement you’ll never fear the pink slip again. In fact, you’ll probably laugh at it.
4. Quit your job.
This is obvious but I’ll say it anyway: when you don’t have a job, you naturally don’t worry about losing it. Instead, you worry about getting another one. But don’t do that just yet. Work as a freelancer for a while. You know you’ve always wanted to. I did and finally took the plunge. It was among the best decisions of my life.
And here’s the deal: if you struggle for six weeks or six months and hate it more than working for some one else, then go get a job. At least you won’t be tormented by that little voice that says “You should work for yourself.” You’ll know it’s not for you.
5. Never retire.
The story goes that T. C. Boyle was sitting with a friend who brought up the topic of retirement. They’d been flipping through some photographs spread out on his friend’s glass coffee table. Boyle got rigid like a pointer and rifled through the photographs. He spotted what he was looking for and with both hands held the photograph in his friend’s face.
“This is when I retire.” The photograph was of a coffin.
I’m disgusted by the retirement mentality,which basically means a person is living for the day he retires. He might as well already be dead, because that’s what he is if he’s waiting for his life to really get started.
Here’s my advice for you on retirement: find an occupation that you love. When you do, you won’t think about retirement. You’ll be too busy enjoying yourself. In fact, like Boyle, you’ll probably worry about dying too soon. How’s that for ending the fear of losing your job?
Got any advice for people who are anxious about unemployment? Who may already be unemployed? Are you working for the man but dream of being a freelancer? What’s stopping you? Let me know what you think. Leave your comments below. Brutal and all.