Losing my job?
June 29, 2006 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Well- I have about a 1 in 3 chance of being RIFfed (reduction in force). I've been 10 years with a "major communications company" and they are cleaning house.

I have the least seniority and would probably be first to go in my dept. I have probably have zero skills from my current job that would translate anywhere else and make alot of money for an english major and am completely unfufilled in said job. This is my last hurrah -- I'll be back to working 3 jobs like I was in my early 20's. I am a 37 single homeowner but I have some money that I could afford to part with (most likely) and am thinking of travelling - which I love to do....

What would you do with a couple months off (other than looking for another job [which I know, I know] I should be doing)?
posted by beccaj to Human Relations (9 answers total)
Well... since your scenario happened to me (just hit my 5th week of unemployment) here's what I've been doing. Working on a book, doing some time intensive volunteer work for one of my favorite non-profits, visiting with my folks who live out of state, taking pottery wheel classes and I have a trip to Iceland and the Netherlands planned for August. Be warned... the time goes by extremely fast! And you can still be looking for work while doing other fun things. Will you get severance? Between my severance package (about 5 mos of salary) and unemployment, I've got a nice cushion that is allowing me to really enjoy this time (not in a crazy spending spree way... just in a having some security way)
posted by kimdog at 7:35 PM on June 29, 2006

Learn to live dirt-cheaply. Really. See how far you can stretch things. It'll be good training for the future. Trust me.

Also, the fact that you are low seniority may, perversely, work in your favor. You may be the cheapest to keep. When companies do big house-cleanings, they tend to focus strictly on the bottom line. You actually might be safe.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:14 PM on June 29, 2006

I have a trip to Iceland and the Netherlands planned for August
Isn't this sort of squandering away money when times are about to get tight? Just trying to follow the workings of this suggestion.
posted by chef_boyardee at 8:37 PM on June 29, 2006

Thorzdad is wise! Be prepared - you might find yourself disappointed if you aren't laid off. It's happened to me three times at my current job (three big RIFs since 2001).
posted by peep at 8:37 PM on June 29, 2006

FWIW, chef_boyardee, I had already paid for the plane ticket before the lay-off, which is about 1/3 of the cost of the trip total. Since I will be starting a new job and my vacation time will probably be meager the first year, I figured I should just proceed with my original plan. Besides, the beccaj clearly states that she has some money and would like to travel. The question reads to me more about making the most of unplanned time off than about battening down the hatches
posted by kimdog at 8:47 PM on June 29, 2006

Honestly, I'm pretty sure you know where you want to travel better than I do. I also don't think the Very Sound Advice that spending money is more risky than saving it needs to be pounded any deeper in.

My advice would be that whatever you choose, focus on connecting with yourself and what you want rather than escaping the present moment in, you know, things like many blurry evenings of uncounted umbrella drinks at the beachside cabana bar.

You don't have to (just) search for another job during this time, but you really need to reexamine your belief that you have no transferrable skills and that working multiple presumably menial jobs is your only option whenever this gig is done. I'm 35 and I honestly don't think I could endure some of the kinds of schedules I dealt with in my 20s any more. And its not much better if you aren't fired, if you are "completely unfulfilled" in your job something has to change.
posted by nanojath at 9:58 PM on June 29, 2006

Start looking for another job now. My mum always says "It's easier to find a job if you have a job". You're employable. You'll be alright. It's easier to get a girlfriend if you've already got one.

Everyone has skills. It's just a matter of recognising them, maxing them out and believing in yourself enough so that when you get the interview for the new job, you can look the man in the eye, give him a firm handshake and say "Hi, my name is Beccaj and I'm here about the job!"

Check out this neat article on improving your CV!
posted by xpermanentx at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2006

I am currently employed, as is my wife, and I love to travel. But two kids and debt coming from every angle sop up any savings we muster, so traveling is limited to the occasional road trip. I don't mean to be a prick, but seriously dude. Assuming you do get laid off and you are worried that your skill set and education won't easily land a new job, traveling, as fun as it is, probably should fall near the bottom on your priority list. Different strokes for different folks and all, but if I were in the situation you forsee, securing a new job wins over seeing the Serengeti.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2006

I think the question you should ask yourself is do you like your current life? Your house, your belongings? Do you want to make hard decisions

I was RIFfed last summer and I had to make the decision to use my savings to pay for a house or downsize to eliminate stress. I live in a sellers market and sold. I moved into a cute apartment (lower cost) and was able to do temp jobs through various agencies (some local, one national) to try things out, contribute some time to an independent film, do a little travel and concentrate on finding a job I wanted to do rather than a job that was available. I had six months of this and it was just enough.

Basically, you need to think about what you are comfortable with doing? If having a job and a house is the only way you can not feel at loose ends, then work towards that. But if you feel you've been working jobs that kill your soul a little each day and have always wished you could backpack around the world, sleeping on other people's couches, looks like you might have an opportunity.
posted by nramsey at 9:01 AM on June 30, 2006

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