My husband learned earlier this year that he would be without a job by the end of the summer. It was definitely a shock for us, but we are taking it in stride. I have noticed that we each play distinct key roles in handling the layoff. In addition to our respectful roles, I see that as partners, we both are doing things to safeguard our marriage through this uncertain (and kinda exciting) time.
How He Is Handling the Layoff
Enlisting the Help of a Recruiter: Prior to learning of the layoff, my husband had been consistently looking for a more challenging position on his own, but was not having much success. After the layoff, he enlisted the services of a recruiter and found that he received more callbacks and interviewers, ironically, from the same places that he had applied to one his own.
Taking courses: He knew that he wanted to take a course to make himself more marketable for employers and more desirable for potential clients. After taking this three-month course, he will have a greater skill set and more confidence.
Learning from Each Interview: Since the layoff, my husband has had a few interviews. After each interview, he notes what he could do better for the next interview. He even told me that he is beginning to enjoy this part of job-hunting because he is learning more about himself, asks more meaningful questions, and what he wants for his next work environment.
Positioning Himself as a Small Business Owner: In addition to interviewing, he is taking on more clients. He is not solely relying on getting a job to bring income; he is spreading the word that he is a web developer.
How I am Handling the Layoff
Trying Not to Get Jealous: To be quite honest, I am a little jealous that my husband got laid off before I could quit my job. J Even with my initial shock at the news, I fundamentally believed that the layoff was a blessing. It was a clean break that my husband needed to reinvent himself as a web developer and burgeoning entrepreneur.
I have allowed his optimism about the future and the newness of the circumstances to inspire me to work harder on building my blog and relating business endeavors. Seeing him so happy about what he has learned in class has made me want to go back to school to take a class in African-American literature, marketing, or creative writing.
Allowing a man to be a man. I married my husband because I thought he was responsible and because I respected his judgment. Even with a positive spirit, looking for work or building a business can be stressful and I try not to add to it by asking for the day-to-day, blow by blow details of the process of the job search or development of his business. He got this. I just have to support.
How We Are Handling the Layoff
Continuing with Activities That Keep Us Connected: Experiencing a layoff does not mean your social life should end. In fact, the opposite occurs. Maintaining a sense of normalcy is so important to keeping any of the possible stresses surrounding a layoff to a minimum. Keeping this time together, even if we don’t go out to a play, movie, or dinner, keeps us from feeling deprived and financially and emotionally boxed-in.
Selling Stuff That We Don’t Need: Having a layoff has been a great motivator to reassess what we really needed. I came home one night to find the old laptop that we had been promising to sell was sold for $200. That motivated me to clean out my closet to find some gently worn clothes that I can sell for some cash.
How You Can Handle A Layoff Before It Happens
Change your mindset about job security so that your approach to money management follows. One of the main reasons that the layoff has not been such a blow to our family is because our money mindsets. We don’t believe job security is promised to anyone and as a result, consistently pay ourselves first when it comes to our savings, stay away from the credit card crack, have investments, and pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.
Real Talk: You never know when that pink slip, phone call, or conversation with your supervisor will come to let you know that your services will no longer be needed. If you are lucky, this may never come, but you never know that. To put yourself, your family, and your blood pressure in the best position to rebound, commit to living in a way that will safeguard you from an unexpected job loss.
Frugalistas, leave a comment below: Have you faced a layoff? How did you handle it?
If you’re waiting for a sign that it’s time to make a change, consider this it. Money Therapy may be just what you need to break through your financial blocks and release your money guilt and shame.