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Mikhail Karan
Mikhail Karan

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Prepare To Be Laid Off

What is HTML All The Things?

HTML All The Things is a web development podcast and discord community which was started by Matt and Mike, developers based in Ontario, Canada.

The podcast speaks to web development topics as well as running a small business, self-employment and time management. You can join them for both their successes and their struggles as they try to manage expanding their Web Development business without stretching themselves too thin.


What's This One About?

This week, Matt and Mike discussed the very real possibility that we all face, which is of course the dreaded layoff. Even if the market is doing well, you can be laid off suddenly due to business issues, which means you should prepare yourself even if your employment is going well.

Show Notes

Introduction

  • Suddenly losing your job, especially when it’s your main income, can be a real shock to the system
  • If you’ve been accustomed to working ‘traditionally’ that is:
    • You work at one employer for a long time
    • You don’t have any other forms of income other than your job
    • You’ve tailored everything towards building a career with your employer
  • Then you probably feel like the floor has been pulled out from underneath you
  • A quick panic Google will reveal the often-toted “start a side hustle” or “market yourself” solutions to your problem, solutions that can take a long time to get going, offering little solace in the face of no income and mounting bills
  • In this episode we’re going to be exploring some of your options that we recommend if you’ve lost your job, but also if you’re still working and want to be prepared when your job becomes threatened for whatever reason

I Have No Plan and I Was Just Laid Off

  • If you’ve been laid off suddenly and have no plan, then panic and worry is surely to set in
  • The good news is, is that many places around the world have programs & resources to help people that have been laid off
  • These programs/resources may include:
    • Severance pay
    • Unemployment payments (generally time limited)
    • Education programs (sometimes free, and sometimes you get paid!)
    • Second career opportunities (generally in the most-needed field in your country/region)
    • Recruiting/job programs (institutions that are designed to help you find new opportunities, refresh your resume, sometimes for free)
  • It’s important to use any and all resources that are right for your situation, and finding of which options you have at your disposal is crucial
    • Check with your local government, friends that have experienced layoffs, etc.
    • Figure out if any of these programs may be of help to get you back to making some income
  • Unless you have savings, or maybe a spouse that is making enough income to keep the household afloat, your #1 goal should be to ensure you have enough money to cover your bills so that you can focus on getting back into the workplace, having some income from a government program may be enough to buy you some time to take a job you want, not desperately take anything that’s available
  • If your area doesn’t have any resources or help available, you may need to leverage some help from family/friends if you’re comfortable with it (and they can offer it), or you may need to fast track your job search, or start freelancing
  • Every solution at this stage is going to be different for everyone. Some people will outright panic and not know what to do, shutting down completely. Others will be calm and just start job searching. Find the solution that’s right for you, but remember to find a solution, and try to not procrastinate until you have no money left.

Plan to be Laid Off - Actionable steps you can take while employed

  • Bare minimum - Keep documents up-to-date
    • Keep your resume and LinkedIn profiles up-to-date so that they’re ready to be viewed and sent out as needed whenever needed
  • Bare minimum - Have an emergency fund
    • It’s almost always a good idea to have an emergency fund of money that can keep you afloat for a while in the wake of a sudden layoff
    • You can talk to a trusted financial adviser to determine the best way for you to save for this and work out any other details/questions you may have
  • Keep Networking
    • Even if you’re happy with your current job, you can still talk to other professionals in your industry either in person, or over a social network.
    • Keeping in touch with co-workers that have moved on to other opportunities is a good way to have an in with another company - if you’re suddenly laid off, and you know their company has been looking to fill a position, you have a reference that works there
    • If you like to, share some professional updates on the social media platform of your choice so that recruiters and other professionals can see what you’ve been building and may reach out with opportunities when they have them, or they may recognize you when you/if you ever apply there
  • Keep Updated
    • Staying in-the-know about what’s going on in your industry, even just a little bit, can help you get your bearings in the job market quickly
    • You’ll have an idea what tools are starting to get popular, what jobs are getting paid more, and which positions are starting to get popular/go away
    • This can help you learn skills while you’re employed, steering your training so that you marketable skills in the job market at-large (which is also helpful in your current job if you’re looking to impress, maybe even get promoted)
  • Start a side hustle
    • Probably the the most over-used solution in all of the internet these days, but yes, a side hustle can help you subsidize your income, or lack of income in the event that you’re laid off
    • Side hustles can range through an indefinite list of things from being a blogger, through becoming a part time golf instructor
    • Personally I recommend you do a side hustle that you like to do, so that you don’t really feel like you’re working on the site, otherwise, you may not keep it up if your job gets busy
    • There are thousands (probably more) of guides out there are creating side hustles, so we won’t get into all the facets of side hustles, but for web developers our top ideas that come to mind are:
      • Niche site (you already know how to make a site, so you have an advantage, plus you’ll be practicing content writing on a topic of your choice, like a hobby you know a lot about)
      • Web tools can be very popular
        • Tools that capitalize your text in various formats correctly for titles, sites that convert file types, etc.
        • Since you’re a web dev you may know of an opportunity in this area and know how to build it
      • Monetizing something you’re going to do anyway (ie if you’re an avid golfer, maybe becoming an instructor for beginners would be a good fit, if you’re podcasting for fun maybe it’s time to take it more seriously)
      • Freelancing in web design/development
      • Complement your personal or professional goals
        • Maybe make a niche site on you learning journey of X hobby that you’ve always wanted to try
        • If you’ve always wanted to work in web dev for yourself (ie your own agency), then maybe start freelancing and learning how to outsource some elements of the project to get experience managing projects and people
        • This list could be anything you’ve always wanted to do on your personal time, or professional goals that you have

I Had a Plan, I’ve Been Laid Off, Now What?

  • With any luck, since you’ve prepared for this, you should hopefully not be completely desperate for funds and can now make a calm, cool, and collected decision on your next move which can include, but is not limited to:
  • Leverage Local Resources
    • Just like if you didn’t have a plan, like we mentioned before, leveraging any local resources that work for your situation (ie unemployment payments)
    • Just because you were prepared, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use resources that are designed for your situation
  • Keep a Healthy Mentality
    • Staying positive is usually a good thing, if not a bit cliche
    • If you’ve just been laid off staying positive may just not work for you, but personally I think it’s more important to acknowledge your situation
    • You aren’t “jobless” your job now is to get yourself back to where you want to be, whether that be expanding your side hustle, start freelancing, or just finding another job
  • Make your side hustle, your job
    • If you have a side hustle up-and-running maybe you’re ready to take it to the next level, putting some more time into it to make it your primary source of income
  • Use your network
    • Reach out to professionals you know that are working at different workplaces than you were
    • Leverage your social media presence if you have one, saying you’re available for some work

LInks

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