Today’s Global economy has propelled everyone’s wealth across the globe higher, as well as, lower. With the Global Economy a greater sense of world peace continues to prevail vice times of war which is awesome for everyone! Keeping our troops home as much as possible is an awesome thing! However, interconnected economies and diligent corporate cost cutting measures make it very difficult for everyone to remain immune to becoming unemployed, particularly in the defense sector. You should know that each sector of the economy cycles through it’s up and downs every 7-10 years on average. So if you have spent most of your life working and/or investing in one sector of the economy it’s highly likely you’re sector is going to go through hard economic times at some point that will require a reduction in force due to supply and demand which you could fall victim to becoming unemployed. Having multiple sources for income streams (passive and non-passive) will help insulate your family from unemployment!
On November 20th 2013, after 23 years of being on the fast track with a prominent defense contractor, a spotless career and a Master’s in Computer Science I became a victim to unemployment as a result of being laid-off due to major reductions in the work force the company needed to perform. I was shocked! I did not expect this to occur so suddenly given my proven track record. All of a sudden I found myself having to seek new, preferably equivalent, employment in a very difficult economy in order to maintain our current, hard earned and deserved lifestyle! More importantly, as the sole income producer I needed to obtain suitable healthcare for our family of 5.
The ideas that follow assume you have or will follow sound basic financial planning to build your tax deferred and non-differed savings accounts and have sound financial credit. In addition, it assumes you have done other prudent activities such as filing for unemployment and other financial incentives that may be offered at the time. The below ideas are not meant to be a panacea but more for your consideration. During your search for re-employment you must keep a positive attitude during the toughest of times and know that you will find a solution! Without a positive attitude you’ll get down on yourself and likely quit or procrastinate which will make things worse in the long run! The great news is that there are a lot of activities that you will be able to earn a solid income from! You just have to be diligent about finding them and in most cases being receptive to change! The one resource we can’t get back is time! So staying hyped up, leveraging your connections and taking quick smart action will be critical to saving your family from the pangs of unemployment!
1) MAKE A LIST
Keep in mind to consider using one or more business partners to help reduce the risk associated with starting a business if it’s too big for you to handle alone logistically and financially. You will be surprised to learn that there are many other people in similar situations as yours but afraid to bring up the idea of partnering! So don’t be afraid to seek out friends, family, forums and groups surrounding your areas of interest for possible investors or partners. Napolean Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich" was a huge proponent of conducting masterminds to arrive at out of the box powerful ideas and solutions. Be sure to include ideas that will help you adhere to the principles presented by Timothy Ferris, author of the "4-Hour Workweek". Think of jobs or tasks you can invent or perform a limited number of times which can then run on autopilot or take minimal time to maintain yet keep making you money!
In addition to making a list of new job opportunities you’ll also need to do a complete detailed assessment of your expenses and any possible regular income you have. Duel income families will have more breathing room than single or no income families. You’ll need this assessment to truly understand how long you can safely maintain your current lifestyle and prioritize any cost cutting measures that will be required.
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2) BE TRANSPARENT WITH YOUR FAMILY
There are too many reasons to list here as to why you should share your unemployment situation with your family. Keeping them informed and part of the solution not only can make the family stronger in tough times and one of them could very well be the one that sparks that idea or confidence to venture on your own or has friends who have job connections! Think of your family as your internal social network. So you should leverage them no differently than you would your external social network, if not more! Your family members will be your biggest advocates!
3) LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING JOB MARKET CONNECTIONS
At the end of the day returning to your prior job market should be one of your easiest transitions back into the workforce to save your family from unemployment pains. However, unless your young and able to be highly mobile (i.e. willing to move), don’t underestimate the difficulty you might have in finding replacement work inclusive of the length of time it might take to be hired. Aside from having to tailor and customize your cover letter and resume to almost every job posting to ensure it gets through the automated keyword search gates, the trend now appears to take 2-4 months before companies are able to complete the hiring process. So expect your time frame to possibly take longer since you may not be the initial best candidate for the job, particularly with a large array of qualified candidates. What used to be a recommendation to have at least 6 months of your salary tucked away for times like this should be doubled to 1 year of your salary due to the re-hiring process taking so long. Time is our most limited resource that can’t be regained! If you’re in your 20's & 30's plan accordingly now to save diligently as time will pass you by quicker than you can imagine. That's a fact! If you’re in your 40’s or later and did not build an extended rainy day cushion then finding replacement work in a short order of time will be more critical. Hiring a head hunter who can quickly open doors for you may be well worth the upfront expense vice relying on LinkedIn, social media tool suites and scouring targeted company career databases for openings.
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4) GET INVOLVED IN REAL ESTATE
Almost all activities with real estate will require you to get a basic Real Estate Agent License and register your license with an authorized real estate broker. You can get your license in less than 2 weeks by attending real estate school and taking a certified state exam at a nearby local office. Make sure you do your research as some schools are better than others in preparing it's students to pass the exam on their first try taking it. If you want to specialize as a broker, commercial properties or other areas additional training, certifications and licenses may be required.
There are areas involving real estate that do not require you to have a real estate license but still allow you to leverage the benefits of owning or investing in real estate. As a real estate owner and/or investor you do not need to have your real estate license but if you do it can be a bonus whether buying or selling. Presently with low bank rates and other security vehicles being offered for traditional methods of helping your dollars grow there is a renewed interest in making profits in real estate. One such method is to find devalued properties, purchase them and then resell them at a decent profit (ie flipping). You then seek out the next property you want to flip leveraging the proceeds from your prior sale as capital for the next purchase/sale. Flipping properties is typically done with residential rather than commercial properties. The general supply of bargain deals can be somewhat limited so caution should be taken before jumping into the flipping business to ensure you know what your profit margins, cashflow, availability of local distressed properties and the market purchase demand will be.
An alternative to flipping properties is becoming an independent real estate investor and/or owner in a property. You can be the sole investor to someone (i.e. a flipper, future owner, etc.) or be part of a deal involving multiple investors. As an strictly an investor this type of arrangement typically keeps your obligation strictly on the financial side of the equation. You can actually be the main person coordinating the deal, lining up investors and the seller of which you would earn a commission for all your hard work. Or you can be strictly an investor lending money to the transaction with a contractual agreement how your money will be paid back to you. A third option exists where you can be the coordinator of the transaction, as well as, an investor depending on how you want to structure the deal. You can visit Value Hound Academy to obtain more in depth information and connect with experienced real estate investors.
As I mentioned above the possibilities are endless in this arena! Real estate investing also provides a great way to establish passive income and leverage other people’s money. A word of advice is to not let all the available options and information overwhelm you. If you’re completely new to real-estate investing and/or would like to have extensive hands on coaching the curriculum offered by Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad Coaching is fantastic. This 6 week online class is value packed with detailed modules which you can save to your local computer combined with weekly 1 hour personal instruction from qualified and licensed real estate investors on Robert’s staff. This course covers everything from the basics onhow to find properties that will optimize cash flow, locating investors and setting up your business infrastructure. This course will change how you view money! The Rich Dad Coach will give you feedback, hold you accountable, and encourage your success. The focus is on you and how you will create a plan for success. Having taken the course myself, I highly recommend this course if your serious about being a real estate investor/owner.
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5) START A NEW OR BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS
6) BECOME A FRANCHISEE
As you go through the Franchise selection process you may discover that you really like a particular Franchise concept. However after conducting further analysis you determine that you’re going to need more revenue to help with getting the Franchise off the ground and you’re not sure where or who to turn to. The good news is there are essentially an endless supply of funding sources to help persons like yourself raise capital. Typically a representative with your Franchisor can provide you with funding sources that are affiliated with the Franchisor to support funding Franchisees. There are typically two types of funding you’ll need to consider: Secured and Unsecured. Secured funding will require you to go through the submittal of detailed paper work outlining your financial status (i.e. Profit & Loss statements, Asset & Liabilities, Net Worth, Liquid Capital, etc.) in addition to your credit score. Secured funding means just that. Should you or your business default on paying back the loan the loan is secured via a personal guarantor with your personal assets. Unsecured loans on the other hand are loans that typically will be issued based upon your credit worthiness and not require a personal guarantor commitment. The Interest Rate and Terms of either type of loan will vary greatly based on your particular type of business, whether it’s a new or existing business and your personal financial situation.
7) LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA
As I mentioned, none of these are a direct cure for saving your family from the pains of unemployment but hopefully they have given you nuggets of information you can do additional research on. You’re also more than welcome to contact me directly and ask any questions you might have of my unemployment experience. I would liked to have provided more in depth information here but this article was already getting too long and I apologize for it’s length. The ideas presented above describe the process I went through to address my two personal objectives: 1) Replace my current income maintaining our present lifestyle at a minimum and 2) ensure I had more direct control of my family’s future financial destiny by having multiple streams of income available. Hopefully this will spawn your own creative ideas unique to you and your family and friends should you find yourself unemployed. Stay positive, leverage your family and never give up!
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