On March 7th, 2016 I lost my job and within 24 hours I had already started the process of moving, planning, and replacing my income. I tell you this because it’s important… it’s important because the second you lose something in life is the very second you gain something in return. Now, whether you like what you gain during this whole process really depends on you.
So how does this concept of “losing and gaining” actually work? Well, the trick is to make sure you focus on the transition because that is when you’re most vulnerable and confused. Refusing to understand that this transition period exist is the major reason why most of us have a hard time dealing with the myriad of circumstances that life tends to toss our way.
There’s absolutely no need to try and solve the issue all at once. Take a deep breath and relax for a brief period of time. This will drop your stress level and remove anxiety which is crucial to beginning the transition process. How long should you relax? I think it really depends on your situation but I would suggest a shorter length of time being your best option. The last thing you want to do is put yourself on a new cycle. As humans we tend to rely on cycles or patterns which dictate how we flow through daily events. Imagine taking a shower… I bet you tend to have the same wash routine each and every day. The last thing you want to do is train yourself to loathe, be depressed, or lay in bed all day. Remember, relaxing and giving up are two completely different things.
*I took about 24 hours to watch some Youtube and get some much needed rest.
Most of the time when we take a loss in life we’ll need family and friends to support us during the transition and sometimes afterwards depending on the circumstance. It’s important that you start sharing what just happened with loved ones and friends so you can get some perspective and begin the planning process. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone, but it does mean that you need to tell someone.
*I called my brother, parents, and two of my closest friends. I made them aware of what happened and that I may need help moving in the upcoming weeks.
Always take the time to write down exactly what your plan is moving forward. Planning keeps you very efficient and feeling accomplished which provides you a boost of confidence that may otherwise get lost along the way.
1. Added up my finances across all accounts (PayPal, Bank, Cash)
2. Create a monthly projected budget ($1,011.91)
-Car Insurance ($97.92)
-Renter’s Insurance ($9.00)
-Electricity (avg. $100.00)
-Gas ($30.00 – if I continue to work from home)
-Phone ($0.00 – I use Google Talk & Skype)
-Car ($0.00 – I own my car)
-Hobbies ($65.00 – Purchase one game per month to cover for SOG)
-Credit Cards, Student Loans, and other debt ($0.00)
3. Set aside moving expenses / plan for the worse case scenario ($835.00)
-Uhaul for 2 days ($60.00) + Gas ($30.00)
-Storage Unit for 1 month ($60.00)
-Application Fees ($150.00)
-Electricity Hookup (TBD / but I set aside $200.00)
-Application Background Check ($35.00)
-Security Deposit (TBD / but I set aside $300.00)
4. Create a checklist
-Scour the internet for apartments to gather some leads
-Reserve a Uhaul
-Reserve a Storage Unit
-Call current landlord and find out exactly when I need to be out of my current apartment (3-31-16)
-Think of ways to replace my income
-Pack, clean, and move
By creating a detailed plan and budget, partnered with a checklist, I was able to find a new place to stay in 5 days. Now, don’t think this was an easy task because I probably viewed over 20 apartments in that short amount of time, not to mention all the phone calls I had to make. I also made several trips around town which cost me one of the most valuable resources I have… time. Remember, at this point, I still haven’t replaced my income yet and I’ve barely started packing for my move so conserving my time is also very important during this phase of my transition.
With all the paperwork signed on my new apartment I could finally breathe a sign of relief. Out of all the things I needed to do, that was by far the most important. I found a storage unit less than 2 minutes from my current residence and secured a Uhaul roughly a week later. Keep in mind Uhaul charges gas by the mile, along with a daily rental charge, so making sure I had a storage unit very close will save me money down the road.
Packing was not that bad. I talked to local stores such as WalMart, Sams, etc and they agreed to hold shipping boxes for me as long as I promptly picked them up at a designated time. I made sure to be there 15 minutes early to build up trust and confidence with their staff because these pickups took place over a couple of days. The last thing I wanted was for them to think I wasn’t coming and toss the boxes in the trash.
There are a couple of things I still need to do at this point such as pack and clean my apartment, set up electricity in my new apartment, and transfer my internet over as well. Packing and cleaning will probably take 4-5 days just because I want to be organized while I pack and meticulous when I clean. I’ve moved quite a bit in my day and the most important thing about packing is organization because it will make the unpacking process much more efficient. Honestly, the electricity and internet can wait until the very the last minute just because these are very easy aspects of the move.
As far as my income is concerned I have not yet applied for a public job. I was a freelancer for 4 years after I resigned from my Store Manager’s position at GameStop so I decided to give that another try while I still have money in savings. I’ve already made some calls and reached out to a couple of old clients, networks, and websites that I used to be involved with to see if there’s any work that I can pick up. I’ve already managed to recoup approximately 25%-30% of the income I’ll need to be able to keep working from home. Hopefully, this upward trend will continue because I’d really like to devote 50+ hours a week to creating content for Square One Games and working from home puts me in the best position to make that dream come true. I’ll probably try freelancing for 60 days and then evaluate my finances again to see if I can continue down this path or if I need to apply for another public job.
Losing a job is never easy, especially when it comes unexpectedly, but I managed to turn my loss into a gain that was very positive. Working from home is a blast and creating videos/content for Square One Games is the icing on the cake so I can’t see spending my time any other way. Now, if down the line my finances start to waiver, of course I’ll go and seek employment but for now I’m sticking with my plan and we’ll see where that take me.