I'm Losing My Job, But I'm Not Worried
Last spring I accepted a teaching job at my current workplace. I knew then that the position was 1-year and non-renewable. Essentially, I knew that I would have a job from August until May. After that, I was on my own.
You may think it foolish to accept a job for only one year. I would have certainly wanted a longer contract, but that was what was available at the time.
So, here we are in mid-April. I have only a few weeks left of the semester which means only a few weeks left of work.
By most counts, I should be in survival-freak-out-must-find-job mode. I'm not. I'm losing my job, but I'm not worried. In fact, I've trained for this.
I've wholeheartedly embraced irregular pay cycles.
Most of the jobs I've held have been in education, where you are paid only once a month. I've learned to schedule bills for right after my direct deposit hits and transfer money to an online savings account to trick myself into a low balance in my checking account until the next paycheck.
Furthermore, I have always been paid only during the months I teach. For the last five years, I have not received a paycheck for the months of June or July. This means that I have had to be disciplined enough to put away a portion of my paychecks to cover the expenses for those months.
As a result, I have money tucked away for this June and July, even though I won't be returning to another teaching position in the fall.
Actually, I don't really need a paycheck.
Since I've had "real" jobs, I've saved like a squirrel. I could maintain my lifestyle and live exclusively off of savings for 8 months (or I could live very minimally for 11 months... but that would be on PB&J every day!).
Do I want to completely deplete my emergency savings? Certainly not.
I could go out and get a job, I'm easy to please.
You see, I have really low standards.
I have worked quite a few minimum wage jobs. (Not to mention that I once calculated my teaching salary broken down into 70-hour work weeks, it was below minimum wage).
One of my most cringe worthy positions was that of "marketing assistant" for a tutoring company, paid under the table. The highlight of my work? Spending 14 hours standing in the scorching, 100+ degree heat on July 4th for a community event. I was tasked with enticing children to spin a prize wheel for crap in a treasure chest (à la Oriental Trading Company). The parents would notice their children had wandered to our table and would come chase them down. Then, we could guilt the parents into signing up for tutoring lessons for their child.
I even worked as a newsletter editor for Republican women's group. My chef d'oeuvre? An ode to President Reagan's legacy and the exciting offerings of his presidential library. I did it all with a positive attitude and smile; little did they know that I'm a registered Democrat.
Needless to say, I will do just about anything for money.
I can put my pride and graduate degree aside and get to work, even if it's in a field or position I never thought I'd be in.
If after a few months I'm hemorrhaging money and can't find something ideal, I'll lower my standards a bit. After all, Mrs. CTC reminds us that even shitty jobs are learning experiences.
In the wise words of Rick Ross, "Every day I'm hustlin'."
I have a few trusty side hustles that I could rely on, if need be. They're not at the stage of replacing my regular paycheck just yet, but they could supplement my emergency savings in job transition time.
In the past I've tutored and had one of two really generous and needy (read: I made thousands on them!) clients. Fellow teacher and blogger Penny makes really good money tutoring and makes me think maybe I should pick up a few clients again.
For the last couple of years, I've used the summertime months and week-long breaks at school to do some audio transcription with Rev.com. It's not super lucrative but I enjoy the work (especially audio files in entertainment or law) and I can do it in my pajamas at home.
A week ago, I read an article by Tyler about Amazon FBA. Since I love clearance aisles and am soon to have a bunch of free time, I thought I'd dive in. I'll update you if/when I see a profit (stay tuned).
Of course, there's this site which turns a very small profit (a whole $3.40 in the last month!). I didn't start this to make money though and I'm surprised and humbled by my growing readership.
Mostly though, I'm glad I knew it was coming.
This is the first time in many years that I find myself jobless without something concretely lined up. I have no real leads on the horizon.
When I tell people that my job is done in May, they look at me quizzically and ask worriedly what I'm going to do after.
I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for planning and stowing away cash for this rainy day. Thus, I'm not filled with anxiety or desperation.
However, I do realize what an advantage it is to know that I'm losing my job ahead of time. My heart goes out to those who are laid off (and, yes, even fired) because they don't see it coming. They don't have the luxury of a planned exit. That's when having an emergency fund really can be a lifesaver.