Let me tell you a story…
An old friend of mine named Jonathan, or Jon for short, used to be a happy man. He had a great job, a wonderful wife, and two amazing kids. He worked hard at his job, and got promotion after promotion. Within a few years he was earning a pretty good salary, so he and his family were able to live pretty well.
There was only one problem, though; no one had taught him how to prepare for job loss. It just never crossed his mind that things could change.
One Monday morning back in 2012, Jon went to work as usual. But this was not going to be a regular day for him. All employees were called to an urgent meeting that morning, where they were told that the company was downsizing. It wasn’t about them, they were told. They were all wonderful employees. “It’s just that we can no longer afford to have as many people as we do now on our payroll with this economy,” one of the bosses said. “Although this pains me greatly, we’re going to have to let some of you go just to stay afloat.”
Well, long story short, a large number of people were laid off that day. Jon was part of that number. And since he had not prepared for this eventuality, his entire world came crashing down when he lost his job.
You see, Jon didn’t have any savings. They’d just gone on a family vacation a few months earlier; he was still getting on his feet from that. He hadn’t updated his resume in years. He didn’t have a fallback plan of any sort. The news was utterly devastating for him.
Why am I telling you this story today? Well, you, too, could find yourself in a similar situation if you do not know how to prepare for job loss. Having a strong network, having a smart savings plan, learning a new skill, and starting an online business such as affiliate marketing are just some of the things you can do to prepare.
Here is a closer look at some of the things you can do to prepare for a job loss.
SAVE FOR A RAINY DAY
Saving for a rainy day may sound like a cliché, but when the rain starts to pour and you have no umbrella, you’ll realize that hindsight is 20/20. But how can you save for a rainy day? Well, here are a few tips:
- Have an emergency fund
Preparing for any emergency is very important. There will always be those unexpected expenses that can leave you in a bad state if you have not planned well for them.
Research shows that an equivalent of six months’ salary is the ideal figure for an emergency fund. However, don’t let this limit you, if you can save more than that, do it!
When you have an emergency fund, if you end up losing your job, at least you will have a cushion to fall back on. You will not have to resort to using credit cards and taking high interest loans and getting into even more debt before another job comes along.
- Cut on daily expenses
If you don’t have extra money to save, consider cutting down your daily or monthly expenses and saving some money in the process. Instead of eating out several times a week, go to cheaper places, eat out once or twice a month, or cook your meals at home and carry packed food to work. Look at your monthly expenses and try to cut down on luxuries. Put all that money into a savings account.
- Sell unwanted stuff
Have too much stuff you don’t need at home? Declutter and sell everything you no longer need. Channel the proceeds from the sale into your savings.
- Cash at hand
Always have some hard cash with you at home in case of any emergencies. Sometimes, money in the bank may not be easily accessible. Set aside some petty cash and use it to buy little things like fresh food.
- Buy non-perishables in wholesale
Detergents, medicine, and sanitary products are some non-perishable items you can get in wholesale. Buying them this way saves you some money that you can add to your savings account.
- Have a kitchen garden
Having fresh foods growing in a kitchen garden will save you lots of trips to the grocery store. Plus, it is a lot healthier. The best part is that you do not even need that much space to do it. You can easily set up a vertical garden and get creative with how you grow your plants. For example, you can use plastic bottles or gunny bags.
UPDATE YOUR RESUME
Losing a job takes a toll on everyone. When you are freshly unemployed, your mind may not be stable enough to start thinking about your resume, how to update it, and what to include in it. This is why experts advise that you need to update your resume and documents at least once every quarter. If you wait to be laid off, you may find that you’ll end up leaving out some career highlights that may be essential in landing a new job because they’ll no longer be fresh in your mind.
Updating your resume regularly also helps you keep track of your progress. For example, if you notice that for the past year or so you don’t have a new skill, responsibility, promotion, or award, you’ll know that you are stagnating professionally. When you have this information, it’ll help you figure out what to do to improve the situation. For example, you may opt to learn a new skill and be more involved in projects at your workplace to avoid being laid off and to improve your prospects of getting hired if a new job comes your way.
GET NEW TRAINING
Relying on your current knowledge is very dangerous. You need to constantly improve yourself by continuously learning new skills. Look at the job market in your chosen field and the skills they need. This should guide you on what qualifications employers are looking for, and what skills you should add to your arsenal to upgrade yourself.
In most cases, you may realize that you do not even have to go back to school to learn those new skills. You can get a mentor to help you learn them. Attend training seminars in line with your career and make yourself the problem solver in your company.
Read widely about the industry you are in and understand the challenges it is facing and how to overcome them. The more skills you have, the more sought after you will be in your industry.
You can also leverage many of the very effective online resources like Udemy and Code Academy
LOOK FOR STRONG NETWORKS
Networking is extremely important. However, it should not be for selfish reasons but for mutual benefits.
Chances are you meet and interact with new people often, or you have old friends and family in several different fields of work. These connections are all perfect networking opportunities, where you can share things and mutually benefit each other.
When it comes to new opportunities, your networks can help you a lot especially in the event of job loss. If you know people in other departments or other companies in your industry, you can quickly reach out to them and they can help you get back on your feet much faster than if you didn’t have any such networks.
PAY OFF YOUR LOANS
Whenever you take a loan, plan to pay it back as soon as you can. Even if the loan eats up a huge chunk of your salary, it is better to pay it off when you still have a job than to end up cornered, hopeless, and in debt if you lose your job for some reason. A great strategy is to prioritize loans with higher interest rates and start paying them off first to prevent them from accumulating even further.
Even though you have loans, do not let them take over your life. You still need money to live, so come up with a plan that will have you paying off the loan and leaving you with some money left over to survive on.
Also, consider talking to your lender in case you lose your job. Some of them may pause or reduce your payments until you get back on your feet.
Finally, always use cash instead of credit cards whenever you can to avoid piling up your debts.
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START AN ONLINE BUSINESS WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING
Having an extra source of income is by far the best way to prepare for job loss. But what extra source of income can you cultivate when you have a full-time job and hardly any extra time to focus on anything else? Well, I suggest starting an online business.
When you have an online business, you get to be your own boss and work on it on your own terms while keeping your regular job.
But what online business venture should you get into? That’s an easy question: Affiliate marketing is what I recommend!
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular online business models in the world. It works by promoting products or services and earning commissions from the resulting sales. As an affiliate, you don’t actually own any of the products. Instead, you find a product someone else will like, then recommend it to them and earn a commission when they buy it from you.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? If you want to get started as an affiliate marketer, here is how to do it:
- Pick a niche
What are you passionate about? Choose a niche that is in line with what you like. This makes it easy for you to write about it and market products related to it. Your niche is your target audience, so it should be a topic that is broad enough to help you generate content about it on your website.
- Look for an affiliate marketing program
The next step is to find a product that you really like and believe in and would like to recommend to your audience. Then type in that product name on Google + affiliate. So, your search term will look something like this: “product name + affiliate”. This will give you your affiliate marketing program.
Most affiliate networks are free to join. Before joining, check out their commission rates, how long they have been around, online reviews of the product and the company, and how good their support is. If it sounds like something you are comfortable promoting, sign up and get your affiliate links, then you’re good to go!
- Create a website
Once you have a niche and a product, the next thing you need is a website. Technically, you can still earn a commission without a website, because all a customer needs to do is click your affiliate link and buy the product using your link and you’ll get paid.
However, affiliate marketing is a numbers game. You want as many people as possible to click that link, which is where the website comes in. There is no better tool for channeling traffic towards your affiliate link.
There are many ways of setting up a website. You can create a free on with WordPress or Wix, choose a subscription plan on a blogging platform, build one yourself from scratch if you are a web developer, or pay someone to do everything for you.
- Write relevant content
The next step is content creation. This is what will bring people to your blog. You want to create high quality content that drives traffic. It should be helpful to your readers by providing solutions to the problems they may have.
It is important to note here that some affiliate programs have special requirements when it comes to content and traffic. It is wise to check out what the requirements of your chosen program are before you start the application process. Some may require your blog to have traffic, a certain amount of views, and existing content before signing you up.
- Promote products
The most important thing here is to make sure that the products you choose are relevant to your niche, and that they are products that you love and use. Products can be promoted through product reviews, email promotion, guides, and blog posts.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
If you aren’t convinced yet, here are a few amazing benefits of affiliate marketing:
- You earn a passive income
Unlike other jobs where you need to be present to make money, affiliate marketing can earn you passive income. All you have to do is put in the time in the initial stages marketing the product of your choice. Once everything is set up, you can earn even without being on the computer.
- It is flexible
As an affiliate, your working hours are flexible, as you can work any time you wish. You also get to choose a product you love to market. This freedom allows you to work on other things that are important to you.
- No product customer service
You do not have to be there to answer customer complaints or queries and assure their satisfaction. Dealing with consumers is the product owner’s job, not yours. You are simply a link between the consumer and the seller.
- It does not require a lot of capital
Starting affiliate marketing is affordable compared to most businesses. There are almost zero fees needed to start an affiliate program. You’ll only have to pay for website hosting if you opt to go for a paid plan, and these are usually quite cheap. All the products you promote are already made and available. All you need is a laptop and internet to get started.
- You earn according to work done
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you get to set your money goals. Unlike other jobs where you get a specified salary, with affiliate marketing, everything is up to you. The more campaigns you do to direct more consumers to the seller, the more money you make.
- It allows you to work from home
Waking up early to beat traffic and arrive early at work do not apply if you start working as an online affiliate. You do not even need an office to do it; you can comfortably work from home.
How to be a Successful Affiliate Marketer
- Use different sources
Traffic is everything in this business, so don’t stick with one traffic source. So instead of relying entirely on your website, add more traffic sources. You can advertise through word of mouth, social media sites, or guest blogging to get more consumers.
- Keep your website exciting
Nothing puts off customers like boring content; you need to be consistent and put up interesting information. Ensure you interact with your readers, and they will keep coming back. Put clear and enticing calls to action to lead to more clicks.
- Have relevant content
With affiliate marketing, you need content that is relevant to consumers. Always tell your readers the truth when recommending products to them. The content should also relate to the product you are marketing.
- Keep up with the trends
Times are a-changing. What worked yesterday may not work today. Knowing how to get new leads with the latest methods is vital if you want to stay on top of your game.
- Keep track of your progress
You need to know if what you’re doing is working or not. This is why you need to keep track of your campaigns using an affiliate program that measures every statistic in real-time.
Anyone can lose their job. The important thing is how well you are prepared for that. My friend Jon from my story earlier wasn’t, and it shook him to the core.
People lose their jobs for a large number of reasons; layoffs, sickness, even the desire to be an entrepreneur. Whatever the reason may be, planning before it occurs helps you to transition smoothly into living without an expected salary.
Add a new skill, have a side job, network, and save to avoid the anxiety and emotional trauma of losing a job. It is better to prepare to lose a job and keep it than to do nothing and get the sack. In fact, when you are sure of your financial future, it is easy to concentrate at work and be more productive.
As I conclude this rather lengthy post, you must be wondering, how is Jon doing these days? Well, I’m happy to report that both he and his family are doing alright.
He lost his job, but he was really good at what he did, so he polished his resume and got another job at a different company soon after. The pay wasn’t as good at first, but he worked his way up and was soon back on his feet. He told me that the one lesson he’ll never forget from that experience is that there is no such thing as job security when you are employed. Always prepare for job loss even when you do not see it coming, because being caught unawares is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please leave me your comments below and I will respond as soon as I can!
To your Success,
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