In the What If Wednesday series, we transport to a hypothetical alternate-reality and watch life play out. And we do it on Wednesday, because alliteration.
Close your eyes. Nope… that doesn’t work.
Okay. Let’s start over. Kind of close your eyes, only until there’s a tiny slit for you to keep reading this. Now use your imagination… You’ve just arrived at work. You’re feeling on your game today. You walk past a row of cubicles and spot the usuals: Tom eating Pringles directly from canister to mouth at 8:30 a.m., Debbie sanitizing her desk with Clorox wipes for the 10th time this week, Seth with his XL energy drink in hand, and the group of IT guys who insist on keeping the lights off in their section of the office. You walk past your friend Jessie’s cubicle and skip the routine morning high-five. As you settle into your desk and check your email, you see that your manager wants you to come to her office ASAP. You start mulling over the reasons: another project, a pat on the back (yeah right), a response about the vacation days you’ve requested.
But no. Five minutes later you return to your desk and numbly gather your things. You’ve been let go. Severed. Fired.
Okay, open your eyes and let the shock wear off. WHEW. Ignore that thought you just had. Yes, the Joanna’s really bad at staging hypotheticals one. And instead think this: What if you lost your job today? What would you do? What would your next steps be? If this question hits home harder for your significant other, apply it to him/her.
Since I work from home and make less money than Johnny, I’m asking myself, What if Johnny lost his job tomorrow?
Well, we’d immediately be living in a deficit. I make significantly less money than Johnny, by at least half (yikes). Our spending would be more than our income, so we’d work to fix that by moving to a rental that’s a few hundred dollars less than where we are now. Johnny would contact recruiters about freelance work and then hit up LinkedIn and start emailing all his contacts in his industry. Luckily we’ve built up an emergency fund that could support us for 6-8 months if necessary, and my income would almost cover all of our necessities.
And we’d ask ourselves what we wanted out of life. We did a post about working for the weekends, and Johnny losing his job might be just the opportunity we’d need to start living more and working less.
- We might move closer to family so Baby Girl could actually meet her aunts, uncles, and cousins.
- We might move somewhere warmer.
- If freelancing went well, Johnny could probably just work from home.
It’d be a big blow, but because of my job and our emergency fund, we’d be okay. Obviously, we really want Johnny to keep his job, but who knows… losing it might open doors we’d never considered before. After all, apparently 2013 is the year we all quit our jobs.
So… what if you (or your significant other) lost your job today? How would you cope? What would your plan be? Would it be just the push you need to start pursuing what you really want to do?