Welp, 2013 started off with a bang. We added a “mini us” to our family. Just with adding Baby Girl to our insurance and keeping her dressed and diapered (which apparently doesn’t prevent her from still peeing on us) we’re guaranteed a couple hundred extra dollars in expenses each month. Now more than ever we need financial security.
In other news, Johnny and I are going to quit our jobs this year! Ohh… bad timing to consider such a thing, you say?
WELL, maybe we’re not actually going to quit our jobs in 2013, but this article from TechCrunch has us thinking about it. How could one little article have us considering such crazy thoughts? For starters, the article is entitled 10 Reasons Why 2013 Will Be the Year You Quit Your Job. So there’s that. But it also happens to raise some really good reasons (10 in fact). The entire article makes some compelling points, but the one that blew our minds was #5:
Count right now how many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life.
For Johnny and me, the list is comprised of a whopping two people: each of our bosses. If either Johnny or I got fired today, our lives would be ruined (until we found new jobs).
Why and how have we gotten ourselves into such a vulnerable financial situation? I mean, we’ve got our six-month emergency fund, and I don’t actually think either of our jobs is in jeopardy at all. But one head honcho could change that with the snap of a finger or flick of the wrist or whatever mean, scary bosses do these days.
So what are we gonna do about it? Well, the article suggests the following: “Diversify the things you are working on so no one person or customer or boss or client can make a decision that could make you rich or destroy you or fulfill your life’s dreams or crush them.”
I’m not sure how we’ll “diversify ourselves,” but 2013 will be the year we try and figure that out. We’ve already got a few ideas on the back burner. How incredible would it be to know you could lose your job (or — gasp — QUIT your job), and you’d be fine because of all your independent side ventures?
So here’s to not quitting our jobs in 2013, but to finding a way that we could quit them!
How about you? Do you find yourself in as vulnerable of a situation as Johnny and me? Or are you way ahead of us and working side gigs like nobody’s buisness?
It’s not easy to diversify your “customers” or “clients” when you are working 50 hours a week for one business…I definitely understand the articles point though. Congrats on having a six-month emergency fund, especially now that you have a little one! It’s not easy to save up that much money.
Anyway I won’t be quitting my job anytime soon, but I suppose blogging and increasing my skills is what I do to diversify “customers”….or at least help me stay competitive if I DO lose my job.
I agree… It’s hard to think of side gigs when you’re already working full time! And if you think you’re stretched thin now, just you wait until you also have a baby to care for 🙂
I have a very secure job, and J is in a good position too, but that doesn’t mean that any of us are really “safe”. But we aren’t if we are working for ourselves, either. I have a bunch of side gigs that would supplement my income a bit should I be laid off, but they wouldn’t match my income. Luckily I do have other options, though.
Way to go on having a bunch of side gigs. That’s awesome. I’m leaving the finding of side gigs to Johnny until I get a better grip on my side gig called Baby Girl!
I have a very stable job and have also made sure I am a “go to” resource for what I do. That being said, sometimes I think I would be better off losing my job so I would be forced to look for a new one. If I were to lose my job I would be a stay at home dad until I found a new one so that would save us some serious scratch!
Also, what would happen if Levar Burton actually wanted to comment on your blog? I mean what did the reading rainbow guy do to you?
I’ve thought the same thing about losing my job and being forced to see what other kind of work I could find.
Levar Burton is totally Johnny’s thing, but in his words, “The only reason I refuse to allow Levar Burton to comment here is I’m afraid his awesomeness would break our site and the rest of the Internet. He just has that sort of power.”
I don’t feel that my job is in jeopardy, but you make a great point. If you’re carrying lots of debt, you increase the chances of that one person being able to turn your world upside down. Reducing our vulnerability is just another great reason to get out of debt quickly.
Yes! I hear ya. It’s crazy to me when people have excess money each month, and yet they still pay the bare minimum on their debt. Their income could disappear in the blink of an eye, but the debt would still be there!
I have a secure job, but W does not as he is in sales. Luckily we are kind of diversified in that I make a decent amount from my extra income every month.
Yes you do, Michelle! I thought of you while I was writing this post. You’re a great example of diversifying!
Well even as a freelancer who had one major skill I’ve had to diversify. There is no such thing as one stream of income anymore, and it’s important to keep an entrepreneurial spirit even if you are working full time in case the shit hits the fan. Believe me, it happened to me! Keep up with skills, learn new ones, network…even with a full time job.
You’ve got the perfect mindset! It’s just a different world than our parents’ and grandparents’ world. They got one job out of college and kept it for their whole lives. We’ve got to be a bit more creative (but I’m willing to make that trade-off since we have computers and the Internet! 😉 ).
Hmm, never thought of it that way. So you’re saying my boss holds my life in his hands? Such power…I don’t have a side gig yet. I would love to. I’m thinking about selling home owner’s insurance on the weekends to supplement my income. Don’t both of you have highly “freelance-able” skills? I mean they sounds that way anyways, but I guess I should say I am highly ignorant to your respective professions.
Yes, we do! Johnny’s a copywriter and I’m a copy editor, which should be pretty ideal for freelancing. We’ve both done lots of freelancing, but nothing consistently. The tricky part is making the sacrifices necessary to diversify while still maintaining our full-time jobs. There’s always a sacrifice… like you sacrificing some of your precious weekend time to make some side income. But that article has us realizing that the sacrifice is totally worth it!
All my jobs have always been very safe, but I started diversifying early so I could quit and have more free time. I enjoyed working for a year or two, then would take a 6 months break. Getting on and off the job market has taught me flexibility and I have no fear to lose a job anymore. With a kid I would feel more vulnerable, and you are right about getting diversified, you can weather storms easily then.
Awesome, Pauline! It’s great to be confident enough in your skills that you know you can find work no matter what. That’s a great attitude.
I think it’s only going to continue the way of people wanting to diversify their incomes, especially with younger generations. I think Gen X’ers and younger are more comfortable with the idea and more apt to do it maybe than their parents. We took the leap and we’re not looking back, which has made us both happier than ever.
I agree… it will be really interesting to see the job market even 20 years from now. I wonder if everyone will be working a few different jobs from the comfort of their home computers. If the day comes that Johnny doesn’t have to go into the office anymore, I won’t be complaining!
I never consider myself safe when it comes to a job. You never know when something can change and you are out. I try to not only excel in my job and make sure I keep my hands in many pots, but I also work hard online to build a business and make money. While it wouldn’t come even close to paying me my salary, I know that if I had some time to dedicate, then I could probably build my online business.
How does that saying go… Hope for the best but prepare for the worst? That’s the attitude we’ve all got to have these days. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can to do just that!
Well, I come from the “glass is half full”, not “half empty” school. I also come from the school of planning ahead. During my working years in IT, before my recent retirement, I worked in several different industries, both government as well as private, for both large and small employers. Although I always worked full time, over the years I worked for over a dozen different employers. And, yes, at one time I was part of a major layoff and was out of work for over 7 months. This was when our 2 kids were still living with us and going to school. And, despite what other comments may say, I am of the opinion that these days there are no “safe” jobs out there, whether they be in government or in the private sector.
So the above may sound like the gloomy “Glass is half empty” attitude, right? Well, here now is the optimistic “glass is half full” side of the coin – one that I subscribe to.
Ok, so I read the TechCrunch article – the one about the gradual disappearance of the middle class. Some thoughts that immediately popped into my mind as I read it:
Points taken but I sure wouldn’t want a robot fixing my car, or my house plumbing, or teaching my kids, or operating on me, or working on my teeth, etc etc.
Technology has it’s place but so does human experience and skill. Not every job requires a university degree. Bill Gates (the richest guy around) didn’t have one. Get valuable trade school experience, internship experience, etc. They all have their place. Things are a hell of a lot better today, despite what you may read in the North American media, than they were during the Great Depression (1930’s), or during WW2, or (today) in places like Greece, Spain, Italy (where there is 25% unemployment). Yes, there is uncertainty around us but you have to have a plan and be willing to act on it. Consider this:
You may remember a previous comment of mine where I mentioned how, in saving up for our first house, we lived off my wife’s salary and saved mine. Once the house was bought and the kids came along, we then reversed things and lived off my salary and did without hers. Well, during the 7 months that I was unemployed, after being laid off, we coped ok with expenses because by that time the kids were in high school and my wife was employed again. Her salary and the severance pay from my former employer were sufficient.
Now that’s fine for a couple like us but what about a single income family, you might ask. Well my answer to that is demographics – determining where the future job opportunities might be. And then getting the education, training, skills, whatever it takes to prepare for them. With all the unemployment out there, did you know that there are a large number of jobs that can’t find workers. Where? In the health industries, in the pharmaceutical industries, in the leisure industries, in the tech industries, in the energy industries, in the financial industries, to name some. I’m in the front leading edge of the baby boomer generation, with over 500,000 of us starting to retire every year over the next 20 years. Who will replace us? As we age we will need more hospitals, more health care workers, more drugs, etc. Many of us (fortunately) can afford (and will want to use) more leisure services, more house hold maintenance services, more investment services, etc.
Ok, enough rambling and babbling 🙂 I think you get my point. Be flexible. Depend on #1 – yourselves. Not everyone is suited to work for himself. Others are. Be prepared to change jobs (and/or careers) if need be (like I did) to improve your situation. Be prepared to move to wherever employment is in short supply. In other words – be flexible.
One other suggestion – related to emergency savings. When we first started out married, we needed to save for emergencies but couldn’t afford to save a lot, what with a house and 2 kids to raise. So what we did was go to our bank and set up a $50K Line of Credit account. It was free to set up, with no ongoing management fees, and it was an option that we could use (if ever needed in emergencies) to take out a low interest loan. Over the years we used it only twice – both times to purchase new cars – and afterwards quickly paid off both loans.
It also helped our credit ratings.
So, as I say, stay flexible and plan ahead as best that you can for whatever the future brings.
Others before you have been in your shoes and succeeded and so will you because you have this blog and you guys have what it takes.
Great advice, Rob. I especially liked the reminder that jobs are always out there if you’re flexible and open-minded in your job search. And I agree with what you said about technology and jobs: there will always be certain jobs that require the human aspect. Technology can only take over to a certain degree. Thankfully!
And thanks for the little pep talk at the end! We’re still at the beginning of our financial journey, and we appreciate the encouragement!
That is the one factor that I absolutely hate about being a 9-5 employee, my family’s well being basically rests in my bosses hands. But to play devil’s advocate and be quite honest there is always going to be someone or something that could change life as you know.
– For a 9-5 employee, its his boss
– For a website owner, it’s Google’s Algorithm
– For a farmer, it’s the weather
– For a small business ower, it’s the economic climate
The list could go on. I definitely love that you guys are looking to diversify you’re income. It’s the only way you can relieve the potential disaster if it does occur.
Very true. No matter what you do to make money, there’s always a factor that could stop your cash flow.
Only when I’m a 9-5 employee who owns a website and farms and has a small business will I truly feel secure! 😉
I’m currently working on diversifying my skills, researching other industries, and trying not to have all my eggs in one basket. I used to have a very bad work situation and debt. The stress was enormous because if I got fired from my job I would have been screwed. Now, I’m paying my bills off and starting to create other streams of income. I never want to feel so vulnerable again.
That’s awesome, Michelle! Way to take control of your life… just having that peace of mind makes it all worth it.
I agree. I wouldn’t say we’re feeling nervous. But it would be really awesome to know we could lose or quit our jobs and still be okay.
You freelancers know what’s going on. I think we could all learn a thing or two about diversifying from you guys!