I Eat Fear For Breakfast
Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear. — George Addair
This famous quote could not ring more true, especially in this day and age when layoffs have become as common as pouring your morning cup of joe.
I recently came across a post on LinkedIn where the author initiated a poll. The question was, "Are you afraid of layoffs?" I laughed out loud. Why you ask? Simple. Because I eat fear for breakfast.
Following six corporate layoffs from full-time marketing roles, on top of countless contracts ending suddenly, I no longer "fear" losing my job. Hell, I embrace it, because I know its inevitable—especially when you work in a volatile industry such as marketing.
My response? I look at it as a sign from the universe; moreover, a clear indication that something bigger and better is headed my way. You know the saying... when one door closes... enough said.
A history of layoffs
My first layoff was in 2012, and I was unable to find regular work for a very long time. In fact, the first short-term contract I accepted required me to take about a $37K pay cut. It was brutal, but at least I had some income, for a little while anyway.
From that point, I went on to accept a number of contract and full-time jobs, all the while still being grossly underpaid. At one point, I finally started moving up again, but then ended up with the same salary for almost seven years. All I could manage to obtain were lateral moves, regardless of whether I working in a full-time or contract role.
In 2016, I came to the realization that Corporate America was no longer the "stable" option that was engrained in me growing up. My father had a very successful 25-year career with one company, but that clearly was not going to be my path. So, I decided to start moonlighting and finding side hustles.
That was just the beginning of what eventually inspired me to form my own company, Wacker Social Enterprises, LLC.
The turning point
After enduring two back-to-back Covid layoffs in 2020, bringing my grand total up to five layoffs at that point, I decided that enough was enough. I was finally going to go "all in" with self-employment.
Best decision I ever made. Period. End of story.
In just one year, I exceeded the income I had ever made in any corporate full-time job. In fact, I jumped up $17K from my highest previous base salary. That was when I finally realized my worth.
Earlier this year, business slowed down and I was presented with another full-time corporate opportunity. I had sworn to myself that I would never go back to the rat race again, but given that rent had just gone up 53% where I live in Tampa, Florida (one of the highest increases in the nation), I decided to give it one final go.
I guess the writing was on the wall. After five short months, I was laid off yet again, bringing my grand total up to now six layoffs.
Here's the thing, I no longer take layoffs as a personal attack on my character or my performance. Why? Because it's so common, especially in the marketing industry. Every single time I've been laid off, I've opened up my LinkedIn feed to dozens of posts from former colleagues who had also just been laid off.
Don't believe me? The statistics speak for themselves...
According to an article published earlier this month by the Washington Post, Meta, Facebook's parent company, "plans to cut more than 11,000 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce, as it seeks to scale back expenses and transform its business in a more competitive digital advertising market."
A similar article published by the Financial Post just days ago reports that, "layoffs are being planned at more than half of U.S. companies." This statement followed a recent survey released by a consultant at PWC, which polled more than 700 U.S. executives.
The industries at risk
If you think your industry is recession-proof, you may want to think again. This article, published by Facty, provides a comprehensive list of the of the top ten industries that are most susceptible to layoffs. Keep in mind that this article was written in 2020, but in my opinion, is still an accurate source, considering we were in the midst of a pandemic.
I don't know about you, but this list of industries most at risk does not surprise me: (side note: my most recent layoff was from a marketing role in the real estate industry... take a look at #1 and #2 below!)
The word on the street is that another recession is fast approaching. My advice? Be prepared. Don't be stuck looking fear in the face. Have an actionable plan in place. Start saving now. Start thinking about alternate ways that you can earn money. START NOW!
Stay tuned... I'm currently working on a very affordable e-Book titled "The Ultimate Unemployment Survival Guide." If you are unemployed, and don't know where to start, or are just looking for a side hustle, this guide will be a must-have! It will include tips and tricks on how to make yourself recession-proof and walk you through the A to Z's of every step to take if and when you face layoffs. Have no fear! I have lived through this half a dozen times now and I can help!
Want to connect? Simply click on my LinkedIn or email button and be sure to let me know that you read this blog.
Until next time...!