I find it strangely comforting sometimes to contemplate what I’d do if I lost my job.
The very first step I’d take is try to pull together a patchwork of jobs to get some income coming in – and I definitely would have a couple of industry starting points from which I might get a few hours a week. And depending on the circumstances, freelance work for my company might also be an option.
I wouldn’t qualify for unemployment, so I suppose we’d tighten up our already firm belts even more in regard to food and entertainment. That’s because I have a partner, and too much in savings (I *think* you have to be down to your last thousand or so but I could be wrong on that). Which leads me to ask – do you think it’s right to collect unemployment, if you could, even if you didn’t need it?
That aside, I would seriously consider taking some time out to do some extended travelling, depending on my bank balance and T’s work situation. It’s not my preferred MO, but in a situation like that, I might just change my mind.
Otherwise, I’d be reaching out to contacts at my previous company, and throughout the industry at large. It’s a small field, so I know someone at most of the major players. I might contact some editors directly, and if I was thinking about changing tacks, possibly approach other organisations that interest me (in banking, education or more generally creative endeavours beyond publishing).
Given my interest in money and personal finance, it might seem like finance writer would be a logical next step. Women’s mags often have a money column (usually done by one of a couple of media-savvy financial coaches), Diana Clement’s Herald column sometimes yields interesting stuff but by and large is pretty unexciting – interest.co.nz‘s personal finance editor Amanda Morrall probably has the most interesting job. But to be honest, most topics have been clubbed to death and trampled all over. I’m much more interested – and always have been – in personal journeys. Maybe I could brainstorm potential approaches during my funemployed days.
I’d also definitely consider two things I would not have a couple of years ago: opportunities in Wellington, because the city is just so darn cool, and contract jobs. I used to think of fixed-term contracts as offering no security – but really, if they paid well enough and the work was right, contracting can make for a decent lifestyle and afford you more time to travel.
Do you ever consider what you’d do in the event of a job loss? If you were eligible for unemployment benefits but didn’t need them, would you take them?