A New Beginning? The Sky hasn’t fallen yet!
This past few weeks have been quite interesting and sad at the same time. It’s no secret that a low Canadian Dollar, Low Oil Prices and Industry Cutbacks (Oil & Gas) have made for some tough times. I wanted to share a perspective on the recent changes and suggest some alternate thinking for those worried about the future.
Like many companies cutting back, I received my notice from the Computer Store I work at part time last week. April 19, 2015 was my first day of unemployment. Granted I have my work with my own company Eldoren Consulting Inc. but I did work at the store for a year and enjoyed it. It allowed me a chance to get back into work mode after my stroke and the transition made it much easier.
One BIG side benefit was the weight I lost walking downtown each day and then home at the end of the day. I managed to keep my weight off and that was good for me.
But lets talk about the current economy. Locally in the Peace Country, we have seen lots of businesses cutback, slowdown, get absorbed (sold) by other firms. Layoffs always suck and I hope everyone can bounce back. I make no secret of the fact the low dollar, low oil prices and the “corporate adjustments” we are seeing will hurt people.
For years, I have stressed the online computer opportunities and innovative ways to do business. Rather than beat that drum too much, I have to say, after getting my notice, I reached out to a few past clients and friends all over the web. I received interest and job / project opportunities from California, Halifax, Victoria and Vancouver within a day. I can honestly say that 100% of the work could be completed online from Dawson Creek or a beach anywhere around the globe.
Since early 2014, I continued to take courses online in new technology. Some courses were more old school including one course that taught me how to setup and manage a photography business shooting commercial buildings and photography for realtors.
Since April of last year, I learned how to shoot commercial video using DSLR’s, iPhones, iPads and more. This was followed by courses (all taken online) in Video Editing and Screencasting. Screencasting allows you to record your screen on your computer (and phone or tablet) and edit video, annotate with text and drawings. All skills that are fast becoming required training for todays businesses that are working on tighter budgets.
The cool part of all the training was I was able to do it and participate frm my home office, living room, coffee shop or my front yard. The training costs me no more than $50-$80 per course. Most of the time, I received coupons or discounts that cut my costs in half. These courses and education gave me NEW skill sets that I can apply to my business and fill in holes were I am shy skills.
I mention the above because one might argue that there has never been a better time to launch a business than now. Getting let go is scary and frustrating. But we all have financial needs and so my advice is get back to selling yourself and skills the day after you are let go. Its easy to get depressed or feel badly but its time to start swimming for the deep end.
Balance your new lifestyle with the following:
- Assess your skills and strengths. What can you offer employers.
- Rebuild and rewrite your Resume and scratch together a cover letter for quick editing.
- Network with friends and give out business cards with contact info.
- Spend some time each day (even 1 hr) taking some more education or training. Its cheap and keeps your mind active.
- Unemployment….is war. And you are in a battle. Don’t be afraid to try something new and expect some tough times walking into high paying jobs. At least initially.
When I left Software Emporium, I didn’t burn bridges and I will be going back in the near future in a different role. But this “new beginning” will keep me focused and allow me to re-launch myself.
Back in the spring of 2014, I did not think I would ever get laid off. But I continued to self educate myself, worked hard to broaden my skills, cut expenses and threw some dollars into savings. Lastly, I stayed focused on improving myself.
I am optimistic that the economy will turn around and things will level out. But I maintain that I will adjust to the current times and not let oil/gas/LNG/CDN $$ control my future. I still have so much to do!
Ps: Be sure and Visit my last post: