JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward [Updated]

Yes, I am living it right now.

I made a decision and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months ago, found my feet had gone south after spending 10 solid hours a day, standing at the new job. Devastating,

After a few more weeks and several interim steps, got an interview with Lyft HQ in Nashville, actually one of the reasons I moved there (youngest son is living there and is a very successful music producer). Before I got home from the interview, I had an email saying “sorry”.

Fast forward one week. Same recruiting company I got the Dell job with, contacted me via my LinkedIn profile. Different recruiter in a different state, but the same company.

After a few phone calls, I found myself employed again, but this time, a full blown techie’s dream job for an undisclosed company based in Cali. Just know that I’m astoundingly happy to be doing the work I’m going to be doing, and will be employed for the next two years working on the project I’ve been hired for, with excellent potential for advancement.

So, how do you start over again, or move up the ladder with a better job, or start your own business, and make a go of any of it, in this day and age, and economic climate?

Push your envelope, gather and streamline yous skills, and try something you’ve never done before. I do have a small business with SurvivalRing and SurvivalCD, but this new job is a two year project, and the income will go towards buying a new house in Nashville when I’m all done. Literally HALF of my paychecks will be added to my savings account where my retirement funds reside.

Until then, wife is staying with my daughter and helping the grand kids, and I’ll be on the road 3 months at a time, off one week, road three months, etc. Websites will stay updated and receive tons of new content, and several new websites, and the entire SurvivalCD package will get a complete overhaul.

Lots of hours, driving the entire country, writing a journal, and doing cutting edge data capture. Something the last 30 years of my life have been all about building towards.

The goal with my downtime is to develop several recurring income streams from my years of previous content, automated websites, Amazon Kindle books, and instantly available copies of all my website info using Google Drive shared folders for a few hundred gigabytes of my vast library.

Here’s the thing.

ANYONE can do the same thing I’m going to do. How do I know this? Because I am nobody special, just an ordinary average guy, who learned the true value of hard work at a very early age…starting with paper routes.

I spent years doing manufacturing jobs, then computer jobs, then 10 years as a postal letter carrier, then a year driving cross country (and going broke), then running a McDonald’s restaurant for 2 1/2 years, finally returning back to college…the best thing I ever did.

I did whatever it took to keep a roof over my family’s head, food in the fridge, and a running vehicle…except for a period when my little Ford Taurus blew an engine, and I walked to my McDonald’s store for a couple of months. Only 10 blocks…in winter…in Wyoming. Yikes…the memories.

The future for me is bright. I’m creative. I’m talented. I’m good with people of all walks of life. I’m a troubleshooter that knows how to find the answer to any problem I come across…and I’m willing to get my hands dirty with the best of them.

Ask me about plumbing, flooring, carpet, framing, cement, car repairs, computer repairs, roofing, electrical, and so much more. Yes, I’ve even shoveled crap, on salary. 1982. Ewww. Building a septic system cistern 6 feet from an old one, that was leaking and had the drain field not draining. Very very ewww.

These are the kinds of things one HAS to do when it needs to be done. Just hold your nose and dig in…

There are alternatives to real 9 to 5 jobs. Creating digital products once, and selling them a thousand times. Automating the sales funnel, upsales, downsales, high ticket, low ticket, etc. Following up with autoresponders. Getting that sale. Keeping the customer happy. Adding value to someone’s life.

Yes, I’m even going to create online courses to show anyone how to do that (guess what? another recurring income stream). Digital is where it’s at, and I’ve got several applied science college degrees in those areas. Even earned a golden statuette, a 2005 Telly Award for a video project with the local police station and high school, which makes me an award winning videographer/producer.

What do I have to offer? Facts, experience, government resources, and a website that hits its 20th anniversary this November. 25,000 unique titles, 3.2 million printable pages, and 30 plus gigs of downloads.

If you’re one that finds yourself without a job tomorrow, or in a job you’re sick of and want to go to the next level, by all means, GO BACK TO COLLEGE. I did it at age 43 at my local community college, and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, including recruiting letters from ivy league colleges.

I walked in the door, with my wife and three college age kids, and NO savings. I then earned Pell grants, CWC scholarships, student loans, TRIO, and worked three part time jobs while taking 20 credit hour semesters.

It got me through those years. I was also recognized by two national scholar programs…the All-USA Academic Team, and the New Century Scholar program, both in the spring of 2006. These last came when I was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and all three of these were what started the recruiting from the biggest and most recognized universities in the nation.

Everything we couldn’t fit into our two room college dorm, was put in storage. We sold all our appliances, gave away literally a truckload of my library, and MINIMIZED the shit out of our lives. And, just did that again, before moving to Nashville.

Here’s the proof of one of those recruiting letters, this one from Columbia University.

Received many like it, but I stayed home, and after my third degree at Central Wyoming College, got a job with the state of Wyoming in Corrections/LEO.

Almost nine years there, but I left because the state was in financial straits due the falling royalty payments from the Feds for oil, natural gas, coal, etc, cause and effect creating historic lows and a glut of product. No raises in 7 years, and no promotions. Loved the job more than any other, but couldn’t afford to keep it.  Thanks for nothing, Obama.

My saving grace was that in those nine years, I had the greatest insurance coverage I’ve ever had, and got my bad right knee joint replaced. My boss and closest friends and coworkers knew the plan, and they all supported me. Took nearly three years from decision to operation, to giving a month’s notice, to training the guys I worked for how to do my job when I left. I burned no bridges upon retiring from that job.

New job also pays per diem, and I’ll be making roughly twice as much a year, with that overtime (state paid comp time, which you could use as annual or sick days, but NEVER overtime), paying more than the hourly pay I earned as a federal employee in the 90s.

If you’d like to travel, see the country, have a great driving record, and can be gone for 3 months at a time, and have great tech skills, email me. I can get you hooked up with the job of a lifetime. But, you have to WANT it. You have to be willing to really invest your life for a short period of 18 to 24 months. You have to want to be part of something MUCH bigger than yourself.

This is not a play job. It’s real life, real technical, and off the grid. I can show you the door, but you have to walk through it and show the company what you’re made of, capable of, and hungry for. My first full weekly paycheck was 3/4’s of what my MONTHLY paycheck was while working for the Wyoming Department of Corrections. I love  what I do now, and get to do some of the same things I did at my former job.

I’ve been a truck driver, and this new job is definitely not that. Hotels, air fare, fuel, etc, all covered by the client. I keep hardware working, software updated, provide real time data entry, and drive wherever they send us.

Why I am telling you ALL this? Here’s why.

You have to have faith in yourself. You have to trust your gut. You have to KNOW you are meant for better things, and you may have to jump without a parachute and see where you land.

In my case, Nashville was … a great target for someone with fresh college degrees (check), solid work history with great letters of recommendation (check), a willingness to start over again (check), the ability to KEEP LEARNING (check), fantastic people skills (check), and maturity from real world experience in the tech industry (check).

Low crime rate, huge market for people with skills, and excellent weather and educational and recreational things to do…some of the best in the nation…Nashville was a return to city life, after 17 years in the wilderness that is Wyoming.

This past week, my dear wife and I celebrated our 36th anniversary. She is my best friend, my partner, and my love. I know that what we will both be doing for the next two years will challenge us like never before in our lives. It’s also the first anniversary I’ll have missed in our entire marriage, as I shipped out a week earlier. So, we will celebrate EARLY.

Jobs come and go. It’s what you do WITH the job, the income, the tangibles while you have that job, that makes the day without a job, either an opportunity, or a roadblock.

When these two years done and in the bag, I’ll be planning to retire. I like that plan.

Preparedness, survival, self reliance, homesteading…whatever you want to call it…is what you do while you can DO. Here’s something I’ve said a lot in recent years that boils my philosophy down to a nutshell.

You are what you do…NOT what you SAY you do.  Show me, don’t tell me.

It’s about the skills you practice every day, every moment, every second.

It’s that instinctive reflex, that muscle memory, that practice makes perfect, that instant decision making process, when things get bad, worse, really rough, or damn near impossible…that GIVES you your future, with whatever quality of life you can subsist on, or have planned for.

You’re all adults here….and YOU make the decision whether you’re going to be your own person, or someone elses puppet.

Your situational awareness is how you avoid suffering the disasters in your life, with every action and every decision.

Never give up. Never surrender. Your dream job is out there.

Find your passion.  Figure out what that is for you, make a plan to achieve it, and then FIGHT to make it happen.


Updated: July 4, 2017 — 2:11 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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