How to Deal with Sudden Unemployment

So we know so many of you guys are dealing with sudden unemployment or you have friends that are dealing with unemployment. Some of you are dealing with underemployment where people are being furloughed. How do you handle that? And there’s obviously a lot of ways to do this. There is a certain mentality that I just want to really encourage you guys to avoid if you are finding yourself suddenly unemployed. And that is, to go passive. To suddenly decide that I just need to wait until this whole thing blows over and then will start applying for jobs. In the meantime, I’m just going to crush Netflix or something. Please don’t do that. A couple of things I really encourage you to do, first of all, stay in rhythm. It’s really important that you … Work and rest is not an employment thing.

It’s a biblical rhythm thing. We work six days a week and it doesn’t matter to us whether or not somebody else is employing us or not. If I’m going in and out of certain jobs, April is, if my kids are, it’s like, no, we work six days. Now, one of the things that really is helpful when you think that way is that if you’re looking … What that means is productive work during that time. And so that can obviously be things like sending out your resume and applying for new jobs, learning new jobs, but it can also mean trying to take on a new challenge as a family. And one of the things that this could allow an opportunity for, one of the things I’m excited about, we talked about it in a previous podcast, is this can begin to create an opportunity for the household to become an economic unit again.

In other words, a productive economic unit where there are household based industries and household based enterprises. And there’s a lot of really low barrier to entry there, ideas that you can maybe pursue. And so like our family, we’re doing a lot of more home grown stuff where we’re doing micro greens and mushrooms in the house and different things like that. Things that can be easily sold at a farmer’s market, but things that really I can do with my kids. I love looking for jobs that include real amounts of low skill labor when my kids are certainly old enough to work a little bit, things like landscaping. You can do a lot of that kind of stuff, gardening, like I just described. And then you can just think about … There are so many little trades that you can pick up on the side.

Things like appliance repair, remodeling … We just talked about YouTube at the previous podcast in terms of cooking. But man, it’s such a great opportunity for you to learn new skills. You can almost learn an entire trade on YouTube. So in other words, don’t just be passive. And that means you can start to freelance something that you’re doing. There’s a lot of opportunity to do productive economic activity in and through the home more now than really ever because of the internet. And a lot of times, if you’re in a mentality where no, I’ve invested so much in this career, so much in my degree, I will not work outside my degree. I’ll either wait for the next job or be unproductive, I really encourage you guys to not have that mentality. It’s really good to begin to develop multiple streams of income, multiple ways of thinking about work, different ways of getting involved in different trades. You can do this from home, from the internet in so many areas. And I know this might not solve every problem, it may not help you completely come out of whatever economic situation you find yourselves in, but it’s way better than being passive. But Jeff, what are your thoughts about how to handle this?

Yeah. I was going to say the exact same thing. Not to always revert back to YouTube, but I feel like it’s … People haven’t even seen what they haven’t seen. Do you know what I mean? You don’t know what is on there, the amount of free resources that people walk you through things, give you the tools and tips. I mean, I’m on there every single night watching usually a blend of food videos, technology videos for actually work-based stuff and then just other random stuff. So I’m always on there learning usually about food or technology just because that’s what I think is in my recommended and what I like to watch the most. 

But it’s such a actual rhythm of right now to be on there to sharpen. And I pick a skill every single year that I try to harness and try to lean into. And one year it was cooking, one year it was woodworking. And now looking back, all of them have been from YouTube. So one was cooking, I learned all how to cook on YouTube. One was woodworking, I learned all of it on YouTube. One was Photoshop, learned all of it on YouTube. This year is the Ukulele, I’m learning it all on YouTube. So it’s all there.


And what I would say is, yes, it’s a stewardship issue. So does that mean that, oh, just build this side hustle and this business and it’s going to blow up? No. But I do think it won’t go to waste if you are maybe in a season of loss of job, don’t know what to do, if you’re just using the days to learn something. As a family, collectively or by yourself, or blend them together as two separate things.

I think if you’re just … That’s just good stewardship and it never is wrong to learn. It’s never wrong to lean in. You never know what will happen, what will bounce off, what facet will shine differently that takes you down another way. So it doesn’t even have to be I think a business, a lot of times it can be. But I think just leaning into the learning aspect is first step, have good stewardship of your time. And then second step you’ll start to get inklings of like, oh, I’m crafted for this. I’m more bent towards this. This could be something that the Lord could bless. And if you put all that together, I think that’s really, really huge.

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