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Was Your Layoff a “Blessing in Disguise”?

July 17th, 2009 ::

If you are one of the millions of Americans who experienced a layoff in the past few years but now see that unkind cut as a “blessing in disguise,” then congratulations! You are in good company. According to a recent survey conducted by SnagAJob.com, 4 out of 10 laid off Americans feel that their layoff or the layoff of a significant other was actually a good thing.

If you do not yet share in the optimism, there is still reason to take heart. While 39% of respondents already see their layoff as a blessing in disguise, 26% aren’t quite to that point yet but predict that their layoff will turn into an opportunity down the road. If you are feeling worried, angry, upset or depressed, take heart. Many of the most optimistic about their post-layoff chances were in your shoes just a few months ago.

“Whether or not you see it coming, finding out that you have been laid off can be difficult, and it can seem like the end of the world,” said Shawn Boyer, CEO of SnagAJob.com in a statement. “But as this survey bears out, there is often a silver lining.”

So what are these laid off individuals doing? Nearly half report they have taken time to reconnect with family and friends. A little more than a third chose to focus on personal interests or hobbies, and 16% are focusing on volunteer work.

Some laid off people are seizing the opportunity to become unintentional entrepreneurs. Not everybody has what it takes to be an unintentional entrepreneur, of course. A mere sixteen percent of those surveyed by SnagAJob.com said they are using their layoff as impetus to pursue the job they’ve really wanted, which includes starting their own business.

For that other 86%, it is easy to dismiss entrepreneurship as an unattainable goal. But just like those laid off people surveyed by SnagAJob.com, it’s possible to turn feelings of fear, anger and depression into boldness, optimism and hope.

Unintentional entrepreneurs likely did not have the same amount of time and resources to devote to market research, seeking out investors, and taking other preliminary steps traditionally associated with starting a business. But on the bright side, this forces unintentional entrepreneurs to embrace their creativity in order to accommodate their shoestring budgets. Plus, for the resourceful business owner, free resources like Outright’s bookkeeping service, tools to manage expenses like those available from Shoeboxed, or services like formspring, to manage your business, are lowering the cost of doing business every day.

How about you? Have you found that your layoff came wrapped in a silver lining? What steps are you taking to create your own income stream in these tough economic times?

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Uncategorized, UnintentionalEntrepreneur | 3 Comments »

  • http://twitter.com/xteenb Kristeen Bullwinkle

    I actually quit my job after losing all my staff and seeing several leaders I respected being shown to the door. I called it my wanton act of optimism. I was scared, but the stress of having no job was so much less than the stress of my job then. Three months after I quit my mother had a series of heart attacks and I was able to care for her through that time w/o any guilt about the extra work I was causing a colleague. Mom didn't pick up any stress from me as I moved her into assisted living and that made the move so much easier for her and for me.

    It's funny that I one reason I stayed in my job was that I was hoping to get additional skills there. But I got them by freelancing. I stayed because I liked having built-in friends. But I'm a better friend, a better daughter, and a better marketer now than I ever was before.

  • http://twitter.com/xteenb Kristeen Bullwinkle

    I actually quit my job after losing all my staff and seeing several leaders I respected being shown to the door. I called it my wanton act of optimism. I was scared, but the stress of having no job was so much less than the stress of my job then. Three months after I quit my mother had a series of heart attacks and I was able to care for her through that time w/o any guilt about the extra work I was causing a colleague. Mom didn't pick up any stress from me as I moved her into assisted living and that made the move so much easier for her and for me.

    It's funny that I one reason I stayed in my job was that I was hoping to get additional skills there. But I got them by freelancing. I stayed because I liked having built-in friends. But I'm a better friend, a better daughter, and a better marketer now than I ever was before.

  • http://twitter.com/xteenb Kristeen Bullwinkle

    I actually quit my job after losing all my staff and seeing several leaders I respected being shown to the door. I called it my wanton act of optimism. I was scared, but the stress of having no job was so much less than the stress of my job then. Three months after I quit my mother had a series of heart attacks and I was able to care for her through that time w/o any guilt about the extra work I was causing a colleague. Mom didn't pick up any stress from me as I moved her into assisted living and that made the move so much easier for her and for me.

    It's funny that I one reason I stayed in my job was that I was hoping to get additional skills there. But I got them by freelancing. I stayed because I liked having built-in friends. But I'm a better friend, a better daughter, and a better marketer now than I ever was before.