Fired: Now What?


Have you been laid-off or fired after age 45? If not you, then 9 out of 10 chances you know someone who has had this experience.  I have recently coached three baby boomers who have been faced with unemployment and I thought sharing the advice I offered might be helpful to others.

Devastation! Anger! Embarrassed! These are words my clients used to describe their situation.  One literally pulled the covers over her head, unwilling to be moved. Another cried for nine straight days. The other client was so angry that it took him far to long to get past the anger and negativity, but finally, he made the transition. Here was my advice.

  1. Apply for Unemployment – If you are eligible, you will want to do this right away.  Often there is a delay in the processing of applications so the sooner you complete the process, the sooner you can access benefits.
  2. 30 Days of Self Pity – Select the number of days you feel you need to stew in your feelings. 30 days, however, is your limit.  During this time, talk about it, call names, sleep all day, eat too much or do whatever you want. Once you complete your days of self pity, make a plan to move on.
  3. Let it Go and Forgive- You must get passed the boss who was unfair and the co-worker who threw you under the bus.  It’s over now and time to move on. I have seen these dark days turn into sunshine when you turn your attention toward the future. Remember forgiveness is more about being free than freeing the person who did you wrong.
  4. Decide to be Positive – Although it is easier said than done; yes, you can control your moods with a decision.  No matter what, you must know that you will find another job or maybe start a successful business. Employers and clients can sense confidence and a positive attitude right away; it is very attractive.
  5. Tell Everyone You Know – It is amazing how we are all connected.  By telling others that you are looking for opportunities, you open the flood gates of possibilities.  Person A may know someone who’s cousin plays golf with the husband of the woman you need to meet.
  6. Identify Lessons Learned – Pain is a powerful teacher.  Ask yourself if you could do anything differently at work? How can you prepare so that this never happens again? What were the aspects of your job that you loved and what do you want to avoid in the future?
  7. Identify Your Core Skills and Attributes – You can use these to make money while you look for a job. Use the Baby Boomer Income Generator Assessment to help you. Understanding your value and your possibilities will help you as you begin your job search.
  8. Consult with a Career Counselor – Find someone who has experience working with seasoned workers. Use their tips about sprucing up your appearance and eliminating dates from your resume.
  9. Join a Job Seekers Group – These groups are springing up all across the country and can help you sharpen your resume, practice interviewing skills and help you develop a compelling career story.
  10.  Have Some Fun – Looking for a job typically isn’t a fun activity.  However, you must keep your spirits up and the motivation high. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.  Got the resume polished, treat yourself to breakfast; applied for seven positions this week, take a hike in the woods; contacted the Small Business Administration to explore starting a business, go see a fun movie.  It is important to recognize and celebrate every little victory to help keep you moving forward.

16 Simple Money Making Opportunities

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Following are ideas for making money quick, with little or no start up costs.

  1. Closet Makeover. Most ladies need/want a closet make over. There simple are not enough room for our shoes. So if you are handy with a drill, purchase some closet make-over hardware and start with your friends. You could also advertise locally on Facebook and Craigslist. Don’t forget the upsale – every new closet deserves some shoe trees, cushion hangers and belt hooks.
  2. Concierge Services. Why not help people better manage their lives by arranging tours, making theater and restaurant reservations, picking up dry cleaning, etc? Approach high-end apartment complexes about offering the service to residents.
  3. Gardening Services. Whether you know how to grow plants, flowers or herbs, many people will buy your services. You could upsale by holding gardening classes and selling supplies. Remember to take pictures of your success to show your expertise.
  4. Garage Cleaning. Many garages are simply a mess. If you are a good organizer, you can make great side money by cleaning out garages. A great upsale opportunity is helping the owners plan a garage sale and split the profits.
  5. Gift Basket Maker. Starting a gift basket business is a good option for people who love to shop and wrap presents. You could specialize in corporate, sports or college gifts baskets. You could even offer birthday gift baskets that you deliver to local schools for kids to share with their classes. To maximize your profit, make sure you buy your merchandise wholesale.
  6. Furniture Assembly.  Single women and busy men would gladly pay someone to assemble furniture. If you have a truck you could also pick up and deliver the furniture for an additional fee.
  7. Mail Box Designer.  Creating custom mail boxes can lead to a pile of money. Target high-end neighborhoods where the desire for curb appeal runs high. You could also install the mail boxes for an additional fee.
  8. Baby Nursery Designer. Help parents create themes for newborns and older children. If you have the skills to paint murals or lay wall paper, that’s ever more appealing. Promote your services everywhere you can find mothers-to-be, they are big spenders.
  9. Party Planner. Have you ever been told you throw the best parties? If so, use that talent to make extra money. Children parties, in particular, are BIG business. Find the local Mom’s club and get the business going. Don’t forget to offer parties during after-care programs. The directors will love you for it.
  10. Pet Sitting. If you love animals, you could make extra money dog walking or pet sitting for business travelers. Start in your local community and post some fliers around town and take them door to door. Upsale your clients by offering animal care products and pet toys.
  11. Social Media Assistant. If you like social media, you can help people set up their accounts and teach them how to use them. In addition, many small businesses will pay you to help them maintain their accounts and grow their following.
  12. Software Instructor. Use your computer whiz skills to make some extra money. Many after-care companies, camps and adult education facilities would love to hire you. You could also offer private lessons in the home or to small business owners.
  13. Teaching. Teaching anything you know can be profitable. Many people are interested in learning new hobbies, languages and skills. You might also want to upsale by making videos to help reinforce what you are teaching.
  14. Vending Machines. People buy gum, candy, chips, etc. every day from vending machines. Why not partner with businesses like laundrymat, dollar stores, and shoe shops, etc.? You will have to share the profits but if they have a steady stream of potential customers, that is more money for everyone.
  15. Welcome wagon. Talk with small businesses community by community about creating a welcome packet for new residents. The businesses could offer discount coupons and sample products to entice new customers. You could also sponsor a monthly welcome to the neighborhood meeting in partnership with the local neighborhood associations.
  16. Window and Blind Cleaning. Spring time is the ideal time to really market this service. It’s easy to get started by distributing fliers throughout the neighborhood. You could even upsale window decals.