I’ve been getting so many questions by e-mail, twitter, Facebook and beyond, I thought it was time to start posting a regular Ask Jonathan column.
So, our first question comes from Autumn:
What if someone is laid off, in crisis, about to lose so many things- house etc. Do you still recommend the Career Renegade approach? Or should that someone still look for a regular job to save what they have and THEN do the Career Renegade approach? I know so many people in this dilemma who are out of savings..Thanks! :)”
This is a tough question, but one that’s increasingly applicable to so many people. The short answer is that it is often possible to do both, but it also very much depends on the individual situation.
If you’re in the midst of crisis and your immediate need is to put food on the table and pay your rent or mortgage, that will pretty much always take priority over any other pursuit, passion included. It’s straight out of Maszlow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Everything goes on the back burner, unless and until the fundamental need for survival is comfortably taken care of.
So, the question is, can you do that and go renegade at the same time? And, the answer is, for a lot of people…yes. If you’ve been laid off, the one thing you’ve got on your hands is time. Those 8-12 hours you used to spend working are now there to be repurposed.
How you spend your crisis time is critical.
If your immediate need is money to avoid being homeless, chances are you are going to spend a chunk of that time looking for anything that’ll give you enough to stop the bleeding. That’s completely understandable. But…
With rare exception, that search won’t take up every hour of every day.
In fact, for most people, you’ll spend more time not looking for work than looking for work. It’s not a judgment, it’s more likely just a reflection of your local market.
That leaves a whole lot of time to do something else…to go renegade.
And, one of the huge benefits of the paths I lay out in Career Renegade is that they allow you to tap technology to go beyond the income-generating limitations of your local economy.
So, if your town has been slammed by mass layoffs or plant-closings and prospects for any kind of similar job in that town are slim, you can often move beyond the crush of your local economy by getting online and either:
- Plying your trade in a different way over the internet or,
- Doing something completely different online
And, the amazing thing about both these options, beyond that fact that it removes the limitations of the local market, is that it also offers the potential to generate income very quickly.
An example of the first option—plying your trade in a different way online—is the website of an electrician I recently stumbled upon who set up a blog to share do-it-yourself (DIY) electrical information for people doing home electrical projects.
Incidentally the DIY industry is very likely to grow a lot in a down economy, because people still want to fix up things around the house, but they no longer want to pay other people to do it for them.
Now, this gentleman offers valuable DIY information on the blog on a regular basis and that is likely a big driver of visitors and traffic. And, as you scroll through the pages, you’ll also see that, if you’d like his specific advice on a project, you can pay him for his time. In fact, 10-minutes costs $27.
So, if our plumber ends up on the phone helping people an hour a day, that’s $162 a day X 30 days = $4,860 / month…working an hour a day from home.
And, chances are, a small number of people who start out looking for DIY help end up wanting on-the-job help and turn the entire project over (disclaimer, I don’t know the actual numbers for this website, so this is just for illustrative purposes).
Examples of the second option—doing something completely different online—are detailed all over the “Renegade Paths” in the Career Renegade book. And, very often, if you can find a way to sell information or education, even information you haven’t created as an affiliate, you can begin to generate income online relatively quickly.
The bigger point is, if you use the large chunk of crisis time that you’re not spending trying to find any immediate source of income researching, learning and setting up an online renegade path, you just might end up figuring out ways to generate the money you need, before you find another J-O-B. Plus, you will very likely have a lot more fun doing it, and end up with a lot more control and freedom down the road.
And, even if you end up going back to a job that empties your soul, but stops the bleeding (again, no judgments), I still strongly believe in using your “downtime” to lay the foundation for eventually going renegade, doing something with meaning, purpose and passion and generating enough to live very comfortably in the world.
That wraps up this week’s Ask Career Renegade column. If you’ve got a question you’d like answered in an upcoming column, feel free to send it my way using the contact page.
And, as always, feel free to share your thoughts, questions and ideas in the comments below.
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