Saturday, April 4, 2009

Unemployment can be an opportunity

Many people panic when they are unemployed but there is an alternative. If you are applying for jobs where 7,000 or more other people are applying for the same job the odds you will get a job like that are 1 in 7,000. Though these odds might be better than winning a multimillion dollar lottery they still are really bad odds for getting a job.

When my stepdaughter's county went bankrupt she lost her job as a public defender(a lawyer hired by a county). Instead of panicking she knew she liked traveling in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize and simply put her stuff in storage and took off for 6 months to Belize where she could live inexpensively quite well and where she had friends. Eventually, my other older daughter joined her there. They had a great time swimming in the tropical ocean and visiting ancient Mayan and other historic sites. This, I feel was a very good idea to decompress inexpensively to prepare for the next stages of employment and life.

Even if you own a house you could sublet your home or apartment to cover your expenses back in the U.S.

When I had a similar experience to now, unemployment was at 9.7% nationally in 1981. I decided to take $8000 in cash and buy 2 1/2 acres of land and sell our 1971 VW camper Van so we could buy enough material to build a mountain cabin, an A-Frame. Since I had built houses and helped build many other houses by then this was a relatively easy task and was mostly completed in one summer. In the fall we put the plywood sheeting on the steep A-frame roof and put the roofing on and installed the wood stove for heating at 4000 feet in elevation. We lived there for 4 years and home schooled our kids. We had no car or truck payments, no rent payments, no mortgage payments during these very tough economic times. All we had to come up with for sure was food and property taxes which wasn't very hard. We lived off the grid, used kerosene Alladin lamps for good lighting for reading and for studying played many board games, read many books to our kids and I found these four years to be 4 of the best in my life so far.

So, unemployment doesn't have to make you have a stroke, it can be one of the best times in your life!

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