An interesting question was asked the other day. What would I do if I lost my current job? This got me thinking a bit. Others have written pretty good pieces about how they parlayed the bad situation of getting fired or laid off into something better. While that has not happened to me, I do sometimes wonder what would occur.
Our Situation is Fairly Stable, Well Prepared for Layoffs
To start, realize our situation is fairly stable. Sam over at Financial Samurai has written numerous pieces about negotiating severance pay over the years. Quite frankly based on my employers existing policies there isn’t much negotiation needed. Once you combine policy, stock options, vacation, and everything else that would pay out we would exceed a year of pay in a layoff situation. Getting fired would null some of these options, but frankly getting fired where I work is nearly impossible if you have almost any ethics. Quitting would also negate some of these payouts, but that’s a subject for much later in my career. Getting Laid off, however, pays out on everything. So the most likely scenario where I lost my job would leave me enough time to adjust.
What Would Happen If I Lost My Job
So we can establish that in any layoff situation I’d be sitting with at least a year to figure out what next. This is where get things interesting and also the reason I have been contemplating this scenario. A post on ESIMoney really was the inspiration for this post with a recent article on how getting fired actually helped him. I suspect a layoff might help us, to understand how let’s dig deeper.
We Work In the Corporate World, and Yet I am Entrepreneurial Curious
We long ago established I work in the W-2 world. I have also noted I’m a high income professional. For stealth purposes, I won’t give exact numbers. My job satisfaction is also considerable. And yet, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go it alone. To work as a consultant via my own consulting company.
Quitting For Financial Motivations to Work a 1099 Job Would be Foolish for a Highly Paid Corporate Worker
The reality is, bearing a side hustle or a layoff I will never work for myself. Why? As noted my income is on the higher end of the W-2 world. To replicate it in the consultancy world I’d have to be one of the more successful private firms. I.E. the bar would have to be set high to not deteriorate our pay or impact my quality of life. I’d be a fool to voluntarily jump into that type of situation.
The Allure of Self Employment
So if I enjoy my existing work and am well paid you are probably wondering why I’d like to be my own boss. It would come with more headaches as I would be dependent on myself to both find customers and deliver results. But there is still some aspect of benefiting directly from the fruits of one’s labors, rather than through the roundabout method of my employer, that is appealing.
Add to that the freedom to control my own hours. I’m going to pause here to share my own privilege. I mostly control my hours today. My vacation time including holidays amounts to 30 days a year. Location Independence is actively encouraged rather than restricted where I work. And of course I can choose whatever hours I want to work so long as I get the work done (Sometimes driven by teleconferences at odd hours of the night for foreign constituents). I’d dare say I average about 45 hours a week with frequent spikes and dips based on my current programs. So by being my own boss the only thing I really add is the ability to control the amount of work I accept. It’s a small change systematically, but can’t be underestimated emotionally.
Psychology Versus Finances
If you grasp by now, going it on my own would be a psychological plus, but otherwise, have limited upside for the Full Time Finance household. It would also have substantial risk. As such I won’t be taking this leap on my own outside the side hustle world. Since I’m no fool I’m not too proud to realize the only way it will ever happen is if I’m pushed. Still, it’s interesting to contemplate the ramifications. I could experiment a lot with a consultancy business model with a year of severance….
Anyone else toy with the idea of striking out on their own but realize the psychological gains are not worth the risk?