Being laid off is scary. I know, because it has happened to me—twice, the second time when I was fifty-one. But in retrospect, I’m glad it happened, because each time, I ended up in a better place!
Here are five resources (books, newsletters, or Web sites) that may help other women in the same position I was in. They fired me up, got me thinking in new directions, and eventually led me to my new entrepreneurial venture, which I wouldn’t trade for anything. These resources will help you identify new opportunities, encourage you to pursue an interest or a passion, or give you a new perspective on how to use assets you already have in a creative way.
1. Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways For Creating Work That You Love by Barbara J. Winter
This book was a big boon to me. The subtitle gives you an idea of where she is headed: that you can make a living and have a life that you craft for yourself. One idea that was liberating to me was her concept of multiple profit centers—earning income in different and creative ways so that all of your sources-of-money eggs are not in one basket. She also has a subscription-based print newsletter called “Winning Ways” and a free electronic newsletter called Joyfully Jobless.
2. ChangingCourse.com by Valerie Young
Valerie Young of ChangingCourse.com has a free electronic newsletter, too. She was inspired, in part, to move from the corporate life to being self-employed by Barbara Winter. Like Barbara, Valerie’s mission is to help people work at what they love. Many of the people who have changed course decided to make a change when they were laid off. Her early newsletters are archived at her website, where you can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter and read about others who changed course because of a pink slip.
3. Caught Between A Dream and A Job by Delatorro McNeal II
I’m reading this book right now. It’s inspiring, pragmatic, funny, and chock full of questions that can reframe the worry of the situation you’re in right now and help you see it as an opportunity. He shares his own experience of being laid off and how that led him to where he is now. You can find out more on
4. Feel the Fear...and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
Although I read this book several years ago, I still feel its impact. Jeffers believes that “fear is a fact of life and not a barrier to success.” She helped me realize that there’ll always be discomfort around change—and feeling anxious is okay. With vignettes of her own and other’s experiences she showed me that if I can push through it, the discomfort and anxiety can be replaced with a feeling of accomplishment. I came to agree with her that fear is a fact of life and I sally forth anyway.
5. Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting Itby Henriette Anne Klauser
This is a different kind of book. Klaus recounts case studies of how she, her clients and friends have received what they wanted when they picked up a pen and wrote down their aspirations. It has worked for me too!
By Michèle Meagher for VibrantNation
Photo courtesy of Michele Meagher