Warrior Just Laid Off, What to Do?

31 replies
Hello:

I learned last week from my supervisors, that "in light of the economic conditions, all department heads have been asked to find ways that they can consolidate tasks and reduce headcount, and unfortunately your position has been eliminated." -my position along with about 26 others, in a 50-person office.

I got one of those "crappy but better than nothing" 6 weeks severance arrangements, in exchange for agreeing to a pretty restrictive, one-sided separation agreement. Basically I can never make a claim against the company or anyone related to it, talk bad about it, disclose trade secrets or terms of the agreement, or even work for a competitor if offered a job.

So needless to say, I've got a lot of free time on my hands, and I'm definitely conducting an aggressive job search.

But I wanted to just see if other warriors could chime in, maybe who've been in this situation before or not, and found success online. How much would you divvy up your spare time: job search vs. internet marketing efforts.?

As you can probably imagine, I'm reluctant to spend any money on any internet marketing efforts aside from keeping the existing hosting account I already have, which is a small recurring charge.

Besides, I've never been able to take a single dime spent on internet marketing and turn a profit with it, except back in 2006 when I used expensive software for massive page generation. I made some alright money with adsense, but those sites all became de-listed after a month or so, along with everyone else's who was in that community.

I'm also not sure about writing a ton of review sites and waiting on the line for all this organic traffic that may or may not come.

So the real question I guess, if anyone would care to lend a few words, is "What would you do if you were me?"

-Rob
#laid #warrior
  • Profile picture of the author tiger325
    spend that time picking a niche or niches and write , write , write until you can start investing via ppc. Also get to know others in the forums while using your sig.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Rob,

    I would spend as much time as you can looking for the steady income first. Make that the clear priority. Then once you have a job, use your free time to build an online empire.

    That's the pragmatic answer.

    The other answer is to make sure you have enough to live on...food, shelter, utilities. Cut all unnecessary expenses. Then start working on a plan to earn a full-time income online. Give it your all, and work as if your future depends on it.

    Wishing you every success,
    Michael Oksa

    p.s. Sending you a PM.
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    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi Rob,

    If I were you I'd cap on my new found freedom to reach out to the millions of others who are in your same shoes. You could come up with a "how to cope in these hard times," type report. You could start a blog on "how I did it." Or "There is life after layoff."

    Now all of the above is assuming that you will find something to do online to be able to say "I did it."

    To that end If I were you I'd do the offline local directory thing. Actually I did that and that is how I got started in IM.

    The amazing thing about IM is that one thing leads to another. I guess it's called momentum.

    I would never have my second success/adsense paycheck/successful WSO/etc. if I hadn't had my first. (Duh George )

    In the beginning I couldn't even plan two projects ahead the one I was working on at the time was IT. Now I'm looking forward 5 or 6 projects ahead.

    Now I'm not one of those 6 figure gurus you read about I just make a half way decent living online. And speaking of that, I and I suspect others, are really in your shoes. Things I was doing great with last year are not so great this year. I'ts sort of like a vertual layoff.

    The difference is once you've tasted an Internet Marketing success you have the attitude, "If I did it once I can do it again."

    Whatever you do I wish you success.

    George Wright
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    "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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  • Profile picture of the author traces2757
    I'm still shocked by the fact that you can't work for a competitor. Not only do they take away your job, but they make it more difficult for you to get another one. Okay, I know that's business; but frankly, that sucks!

    It has really hit home to me that it is never a good idea to rely on one source of income. I had been working as an administrative assistant for a company associated with the housing industry. Needless to say, I was also laid off. I have the writing business, but I hadn't been working on it while I had the full-time outside job, and that was a mistake. I'm building it back up, but slowly. In the meantime I have the same bills. From now on "diversify" will be foremost in my thoughts.

    Look for another outside job, but work on IM too. And if anything else comes along that looks like it could bring you income, look into it.

    Good luck to you; you are certainly not alone. I'll be rooting for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Valdor Kiebach
    I would spend some of your payoff getting a freelancer to write me an original ebook or php script or something. I would also look for another full time job but keep on at the IM as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nato Guajardo
      Originally Posted by Valdor Kiebach View Post

      I would spend some of your payoff getting a freelancer to write me an original ebook or php script or something. I would also look for another full time job but keep on at the IM as well.
      Great info! This is exactly what I would do while looking for another full time job.

      Get a warrior to write a small report for you in niche that is used to buying. I usually pay $20-$50 for a small 10+ page report.

      I've made thousands several times with small reports in less than a month and most times in a week.

      Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author mudmat
    I heard of stories where some people made it in Internet Marketing because they lost their job and they are going to homeless in a few weeks so the only choice is to just tackle IM head on.

    And they succeed. Is it because they got no other choice but to make it in IM or are they really lucky?
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi,

    I'm In California. I don't know where you are. In California non compete agreements are not enforceable. I don't know if they are "not legal" or "illegal" but I know a man who tried to enforce one and it did not hold up.

    A search on Google talks about "non compete" California.

    This is not meant to be legal advice from me. Just an observation about a case I have knowledge of.

    Look at this. http://www.employlaw.com/noncompete.htm

    George Wright
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    "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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  • Profile picture of the author MeysterR
    Yeah, I was solicited through a 3rd party a few days ago for a position in sales, working for a competitor, I can use this buffer time to find something I really would rather do, instead of just taking the first thing that comes along. I'm not sure if the company was even interested in me, but I'm hearing that these days, sales in NOT the field to be in, because nobody is buying anything.

    I ran the non-compete by the 3rd party recruiter (who also got me my former job, hahaha), and she responded, "You know, they downsized you, they don't have a leg to stand on. It would be one thing if you quit to go work for a competitor, but they were the ones who let you go, this is your industry, and YOU NEED TO WORK, so I wouldn't even worry about that."

    The non-compete really hasn't been the foremost in my thoughts, it's really just the audacity of the whole thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author globalpro
      I ran the non-compete by the 3rd party recruiter (who also got me my former job, hahaha), and she responded, "You know, they downsized you, they don't have a leg to stand on. It would be one thing if you quit to go work for a competitor, but they were the ones who let you go, this is your industry, and YOU NEED TO WORK, so I wouldn't even worry about that."
      For the most part, the 'no compete' claus you have is not legally binding. At least here where I live it isn't.

      Thanks,

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author clint48
        Jobs are going to be harder to get as more and more people are being let go, so the first thing I would do is cut back on my expenses and try and make that six week severance last as long as possible. I would look all day for another job and work on the Internet at night.

        Keep in mind when you do find another job if the economy doesn't improve in the next 5 years you will still have to worry about last hired first fired, so try and get some type of income coming in on the Internet, but like I said I would just do that at night.

        Clint
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by MeysterR View Post

      Yeah, I was solicited through a 3rd party a few days ago for a position in sales, working for a competitor, I can use this buffer time to find something I really would rather do, instead of just taking the first thing that comes along. I'm not sure if the company was even interested in me, but I'm hearing that these days, sales in NOT the field to be in, because nobody is buying anything.

      I ran the non-compete by the 3rd party recruiter (who also got me my former job, hahaha), and she responded, "You know, they downsized you, they don't have a leg to stand on. It would be one thing if you quit to go work for a competitor, but they were the ones who let you go, this is your industry, and YOU NEED TO WORK, so I wouldn't even worry about that."

      The non-compete really hasn't been the foremost in my thoughts, it's really just the audacity of the whole thing.

      I was about to post regarding the competition ruling. I don't think it is enforceable due to them letting you go. If you quite that may be a different issue.

      I have had companies try that with me and still worked with competitors in the marketplace. I didn't have any problems.


      Of course this isn't legal advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    Hi Rob,

    It depends on what your situation is. Are you single or married? Do you have kids?

    The reason I ask is because, if you are single and do not have anyone that depends on you, then you can go without a job for now.

    The reason I say that is because when you have no money coming in, it motivates you to work on your internet business to make money.

    People that work and have an internet business part time really do not put in a full 100% effort. This is because most people have their time taken up by being at their jobs, then they come home so tired that they cannot put in anymore effort on their biz.

    Good luck Rob!

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author MeysterR
    Single, no kids or dependents of any kind. Usual expenses (rent, car pmt. etc.)

    I have had the feeling that my job was hindering my momentum with building my online business back up.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    Rob,

    Yeah, sometimes I wish I could just take a leave of absence from work and get my butt motivated. I feel that because I have the job and income from work, even though I am excited to do my IM, I come home so tired all the time that I doze off in front of my computer when I am trying to do my IM.

    Plus, I figure ah, I still have my income from my job. But that isn't what I want to do anymore. Working for someone else sucks. I'm tired of driving in traffic. I'm tired of being told when I can go on vacation. I'm tired of the lazy people I work with. Uggh....

    Rob, take advantage of the time you have now to push your IM over the edge and be the 10% that make good money on the internet.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogBrowser
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Blase
      MeysterR,

      I live in MN, I have been an exc. for a number of different
      companies. I have hired, fired, and laid off many people.

      I can tell you based on my experience that if
      you were laid off a NON-Compete clause will not hold
      up in court.

      You can go work for a competitor.

      Like I said I live in MN, check with your state labor laws.
      In MN it's called the right to work law.

      However, you also have six to nine months of unemployment
      coming after your six week severance is up.

      Word of advice go apply now, it takes a few weeks to
      kick in and in your situation the check will be in the mail
      the seventh week you are out of work.

      I am not a lawyer and I am only giving you my
      personal opinion based on my experiance.

      Good luck,
      Blase
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      "Nothing Happens Until Something Is Sold"
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    • Profile picture of the author MeysterR
      Originally Posted by BlogBrowser View Post

      Do you currently have anything you can build on like a blog, a clickbank product, a mailing list, etc? it's much easier to face a situation like this if you're already rolling (no matter how small your internet business might be now) than if you gotta start from scratch.

      I have one NMOC style site up since April O7, then remodeled towards early 08 to be more like Chris_Surfrider's Lazy Aff. site formula. I used tons of paid and free methods to build links; the site about about 30 pages large and has gotten so little traction; maybe 3 clickbank sales in all of 08.

      Then I set a "Conduit" style site up (those of you who know the method know what I'm talking about) minimal traffic, not even one confirmed lead. Again, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it to get links/rankings.

      I'm thinking I will ultimately have to start something new.

      I really appreciate the outpouring of support you guys have given me today on this. I've gotten a few pretty good ideas on how to proceed that I want to start working into my schedule over the next week and beyond.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirKhan
    Sorry to hear that you have been laid off There are plenty of opportunities online, I suggest that you try each with a great dedication and in the meantime go for a few interviews in case IM does not work out for you. Just be sure that you do everything possible, and if it still doesn't bring any profit, then you can say that you honestly tried.
    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Originally Posted by MeysterR View Post

    Hello:

    I got one of those "crappy but better than nothing" 6 weeks severance arrangements, in exchange for agreeing to a pretty restrictive, one-sided separation agreement. Basically I can never make a claim against the company or anyone related to it, talk bad about it, disclose trade secrets or terms of the agreement, or even work for a competitor if offered a job.
    whow...just wow. So you got a little change for basically selling your soul?

    The last part with the competitor is the best part:
    let's say you are specialized and learned a lot at your work, so it would be very logical that your next job in that field is a similar company ---> which would mean "competitor". They literally ***** you in the ***! Just amazing... and that all for 6 weeks pay?
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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
      Rob,

      This is just a heads-up, and not legal advice of any kind...

      If you entered into an agreement with your former company regarding not going to work for a competitor, and you got compensation in return for that consideration, you might want to think twice before violating that agreement.

      A standard clause in an employment agreement that just says you cannot go to work for a competitor may have very little grounds for enforcement. In fact, it may be all bark in many jurisdictions. However, and this depends on specific circumstances, an non-compete agreement where you received compensation for entering into such an agreement may be backed up with some teeth. Big sharp legal teeth that can take a chunk of your hide, and then some.

      Just be sure that you fully understand the agreement you just signed. Don't take it lightly, and don't take just anybody's word that you can ignore it and walk away unscathed if you violate it.

      Like I said, this is not legal advice, but it is the voice of experience.

      Best of luck,

      KJ
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      • Profile picture of the author TheVCF
        Rob,

        What are your skills and experience?
        in what roles? and industries?

        Could you offer your services as a Paid Consultant?
        both on- and/or off-line, you know?
        E.g. even to the competitors of your former employer since as other have pointed out non-competes, and particularly if you are doing consulting for them, are generally not enforceable, you know?

        I hope this all helps, Best Wishes with All of Your Ventures, and Have a Great Day!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
        Rob: There is no state in the US that will allow an employer to lay off or fire an employee and tell them they can't earn a living. If you are experienced in your field and would not be able to find the same salary in a different field, you can go to work for a competitor.

        Why do you think they made what they wanted you to think was such a sweet offer. They were already required to give you at least 2 weeks severance, and were hoping that you were unaware that a non-compete contract wouldn't hold up in any court in the land. People tend to believe what they are forced to sign.

        I have been there - about 15 years ago, and the company that I worked for laid me off, and then tried to sue me for accepting another job in the same field. The judge laughed them out of court and told them to never waste his time trying to keep someone from earning a living again. He said if I had quit my job to go to work for a competitor, then they might have a case, but not when the company had closed the branch office that I managed and eliminated my job. Another thing in my favor, since I worked in such a specialized field and had 10 years experience, was the fact that the competitors came looking for me.

        If I were you, I would get another job while there are still jobs left, and work on my internet business in my spare time. At least you will have something coming in. With all the companies that are laying off and closing their doors, there are soon going to be more people out of work than available jobs.

        Take some solid advice from an "ole soul" Rob. You'll be glad you did in the long run. But, whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.

        Dixie
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        • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
          Originally Posted by Dixiebelle View Post

          Rob: There is no state in the US that will allow an employer to lay off or fire an employee and tell them they can't earn a living. If you are experienced in your field and would not be able to find the same salary in a different field, you can go to work for a competitor.

          Why do you think they made what they wanted you to think was such a sweet offer. They were already required to give you at least 2 weeks severance, and were hoping that you were unaware that a non-compete contract wouldn't hold up in any court in the land. People tend to believe what they are forced to sign.

          I have been there - about 15 years ago, and the company that I worked for laid me off, and then tried to sue me for accepting another job in the same field. The judge laughed them out of court and told them to never waste his time trying to keep someone from earning a living again. He said if I had quit my job to go to work for a competitor, then they might have a case, but not when the company had closed the branch office that I managed and eliminated my job. Another thing in my favor, since I worked in such a specialized field and had 10 years experience, was the fact that the competitors came looking for me.

          If I were you, I would get another job while there are still jobs left, and work on my internet business in my spare time. At least you will have something coming in. With all the companies that are laying off and closing their doors, there are soon going to be more people out of work than available jobs.

          Take some solid advice from an "ole soul" Rob. You'll be glad you did in the long run. But, whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.

          Dixie

          Dixie,

          With all due respect, this is bad advice.

          Again, this is not legal advice.

          If you read the OP you will see that he received consideration for agreeing to sign the non-compete. That is a completely different scenario than what you described happened to you.

          The act of taking consideration, in this case 6 weeks severance pay tied to the non-compete, makes the non-compete enforcable in most jurisdictions.

          Being laid off has no bearing on the contract. The contract will stand on its' own merit.

          If you do the slightest of research on the subject it will become clear how the law handles such contracts.

          Nuff said.

          KJ
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          • Profile picture of the author Blase
            KJ,

            You are wrong the contract does not stand on it's own
            merit the contract is illegal to start with. An employer
            can not bribe you into signing a contract.

            In order for a non-compete to be enforced it hast to be in force
            and signed the day you are hired. Also any non-compete
            is null and void if you are terminated or laid off.

            I have been down this road many times and I have worked with
            our corporate attorneys on this issue.

            Now let's look at this logically.

            You were laid off, you are collecting unemployment,
            you get a job offer, you turn it down, you tell the unemployment office
            you turned it down because you signed a non compete.

            Unemployment stops your benefits because you turned down a job that
            was a perfect fit for you. Do you see the catch 22 here?

            AGAIN I AM NOT A LAWYER, but boy I've been there done that.
            For me to let a person go I had to have a file 4 inches thick.

            I once had a guy call in sick, then he said what difference
            does it make you are going to fire me anyway. LOL
            I wasn't, but I did.

            Anyhow all of this wrangling isn't helping, the question is what should
            he do.

            I say collect your unemployment and start your own business.

            Blase
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            "Nothing Happens Until Something Is Sold"
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          • Profile picture of the author MeysterR
            Regarding the legalities. Again, this is such an extreme niche market and the only way I would be able to compete would be to go to work *selling* the services that my company provided. And I wasn't in a sales capacity there.

            I did receive some monetary amount (2 weeks) for signing the 6 month non-compete when I started, but I could only imagine the only damages they would be due, if they did win out in court, would be that 2 weeks pay....I would just have to give it back.?...

            Okay, to give you a little more background, and answer and for TheVCF. I managed media partners and strategic marketing relationships for a company that provides research tools to investors. I executed in-house marketing campaigns, co-branded campaigns with partners (email, print, insert, DM, etc.) And "Sold" partners on why they should give us certain types of links for our rev. share partnership. I managed and optimized profitable PPC campaigns that more than paid my salary. It sounds stupid that I haven't been able to just laterally move that successful experience over to my own thing, but again, very niche-ey market, and very unusual business model.

            I guess they just took all the partners and contacts I managed and moved them all up to my boss, now he's doing it all. (All senior level management got to keep their jobs, by the way.) It's like this cluster of 7-8, buddy-buddy people making 6 figures plus, while they ditched a ton of support positions, including verteren people like accountants and admin people that had been there 12+ years.

            Virginia is not what is known as a "right to work state". Virginia is extremely labor-friendly, and is known as an "at-will" state. Meaning it's implied that you are working for the company at-will and can walk at any time for any or no reason. They can also dismiss you for any or no reason. You can't really be put into a work contract where you can't quit and they can't fire you, except in rare cases like in the public sector.

            In addition companies and parties are free to form contracts, agreements, etc. (which many companies are happy to require as a condition of employment) I am in Richmond, VA, where "arbitration agreements" reign supreme (in case you get let go). This is where Carmax and Circuit City are based, and they both do that.

            To tell you the truth, I don't think I would honestly land a job in the same market, as it were, like go to work for Dow Jones, etc. b/c companies like that are looking for such highly proficient, experienced people; but I may well find a job working where I can utilize the same on/offline marketing "skill set".

            Oh about the unemployment thing, in Virginia, you're actually penalized for filing too early. They go back and look at how much you were paid over the past 14 days, etc and deduct it from what you receive. I've lived fairly well below my means, plus I'm in school getting my MBA and have a pretty good cash reserve, added to all the severence money I'll get, I'll do okay. Unemployment covers my month to month expense almost dollar-to-dollar.

            It's now just the matter of nothing ELSE coming in and not having that extra capital to dedicate to my IM efforts, etc. This is the first time since 04 (when I got out of college) that I've been without a job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    Yeah you have some really great suggestions from everyone already.

    I'd say look for a stable income source, and definitely use this opportunity to get online. Just know that there are endless opportunities everywhere. Things will work out for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbealmear
    Rob,
    The best advice I can give you is to keep trying to find another place of employment offline.
    If you havent had any reall success with IM then you dont want to just take your chances tht you will all of a sudden make alot of money.
    Try to find another job for yourself and just stat working double time in your spare time to perfect and come up with a good IM strategy and start making some steady money online before you rely on it solely for income.
    This is just my opionion but whatever you chose I wish you the best of luck!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      The first thing you need to do is get another job.

      The second thing you need to do is get another job.

      Does it sound repetitive? You betcha.

      Your chances of making a business work in this situation are slim and none, and slim just left town.

      On the no-compete clause, I'd talk to a lawyer well versed in stuff like that before listening to anyone on this forum. Laws are different for each locality, and you just might find out that no compete clause could hold up for your state.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    I do wish you well my man. I hope that you are also a man of faith. If you are, I would also add daily prayer.

    In fact, I will be praying for you.

    Go get em.

    Charles
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Hi Rob,

    Here's my suggestion... Unless you are already making money in internet marketing, I would advise that you look for another job. Even if you find a part-time job, you will be ensured a steady stream of income.

    Then, work to grown your internet marketing business on the side. During the time you are out of work, create your IM business plan and learn everything you can. Also, establish relationships with other Warriors; purchase e-books, and take courses if you can.

    If you are determined, you will succeed.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author jayden.fellze
    If I were in your position, I would first ensure that I make all arrangements for a source of income to meet all my bills every month. Then I would start looking for additional income online. Basically if you are going to be jobless, you may not be able to concentrate on online jobs which demand your attention and maximum efforts all the time. So make sure that you are able to get some steady income to pay your bills and take care of the family and then start looking for online jobs as they are very volatile and you are not sure of the amount you earn.
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