Laid Off Due to COVID-19?

By Alexis Rodrigo | Entrepreneurship

Apr 18
Laid Off COVID-19

How are things in your neck of the woods?

I pray you and your loved ones are safe. If you’ve been affected by this pandemic one way or another, my thoughts and prayers are with you. 

I’ve spoken to business owners who’ve had to close their doors.

Others who’ve been laid off from jobs and forced to subsist on the government’s assistance.

Still others have had their hours reduced, some to less than 10 hours per week.

That’s why I decided to do a live presentation:  Laid Off—TWICE!

You may not know it, but I was laid off from a job once. Actually, not once but twice in less than two years. I was devastated and terrified.

I have to admit, I cried in the shower a few times.

But as you can see, I survived. 

In this video, you'll discover:

  • The practical steps I took to generate income—fast
  • Why I look back on those times as a blessing
  • The lessons I learned from those trying months

Laid off? Here's what I did to generate income fast when I got laid off, not once, but TWICE in a 19-month period.

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One good thing that came out of that difficult time was that I dove into positive psychology and came up with practices for becoming Positively Productive. I’m using the same skills to support my mindset in the time of the coronavirus.

Read the Video Transcript

We’re going into our fifth week of staying at home and now we have started feeling the economic impact of that situation. A lot of people have gotten laid off or had their salaries reduced or their hours reduced.

The bottom line is that a lot of people are having to live on less income than they've had previously.

If you're in this situation, if you've lost your job, if you had to close your business or had your pay slashed, your hours reduced almost nothing. Then this video is for you, because I have experienced a lot of that, and I want to share my experience with you in the hopes that you will get something practical from my experience that will help you in these challenging times.

So stick around and I hope that you will find this helpful. 

If this is your first time at countering me, just want to quickly introduce myself. My name is Lexi Rodrigo. I am a copywriter and an online marketer, and this is my website, and you can check me out later on. Not now. You can visit my website later on for now.

Focus on this video. So what I'm going to be sharing with you is, you know, as the title implies, my experience getting laid off twice in a span of 19 months, I want to share with you the things that I did to cope with those times. And, what else? The lessons that I learned. Let me just add that to my notes because I might forget lessons learned.

So to give you a bit of a background, because you might think I got laid off twice in a span of 19 months that maybe there's something wrong with me that maybe it was a performance issue. So let me give you a background.

The first time I was laid off. And I found out that the after Thanksgiving here in Canada, if not for things, because Thanksgiving was a holiday, so I wasn't reporting for work, but if not for that, I would have heard on Thanksgiving day.
But anyways, that company had been floundering.

First of all, I loved that job. I enjoyed what I was doing. I'm being challenged. I was learning a lot. At the same time, I was making a lot of contributions to the company and I love the people that I worked with. I consider them to be my second family. And I was doing my job pretty well.

I had gotten a raise two or three times without me having to ask for it. And in fact, a few, just a few months, like maybe six months before I was laid off, I had gotten a race, so it's not a performance issue. But the company had been floundering, uh, several months before I was laid off. We were asked who wanted to voluntarily be furloughed and I volunteered.

Cause, as I said, I love my employers. I love the company. I wanted to see the company succeed. So I volunteered to be furloughed for a couple of months. I think it was just a short period of time. But we had a disastrous product launch that the company had invested a lot of money in, but we did not make that money back.

We did not make a lot of money from that launch. And so a number of us were laid off specifically, I think there was six people laid off, so myself and five others, and a few months afterwards they laid off more people. So it was really a cashflow problem for that company. Now, three months after I got laid off from that job, I found another job and.

I remember interviewing for that job and I told the employer where I was coming from. I told them I had just gotten laid off and I remember asking you, how many times have you had to lay off or no, no, no. I said, if I may ask, how is the company doing financially? Because I just got laid off and you know, I wouldn't want to be laid off for the same reason.

Several months down the road and the owner, the employer assured me that the company was in good shape, but seven months later I did get laid off because my position was being, my salary was being funded from a grant with the government. And grant is probably the wrong term, the contract with the government, but the government.

With slashing its budget. This is the Ontario government, by the way. It slashing it to budget left and right, and they did not renew the contract with my employer. And so my employer had to let me go and I was laid off again just seven months into that job. So that's the background. Okay, so what did I do.

The first time, as you can imagine, I loved the job. I loved the people I worked with and I knew the income. My husband works and I, we both work. We jointly are the breadwinners for the family and I bring in a significant amount of income for the household. So me losing my income had a significant income on our budget.

So. Okay. My reaction was I was devastated. I was crushed. And even though I knew it wasn't personal, right, it wasn't that I didn't perform well. It wasn't that my employer didn't like me, but still the effect was personal. I felt rejected. And if you had gotten laid off now because of the pandemic. And you're feeling that it's a logical thing, but yet you're, why are you reacting as if It's a personal thing.

Just know that that's completely normal and you know, don't, don't beat yourself up about it.

So I did give myself time to grieve and feel bad and feel sad and all that. And of course, I was worried for our finances. It helped that my husband was very supportive, but I felt the pressure to replace my income right away.

And that meant either finding a job right away or revising my site business and getting revenue going in there fast. So I, there are two areas that I worked on and I'm wondering now, I can't see who's watching now, but if you want to let me know which area you want to hear about first, because I do. The two areas that I worked on are, first of all, my mindset.

So that's the first one area. And the second area is of course. The practical side of finding a job, and I guess you could say those three separate areas.

So first of all was managing my mindset. Second, finding a new job, and third was reviving my business. So which area would you like to hear about first.
Which area would you like to hear about? First, do you want to hear about mindset? Finding a job or my online business? If you can type in the comments.

Now I know this a delay, so I'm going to wait a few seconds and take a sip of my coffee. My tea actually had to do while waiting.

Okay. If you don't have any particular preferences, I'm just going to have to take a guess and go first with the practical side of things, which is finding a job.
Does that make sense? Okay.

So the first thing that I did was I reached out to my networks. I reached out to my, the people I worked with in the past. I reached out to previous clients. I reached out to friends, just anybody who I think might be able to get me some leads. And you know, it was just a simple email.

Just letting them know that, Hey, this is a situation I've been, I've gotten laid off. This is what I do. And I wonder if you might know of anyone who might need my services or in jobs that I could apply for it. Just as simple as that. And you know, no pressure, right. I don't think that's a lot of pressure to the person receiving a message like that.

But that was the journey, the first step that I took in order to find these gain. So the second thing, not, the other thing that I did was I revived my side business. So big mistake that, I mean was that I made my employment, my sole source of income. I was just so wrapped up into my job that I had neglected my side business.

And my side business is freelance copywriting, content writing. I was doing affiliate marketing, I was doing, I was creating my own digital products and selling them online. And then when I got employed, I just let all of that go. So after I was laid off. All of that was then, you know, I had been maintaining my website.

I had been maintaining my email list. I was paying for my email service provider all those years, but actually not really doing anything. So when after I had gotten laid off and I wanted to revive that side of things, I was like pretty much then my email list. I had grown my email list to 4,000 subscribers, but because I hadn't been emailing them for months.

Really, most of those people, I had either forgotten me that most of them had forgotten me. They were no longer interested in what I had to say. Probably a lot of those email addresses were not even valid anymore.

So you know what, I cleaned up my list. I did a few emails and then if somebody wasn't responding anymore, whoever then open my emails in the last, I don't know what I did six months or whatever, I just took them out of my database. I deleted them from my mailing list, and it was, it was a bit scary, but I ended up with just like 800 people left.

But if you're looking at the numbers, it seems like, Oh my gosh, she likes you. Like you just threw away 3000 something, 3,200 email addresses, but you know what, the 800.

That's really all I needed because those are people had been opening my emails. So they were the ones who obviously were still interested in what I had to say. And at the same time, I cut my costs, the the, the fee that I was paying, my email service providers. So that was fine. And then I had to build up my list again, and I will tell you more on how I did that.

Later on, I updated my website, my website. Hadn't changed for years before that. So I updated it. I freshened it up, we did the copy, and I redid my service page and my, my, my rates, my professional rates, I actually increased my rates because I have had all of the, this extra experience, right? And all these new achievements that I accomplished in my previous job.

And. I knew that that made me more valuable, so I actually increased my rates. What else did they do? I joined a network of other online marketers too, just to see, you know, what's going on to get caught up in what's happening in online marketing. Also to make new connections. Of course, relationships.

And that allowed me to enter into collaborations with other online marketers like myself and together we helped each other to build our lists, and that's how I was able to go from 800 subscribers to what is it now? I think more than double, definitely at my 2000 subscribers maybe, but. I'm very quickly, I rebuilt, you know, started adding new subscribers to my email list through these collaborations and through networking and reconnecting with my contacts and the online marketing world.

And I started creating my own digital products again. I think I created, uh huh. Digital product in one weekend cause I had to make it on time for collaboration. I had a deadline and I was able to create a product in one weekend and start selling it, and I actually was able to sell a few hundred dollars worth of my digital products.

Now, I could not have done that if not for the collaboration that I did with other marketers. Because remember at the time, my email is practically dormant, so I couldn't have done that kind of a sale. Just with my own list of 800 people who had pretty much forgotten about me, forgotten about how they got on my list in the first place.

Okay. So what else did they do? Clean up this building nurture relationship and I started emailing regularly to my list again, and in fact, I started emailing quite frequently and several times a week at least. I also revive in my affiliate marketing. That's something that I really enjoy doing, promoting other people's products, products that I myself use and really love.

So the promotion read comes naturally because I'm not promoting something just for the commission and I'm promoting something that I truly believe in. That I think my audience will benefit from. And so some sharing that enthusiasm and love with them. And the rewarding part of it is that I know a lot of online marketers, especially the new online marketers, worry about emailing their subscribers too much or too often or promoting too often, but I was getting replies.

From my subscribers telling me, saying thank you that they're so appreciative of the fact that I let them know about a particular product or service because they like it too. They end up using it. Maybe wouldn't have discovered it if I had not told them about it. And so when I see messages like that, I know that I'm on the right track, that yes, I am promoting, yes, I'm getting commission out of this.

But at the same time, I am serving my market, serving my audience. And that's a key thing, by the way, if because of a job loss or income loss, you're thinking of starting your own online business, going online with your business, and also at a time like this, it can feel really weird. Maybe you might feel weird, uncomfortable about promoting yourself, promoting your products.

You might feel weird about selling at a time like this, but just remind yourself that you're not selling science. You're not selling snake oil. As long as you're not price gouging, it's completely okay sell to keep selling because people life goes on. It's life is not what It was for sure, but life goes on.

People continue to need stuff. People continue to want stuff. It might be different things than they used to buy, but people certainly are buying. So if you have something that can fulfill what they need, then you're being of service. You're serving them right. Don't deprive people.

Uh, what they need or what they want that you can provide just because you feel awkward about selling. There is a way to do it in a way that's a way to sell right now that's still empathetic and genuine and authentic. So if you ever feel awkward about marketing at a time like this, then just remind yourself that it's okay.

Do you have any questions for me?

So now let me talk about what I did to find a job.

And this might be something like, why am I talking about finding a job? Isn't it obvious to just look for open positions and apply for them? But actually I did something that's probably quite different than how you would normally approach looking for a job. And this is something I did not come up with myself.

I learned it from a job career expert. His name is Andrew Lacivita, I hope I'm saying that right, Andrew. . I found him a me too, and I started just consuming his videos and his free stuff, and that's where then he said that actually the first thing that you do when you're looking for a job is to create your wishlist.

So create a list of all the things that your ideal job would have. So in terms of. What will you be doing? What are you doing in that job? What tasks are you performing? What kind of people you're working with? Of course, what salary are you making? What is the work environment? Just everything that you can think of that you want in a job, and then you go back to your list and determine which of those things, which of the items in your list.

Are absolutely essential for you to be happy in that job. So, which are your must have items and which ones are nice to have, but wouldn't be a deal breaker. Or if you got offered a particular job and it didn't have X, Y, Z feature, you'd still be okay with that job.

So that list is what you use to help you to decide which jobs to apply for and which positions which job offers to accept.

And I made that list. When you're making that list, it's not as simple as it might sound because you're going to get a lot of mental baggage playing in your mind. Like you're, you're making a mess, and sometimes you hear this voice, it. Well, how dare you put that item on your list. You are not worthy of a job like that.

And that's pretty interesting. It's, it's, it's, uh, a journey into learning more about yourself, learning about the mental baggage's that you have. And I'm gonna talk more about that later on because that's actually the third area that I worked on. It's just, you know, just observe what comes up for you while you're working on that list.

Because self-awareness is. Really important anytime at any time. And it, you know, it's just interesting to see what men, emotional, mental advantages you have. So you go make your list and then look for jobs. That's just what I did. I looked for jobs. This is, I looked at job listings online. So I looked at remote jobs and also jobs that are office based.

And because I have my list, I knew that if I was going to work in an office again, it should not be more than a 15 minute drive away. And because of that list that I was able to find the job in three months after the first time that I got laid off. And it was a pretty good job. We did good. So the other thing to remember when you're applying for jobs is to tailor your applications.

And I'm sure that you've heard this advice before, right? Like don't just send generic job applications, but create applications that are specific to the job that you're applying for. And because of this, I created, like every time I applied it would, I would spend a good. Half hour at least. Sometimes more just preparing my job application, like tailoring my cover letter, tailoring my resume to the the position and this involved doing research about the company, looking at the website, checking out the people who's running that company and trying to figure out that, cool, cool.

This position would be reporting to go on. LinkedIn and see what I can about that person's background. Just so you know, first of all, is this the kind of company that I want to be working in and be associated with? Do they have a good product or do they have a good program? Because just because I need a job, like for sure I need the money, but also I wasn't at that point where I would just accept any job.

Right now, of course, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Sometimes, yes. If it came to that, I would be willing to, Mmm. Compromise on a lot of items on my list. If it came to the point where I just needed any job in order to feed my family. Now the thing about tailoring your resume to the position or creating your resume, updating your resume.

Is. It really gives you the opportunity to reflect on your strengths and your achievements because you're looking at the job requirements and you're seeing is there an alignment between what they're looking for and what I bring. So then you look at, yeah, previous work experience, you mind your, your skills.

You're training, right. And you shine the light on those areas that are appropriate to the position you're applying for. And what I've found is that because I was doing that so much, like for every job, for every position that I was applying for, it actually built up my confidence. It reminded me of a lot of things.

That I'd accomplished in the past that I may have forgotten, but because I was preparing this application, I was trying to find an alignment between what I have to and what they're looking for. I was able to bring up all of those things from my past, my strengths, my skills, my talents, my experience. The specific results that I've gotten for previous employers and clients.

And so even though I was getting a lot of rejections, if you're applying for jobs, just, you know, you gotta develop a thick skin. And that's, that's what happened to me. I was getting rejected so much that I just developed a thick skin and I got a sense. A real sense of what I was worth. And so even though I would get letters saying thank you for your application, but after looking, we decided that you're not a good fit for the job.

I really did not take it personally. What I was thinking of was, well, first of all, it's their loss, but more importantly. If it's not a good fit, then I really would rather know sooner at that level where I'm just applying rather than later and I'm already in the job and I'm miserable and employer's miserable and things can get very messy that way.

Right. So if after going through my cover letter, my resume, and I'm sure they're checking me out online. We're checking my website, probably Googling my name, reading all the articles that I published in the past. If after doing all that, they decide that this girl is not a good fit for us. I actually appreciate learning about that before I've invested more time pursuing my application.

Right. Because sometimes applications at several stages, again, several interviews and you might have a test. Project and so on. Before I do all that, I can find out this earliest possible that the fit isn't there, then that's good. That's good for me. I can save my time and energy going after jobs where there potentially is a better fit.

So again, if you know, if you're looking for a job right now and you're getting a lot of rejections. Do like make the effort not to take it personally. Don't think that it is a negative reflection on you. There's a lot of competition and you know, that's just what happens. But keep persevering, keep trying and try to keep an optimistic and hopeful attitude.

Which brings me to the third area that I worked on, which was my mindset. Now, for the longest time, I think ever since I started my home business, and this was in 2008 I been hearing a lot about your mindset, success, mindset, entrepreneur, mindset, whatever else you might call it, and. I'd always wanted to, Hey, I want that a success mindset.

I want that, but I have no idea how to develop it. And I came across a lot of law of attraction stuff, but I didn't think that was it. I didn't feel that just repeating, what's the term that they call it? Just repeating affirmations to myself. It. I'm successful. I'm like this. I like that. I didn't think that was it, that it had to be something else.

So fortunately because I hadn't had gotten laid off, I had a lot of time on my hands and I discovered the area of positive psychology and . That's what I, I really put a lot of time learning. Positive psychology, and I think that's where the success mindset, the first two I success mindset is a positive mindset because when you have a positive mindset, you're resilient, you're persistent, you're confident, you're optimistic.

And researchers have found is that people, for example, salespeople who have a positive attitude make more sales. Doctors who have this optimistic, positive mindset make better diagnosis, and what are CEO's who have a positive mindset make better decisions? So a positive mindset is a success mindset. So I did a lot of self-study, finding out how do I develop a positive mindset.

I read. Probably close to 10 books about positive psychology, and because of that, I learned how to respond to my negative emotions, find, feeling rejected. If I'm feeling sad, I'm feeling whatever, hopeless or anxious, worried, fearful, I knew the steps to take in order to respond to that respond not. Deny or reject or resist the negative feelings, but respond to them.

And I'm not sure if I have a video related to that, but yes, if you want to look into that, it's called the ABCD# approach. So that's like the most basic thing. Or look into Dr. Daniel Amen's ANTS, how to remove ANTS. ANTS is the abbreviation for automatic negative thoughts, I think. So. Dr. Daniel Amen also has like a very specific prescription for that.

And the other one is the ABCDE approach. So learning everything that as much as I could about positive psychology, I put together my own daily practice or my own journal with guide questions. And so, this is a journal where I just wrote whatever I wrote. I had specific guide questions and I wrote in my journal in the morning and in the evening, it takes some ages, five minutes or less.

In the morning and another five minutes or less in the evening. But that daily practice helped me keep positive. And then I really emphasize having a practice of gratitude. Just being grateful, recognizing all the blessings that were present and in my life and that I, I've been experiencing just.
Having really opening my eyes, two, the good things in my life instead of focusing on the negative. So those are the things that I did. Yeah. The area of taking care of my mindset. So what are the lessons that I learned? The first one is that really relationships. Are extremely, extremely important, and they are one of your greatest assets.

So at any time, it's especially a difficult time of, you know, losing your job or losing an income, or even just being stuck at home and having our lives turned upside down inside out and shaken all around is what I mean, what I call it. Our true assets at the same are, you know, our physical health, our mental wellbeing, and our relationships.

You know, material things can disappear. People can steal them, they can get destroyed, but nobody can take away your relationships. So take care of the people in your life and feel free. You know, reach out to them if you need help. I know that takes a lot of humility and courage because when you reach out, you're being very vulnerable.

You're opening yourself up to rejection, judgment, whatever else. But you know, you just got to overcome that and reach out for help for support. And. If you're the one who can provide help and support, again, be open to the people in your life who might be needing that right now. And don't be judgmental.

Just at the very least, listen, and even if there's nothing practical that you can do for them. So that's the first one. It's, you know, relationships are critical, so take care of the people in your life. The second is the importance really of taking care of your mindset. You know, take care of your mental wellbeing.

We are going through a very stressful time right now. Really there's no playbook for this. None of us have gone through it. Nobody really knows how to navigate. So do what you have to do to take care of you. Whatever, you know, helps you to stay calm and grounded. I forgot to mention that I prayed a lot during those times and, uh, I have to admit.

It takes something bad happening in my life for me to pray more. And when things are going great, the prayer tends to take a back seat. I, it's terrible. I know, but I have to admit that I do tend to do that. But, you know, it doesn't matter what your faith is, what religion you have. Goddess always waiting for us, and he is merciful.

Whatever it takes to get us to reach out to him. I think it's okay, even if it's because of our need. I did pray a lot, and that's part of the practices that helped me to take care of my mental health. So whatever you need to do, we're all stuck in the house. You might have people, members of the family that you're with 24 seven if you need time for peace and quiet and solitude and do carve out time and space for that, exercising, going outdoors if you can, if you are allowed to go outdoors, as long as you keep your distance from other people, do that because I found that to be very helpful to just taking a walk outside when it's, especially when the weather's good.

And spending time in nature. If you can't, at least, you know, maybe a look outside your window or however, like, do your best to do that and get exercise exercise regularly, you can exercise indoors. That's fine. Look for workouts on YouTube. That's what I've been doing. And, uh, make time for that. 

And I guess the last lesson probably is to really, you know, know what your worst, and as I said, if you have to sit down and reflect on your training, your experience, your skills, your interests, your passions, and just make a list of all the accomplishments that you've had in previous jobs and previous work with clients, and you'll see, wow, you can bring a lot to the table. 

That will really help you to be more confident at this time when you're needing to look or make your own opportunities. So that's all that I have for you. If you have any questions for me. Well, if you're watching right now, I can't see you as watching live.

If you're watching any other question, please, or even if you're watching a recording, type your question in the comments and I'll make sure to check back and respond. And let me know if, I hope this has been helpful at the very leas, to help you feel better and more hopeful and optimistic at this time.

Thank you for spending this time with me. Enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your week or your weekend if you're depending on when you're watching this, stay safe and healthy. Okay. Bye. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I earn a commission when you buy through the links on this page. While I only recommend products I myself use or have vetted, you should always do your due diligence before making any purchases. (Full Disclosure)


About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.