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Out of a job, but not out of work

/ 04:01 AM August 18, 2021

Question: I have been told that I will be laid off from work due to our company’s poor business brought on by the pandemic. Do you have any advice on what I should be doing now to prepare for when I lose my job? Asked at “Ask a Friend, Ask Efren” free service at www.personalfinance.ph, SMS, Viber, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook

Answer: The first thing to do is to pray for divine guidance, and not to make it your last resort. When you make prayer your first act, you will see a whole world of options open up for you.

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I went through what you will soon be going through. During the Asian Financial Crisis, I lost my job. So, even before telling my wife about my impending job loss, I dialed 911 for help and said, “Lord, you know what is going to happen to me. At first, I was afraid. Now I’m petrified.”

Continuing on I said, “You know that we give a portion of our family income to you. We will persist in doing so first, cheerfully, faithfully, wisely and quietly and we will work as if there is no tomorrow. Bahala na.” Filipinos had changed the meaning of bahala na to come what may. But the original meaning is “bathala na,” which means I will do my best and God will do the rest.

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I was 47 years old when I lost my job. And try as I did, very few wanted to hire a relatively senior and costly person. I then recalled the lesson of ikigai (reason for living) and realized that I needed to focus on my passion and vocation. If I wanted to continue putting food on our family table, I needed to not just get a job but to do work that I did very well, I loved to do and what the world needed.

By the time I lost my job, I had written two books on financial planning. So, I said to myself, financial planning it is as I believed I was doing it well and loving the work. And did Filipinos at that time need financial planning? Most definitely.

It was not easy transitioning from being an employee for 27 years to suddenly being in business for myself. There were a lot of hits and misses and times when we would seemingly come to a cash crunch. But the good Lord would always send solutions our way, like the time I sent a marketing email to 2,000 human resources practitioners and got literally just one reply. But that one reply made all the difference as it was from a friend whom the Lord sent my way who simply taught me to come up with a short catchy email. And it was the second email that started it all.

But there is one thing that I realized I needed to bundle with my passion and vocation and that is the spirit of giving. Even before I made my money, I had to be open to people who were in need but who could not pay for my services. And there were a great many people I encountered along the way.

As it is written, “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Helping others is the only risk-free investment in the world. I have been a fund manager for a very long time, and I have never seen an investment that does not bear any risk. Even governments can default on the securities they issue.

Now I am not saying that you too should go into business. If there are opportunities for employment, then go for them. Just make sure you pray for divine guidance, follow your passion and vocation, and take on the spirit of giving. Hold fast to these things and you will also see brighter days.

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You may lose your job. But there is a world of opportunity for work waiting for you. INQ

Efren Ll. Cruz is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines, seasoned investment adviser, bestselling author of personal finance books in the Philippines. Become a Yaman Coach. For details, email [email protected] To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 91st RFP Program this August 2021. To inquire, email [email protected] or text at 0917-.6248110

Copyright 2021 Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written consent of the author.

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