It’s been busy at work lately, and last week was one of the more stressful weeks I’ve had to deal with. To start, the new company I joined just recently announced layoffs for 10% of the workforce worldwide. Even though other co-workers and management reassured me that I was safe (afterall, I was just hired!), I still felt uneasy throughout last week.
The more I thought about the possibility of being unemployed, the more uneasy I became. At this stage of my career, I don’t expect to be close to early retirement. Still, just the thought of potentially being unemployed and not having a steady income stream coming in every two weeks had me a bit worried. I have enough in savings (emergency fund) to help me get through for awhile, so that wasn’t my main concern.
What really got to me was the thought of halting my progress of achieving early financial independence. The inability to save, invest on a regular basis, and the need to dip into the emergency fund overwhelmed me. With the way the economy is at the moment, who knows how long it would take to get re-hired? Also, who knows if I could command the same salary elsewhere?
Luckily, I survived the rounds of cuts, and am still employed. For that I am grateful. These next 3-5 years will probably be the prime earning years of my short career in high-tech, so I need to make the most of it. I need to maximize my savings!
Unfortunately, a few of my co-workers, in the same group, were terminated. Some were a bit older, with mortgages to pay, families to support, etc. I can only imagine how difficult things must be for them at the moment. Having gone through this experience makes me realize how much more I want to achieve early financial independence. I simply don’t want to have to depend on an employer… I don’t want to work in fear knowing that they can cut me at any given moment. No one should have so much power and control over my destiny. I want to control my life.