A long time ago, I had an online site, www.solocareer.com, devoted to helping people through the process of becoming self-employed. I was successful enough at generating publicity, that I was quoted in the article that I’ve linked to here.

That and $4.00 will get me a cup of coffee. But, except for the added capabilities that web-based marketing sites offer (blogs, networking sites, etc.), a lot of the things I wrote back then are applicable today.

Over the next few days, at least, I’ll be posting some selections from the free ebook that I wrote back then. I hope you like them.

Credit Card Companies

For anyone who’s interested, I spoke with two of my credit cards, Citi and Capital One.

Citi had what seemed to be the better program, a two-month “freeze” (no payments, no accrual of fees), and said I could call back if I didn’t have another job by then.

Capital One waived fees and finance charges for three months, but said that I needed  to continue to make minimum payments (which would come straight off the principal).

Free eBook

Here’s a somewhat fictionalized account of my efforts first of all to fit into a somewhat dysfunctional corporate world (at a previous company, back in 1996), and then my somewhat successful attempt to get out. (As Shrek might say, “better out than in, I always say”)

Breaking Free: The Quest

I called it “the quest” because, in many ways, it was my quest to get out of a pretty crazy company. It’s a true story, though as I noted in the beginning, some if not most of the names were changed to protect the innnocent.

Rites of Passage

Last Friday, in the morning, I was laid off from my job of four years; in the evening, I attended my son Zachary’s high school graduation.

Both events are rites of passage – in Zach’s case, it meant a transition from a fairly standard existence during his 12 years of public education into a somewhat uncertain life that will include work and college; in my case, the transition was a good deal more uncertain.

So I guess you could say that for me, on Friday, this economic downturn went from being a recession to being a depression. I’m not going to let it get me depressed, however. Even at the time when I was getting the bad news, I had reflexively let my (at that moment, former employers) know that I’ve spent a lot of my adult life as owner of a freelance business, and that I could continue to help the company on a contract basis, if need be. (That’s where the information came from in the “About” link.)

I used to say that freelancing was good, because you could have a bunch of employers, any one of whom could “let you go,” at any given time, and you’d still have (“a bunch minus one”) employers. So you’re still in business. When you have just one employer, as I’ve just recently had, when they let you go, you’re kind of hurting.

Anyway, this is not the first time I’ve been laid off; it is, however, the first time I’ve been laid off and have had access to a wonderful set of tools such as those provided by linked-in and also wordpress. We’ll see where it goes.