How Getting Laid Off & Going into Debt Changed Our Lives for the Better / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


How Getting Laid Off & Going into Debt Changed Our Lives for the Better

In July 2016 my boyfriend got laid off from his work at a marketing agency. It came out of the blue. I remember being at a corporate event for my work at the time; we'd done some volunteering at a community garden & were getting lunch as a team. I was laughing with a couple of my closest coworkers over a beer when Fred texted me, "I was let go at work."

The giggles stopped. Mine at least. My coworker looked at me, slightly concerned.

"Fred got laid off," I mouthed. I didn't want everyone at the table to hear the news. She put her hand on my arm & said, "It'll be okay."

Fred applied to jobs every day. Every single day. He got responses. He got callbacks. He got interviews. He even got a few mediocre offers. After 6 months of not finding anything that was a good fit, he felt dejected. 

Although he didn't have income coming in, he still had bills to pay. I helped whenever I could but eventually, he drained his savings cushion. Then he went a couple thousand dollars into debt. 

Laid off.

Those aren't positive words.

It wasn't a positive time. 

But we continued.

In January 2017, he stopped sending resumes to open job positions. Instead, he began sending out pitches to work as a freelance writer. 

He got one client. 

He wrote.

He got paid!

He slowly started paying off the debt. 

He kept sending pitches. 

He kept getting clients. 

He kept paying off the debt. 

In July 2017, after six months of working for himself, Fred made more money per month than he made at his agency job, or any job for that matter. After six months of working for himself, he paid off his debt. After six months of working for himself, he began saving money. 

I saw his growth. Not only did his funds grow, but more importantly, his confidence grew, his happiness, his knowledge. He inspired me. I quit my job in June 2017 to blog & coach full-time.

But I had my layoffs as well. I actually got laid off twice from two different jobs in just over a year. I was six months into my very first social media job, when they called us in for a team meeting: the company was disbanding & we had two weeks. I was devastated. I enjoy my coworkers. I enjoyed my bosses. I enjoyed my job.

After a couple months of unemployment, I found a new job working for a nutraceutical company. I just returned home from a vacation when I received. "No need to come in." I was actually a 1099 freelance contractor but I still went to office every day. I later found out that the owner sold the company.

It's devastating to get laid off because you feel like it's your fault, like you weren't good enough to keep on the team.

Fast forward to 2018. We're basically coworkers, each working on our own ventures whilst still supporting & empowering the other. It's not easy. We work more than ever before, but it's so much more rewarding. The days go by quickly because we LIKE what we do. Because we like what we do, it doesn't seem like a chore to work. We're learning how to work better together, how to support each other without stepping on toes, how to love one another as we grow as human beings & entrepreneurs. It's been quite a journey.

But getting laid off & going into debt changed our lives for the better. If we didn't have that giant kick in the ass, who knows how long Fred & I would've stayed at our jobs? I'm grateful for it every day.

Why? Because it's Wednesday at 11:47 a.m. & I'm writing this post in a coffee shop in Carlsbad, California. Fred is next to me typing away on his laptop. We're both working. It's technically winter but the temperature is 71 °F. Because I earned money as I sipped on my coffee. Because I LOVE my job, something I hadn't felt in a couple of years.

So, if you're going through something right now, if you feel dispirited too, keep pushing through. You're in a tunnel right now. You know how it seems like there's no way out? There... See that? It's the light. Keep walking & working toward it. You'll get there. :]

What did you think of this post?  Leave me a comment! Tell me about your "tunnel" moment!


  1. Reading how you and Fred managed to jump back after these experiences is so inspiring! It's so great to hear that you two managed to overcome these obstacles and are much happier now.


  2. this motivates me so much! I am basically you pre June 2017. Well done to the both of you!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  3. Sometimes being let go are blessings in disguise!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  4. Your story is inspiring and gives hope to those who feel like they have no hope in terms of debt and saving etc. I can only say thanks for sharing your story. And all the very best too.

  5. Wow. Were neighbors -- I live inland. It totally caught my eye that you said a coffee shop in Carlsbad and I immediately thought of the starbucks right there in the village -- but that is so awesome how you turned that into such a blessing.

  6. Rosemary ChristineJanuary 29, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    Sometimes a big life change is what you need to take a leap of faith. I love that you don't have a cushion to fall back on at that point. So great that he made it work!

  7. Change can be scary but it's great that your bf was able to turn the negative into a positive.

  8. I love the consistent attitudes you had to succeed though. It's all too easy to be drug down in this crazy economy but if you work at it hard enough and long enough, things will change. Glad to hear you all made it there!

  9. Am happy it worked out for you. Another thing getting laid off teaches you is frugality- a habit that should stick on nevertheless. Less should be more.


Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲


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