From Unemployment to Geoarbitrage | Rob from Getting Canned

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin bring you a truly optimistic outlook on getting fired. Rob from Getting Canned walks us through his story of losing his job at one of the worst times in history, in 2008 during The Great Recession.

Rob’s struggles lead to finding an amazing income source and international travel opportunity all in one. Rob moves to Taiwan where he would teach English for three years and make some fantastic memories while the economy recovered.

Tune in this week to see yet another showcase at how financial independence is possible for all.

Episode Summary

  • Recently lost his job after working there 4 years
  • He was placed on a performance improvement plan prior to getting fired
  • Started a blog to be a resource for people who had lost their job
  • Created a checklist of all the things to do when you find out you may be getting fired
  • He talks about filing for unemployment and rolling over your 401k as really important parts of the checklist
  • Had gotten fired in 2008 and went unemployed for 2 years
  • Decided to go to Taiwan to teach English
  • It was an amazing experience for him and feels that it’s a great option for “Barista Fire”
  • He was paid $20/hr working 20 hours per week
  • His first job actually came with free room and board
  • He stayed in Taiwan for 3 years with one 6 month break in between
  • 2008-2010, during his unemployment, he met a lot of frustrations with applying for jobs
  • He talks about how unemployment can prepare you for your FI lifestyle
  • He got in the best shape of his life during that period
  • Rob got the idea of moving to Asia to teach came from meeting someone randomly who had done it.
  • He considered Japan, China, and Taiwan
  • He did a Skype interview where he had to do a practice teaching session
  • The main requirements were to speak with an American accent and a college degree
  • He got a tourism VISA for 60 days that the employer then helped them change it to a work VISA which was good for a year
  • His first apartment was a studio in new and in a nice neighborhood for under $400/mo
  • He used their great public transportation system
  • The medical care was what he found to be the biggest savings
  • At one point he to go to the emergency room to get stitches with anesthesia was $30
  • He mentions the odd type of side jobs that are possible in those unique situations
  • One was being approached to be an actor in a short because he stood out so much in Taiwan
  • The primary language there is Chinese
  • He learned a little bit just to “survive”
  • He talks about how knowing English opens you up so much for travel
  • One certification he recommended was TEFL which helps with getting some of these jobs
  • He also recommends Upwork and Fiverr, and Wyzant as good resources for gig economy especially in times of unemployment
  • Rob also implores people to diversify their income streams and go through the thought process of what it would be like if you lost your job tomorrow

Key Takeaways

  1. Resourcefulness is a superpower: We see this all the time. Whether it’s keeping grocery bills low, finding free furniture, or finding work. Resourcefulness and flexibility are these amazing superpowers that make financial independence almost unstoppable.
  2. It is ok to ask for help: I thought it was really humbling to hear Rob talk about taking unemployment. It can feel like you have failed but everyone has moments that they need help and it’s likely you paid your fair share into programs like unemployment anyways.
  3. The world isn’t so scary: This is the biggest takeaway for sure. The world can seem massive and scary but if you can read this, then you probably know English and as English speakers, we often take for granted just how accessible this world is to us. Rob barely learned any of the language and still survived just fine. He worked there for several years and even made a trip to the ER. So what’s stopping you from stepping out into some unfamiliar territory?

Call to Action

 Consider what it would be like if you were fired tomorrow and create a game plan.

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Links from the Episode

Dave’s ESL Cafe

Upwork, Fiverr, and Wyzant

Getting Fired Checklist

International TEFL academy with location and earning matrix

Contact Rob:

Getting Canned

Twitter: @GettingCanned


Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)

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