At a time when jobs are being cut daily throughout North America, lots of people find themselves in a position that's new and more than slightly terrifying; without a job for perhaps the first time in their lives. Laid Off Camp is an outlet for those who have recently lost their jobs to network and share their terrifying campfire stories with one another, but more than that, it inspires the opportunity that comes with finally being without a job.
Laid Off Camp is based on a concept that I can whole heartedly advocate with my own history, after finding myself on a long-term career path that was sustainable, comfortable, and well-paying; but generally not for me. After a personal situation required me to vacate my last 9-5 corporate job, I took a step back to reevaluate the career path I was on and found the inspiration I needed to lay down my own entrepreneurial roots by way of a freelance writing/editing business. Proving that sometimes unemployment can breed opportunity and force us to look deeply at what we really want out of our careers.
This idea, that unemployment breeds opportunity, is exactly how Laid Off Camp founder Chris Hutchins established this unique networking opportunity for the unemployed and unconventionally employed. And, by creating a venue for the unemployed to share their tips and tricks about how to start a successful business and how to live on a shoestring budget before you get things off the ground, Hutchins hopes to inspire more people to make a fresh start, while making the best out of a bad situation.
While Laid Off Camp really isn't all campfires, smores and a whole lot of mosquito slapping, since the gatherings take place under the shelter of nightclubs and other event venues, it does bring people together who all have one thing in common; the desire to learn, share, and take control of their lives. Each topic session is guided with suggestion, but there are no formal presentations scheduled so that attendees have the opportunity to really relish the experience that everyone there brings. By attending Laid Off Camp, those who have been laid off, or those who have chosen less stable career paths can learn to budget, build a brand and market their businesses.
During the recession, when job stability is always uncertain, Laid Off Camp is well timed; after the economic uncertainty is behind us however, such gatherings might be less about business motivation and more about mutual lack of accomplishment, but we can ride out the positive unemployment influences for now!