Did You Lose Your Job? Start Your Own Online Business

by The Smarter Wallet on April 23, 2009

Cope with job loss by starting your own online business!

Did You Lose Your Job? Don’t Despair!

I quite liked this story of a guy who lost his job in November of last year. This fellow named Carlos Gil, a 25 year old regional sales manager for an AIG subsidiary found himself unemployed as a casualty of the financial meltdown of recent months. So he goes searching for a job online like so many others who have been laid off or who have decided to return to work due to economic hardships. In so doing, he determined that there was a lot of demand for job search sites, and has thus decided to fill this need and launch an online business called JobsDirectUSA. It has 10,000 members and charges $12.49 a month for employers to post their job positions.

jobs, job board
New job board called JobsDirectUSA

Now what’s interesting about this story is that it doesn’t stop there. It seems like a few people who have been laid off have found it worth their while to turn their predicament around by helping others with finding jobs to match their skills — ironically enough, by starting their own job boards. There’s also Joseph Shieh who 5 years ago, became unemployed and decided to start 50statejobs.com. Now it has 50,000 members and is doing well as an established job site. Nice to read here that he makes more money now running this business than he did at his previous job working at a health insurance company. His business model doesn’t seem like the model followed by most traditional job boards since his business earns bucks through affiliate programs (where he gets a commission through online sales), thereby allowing his site to remain a free service for job hunters and hiring managers alike.

find a job, job search site
Job board called Jux-Ta-Pose

And what about Maro Onokpise who also started his own job site — this time, one with a social networking element. He was laid off twice last year, got sick of his situation and took matters into his own hands by developing his site called jux-ta-pose.com. His business model is more traditional as it requires job posters to pay $50 to keep an ad on the site for a month.

Unemployed? Start Your Own Online Business

So it looks like a lot of people have found a way to turn unemployment into something financially rewarding. I like how these stories show us the silver lining in losing one’s job — for those who are unemployed, the event of a job loss can make you more resourceful and can give you the opportunity to review alternative opportunities that you may not have bothered considering if you are employed. The only downside I see here is this: because of all the jobs shed over the last few years, job boards appear to be the “project du jour” (or “online business idea du jour”) and may quickly become part of a saturated market that could dry up once the economy recovers.

As for me, I did something similar to what the gentlemen profiled above have done. I left my job voluntarily a little over a year ago for health reasons. I had started blogging as a hobby some time ago, but after I left my job, I began to cultivate my online projects more seriously. Today, I now make more than I used to make in my previous 9-to-5 job.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. You just have to head towards that door!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tom April 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Opening a business takes time to grow.
Your income will take a while to match what you were making at the job.
Can your business be a success?
You still need a job in order to survive while building the business.
Starting a business is not for everyone, if it was we would all be doing it.

2 Carlos Gil April 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write about my story and what I am trying to do to stimulate jobs in this crazy economy.

– Carlos Gil

3 Meaghan April 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Starting your own business definitely has advantages. It requires a lot of time and effort, but ultimately it is worth it!

4 Mike Quinn April 26, 2009 at 4:32 am

The Carlos Gil story is inspiring to meand I am sure many others. Way to go Carlos!

5 James May 7, 2009 at 2:57 am

I think that’s the key is figuring out how to eat while in the start-up phase of the business! But if you can get through the build-up phase definitely worth it! How many people just use that as an excuse to not try??

6 Anand May 27, 2009 at 6:50 am

Hi there,

I have a similar idea to start my own business by starting a job site called applyandgo.co.uk . but i need to spend a lot of money to start and market the site to get customers to the site.

If you know which is the best way to kick start the launching of this site to make it become popular it would be great.

The site is still under construction.

So i am already working to promote the site by gathering information.


7 Cate September 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

I have been forced to leave my job due to a work restriction and I have plunged into writing online and selling Scentsy fulltime. I am happier staying home with the kids. You can be miserable working hard to not starve at a job you hate or happy barely making it with a job you love. Building up the business and working long hours at home beats abuse at a job.

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