Quit or Get Fired?


At some point on the path of the performance improvement plan most of us face the question, “Should I stay or should I go?” or more appropriately in a PIP situation, should I quit or let them fire me. By the time an employee is on a PIP, typically management already had made the decision the rogue employee needs to go. That means, once you’re on a PIP, you are in a sense in enemy territory. Usually in life, it’s best to steer clear of where you’re unwanted.

Pride, respect, ego and a need to show management you’re not gonna take it anymore are all reasons to put in your two week notice, or even in dramatic flair to quit on the spot. Most of us have at least had the fantasy, “Here…take my laptop; I’m done…good luck boss”

So why not do this? You’re a self respecting professional. You don’t have to grovel. You are worth more. You can do better…can’t you?

It’s just….quitting is gonna shut off your income…so there’s that. But beyond that, it shuts off your right to receive unemployment. Don’t forget after you quit you’ve likely got:

1. Health Insurance
2. Rent or Mortgage
3. Eating
4. Cell phone/utlities
5. Home or renters insurance

These things aren’t easyily to shut off (although if you find a way let me know) if you want to keep living so best to keep whatever income you can coming in.

Another reason not to quit, is that when the writing is on the wall, it’s the ideal time to look for the next job. Companies are typically more interested in hiring people that are currenly working and you seem to have more salary negotiating leverage when you’re gainfully employed vs. spending your day’s Netflixing out by yourself and taking your loose change in for bills at your local Coinstar.

Relaxed earning

10 Innovative Ideas to Earn Money Without a Traditional Job

Breaking free from the conventional 9 to 5 job and generating income on your own terms is an achievable goal, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an effortless endeavor. For some, success may come easily due to luck or exceptional intelligence, while others may need to put in considerable time and effort. Regardless of your background, pursuing non-traditional sources of income requires dedication and patience.

One crucial step for many online ventures is setting up a website. To do this, you’ll need to choose a reliable web host like SiteGround or Big Scoots are recommended for WordPress hosting due to their fast servers, great reputation, and competitive pricing. WordPress, being a free and powerful content management system, enables you to effectively run a site, manage a blog, and maintain all related content.

Here are 10 innovative ideas to help you start generating non-traditional income:

1. Blogging

Blogging can be a lucrative way to generate income by driving traffic to your own site, earning advertising revenue, or making money through affiliate marketing. By creating valuable content that appeals to a specific audience, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and monetize your blog through various channels.

2. Freelancing

Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr offer an abundance of freelance opportunities across various fields, including writing, graphic design, programming, and marketing. Sign up for Fiverr and receive up to a $100 signup bonus to get started. As you build your portfolio and reputation, you’ll have the flexibility to choose projects that align with your skills and interests.

3. Tutoring

If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can offer your services as a tutor on platforms like Wyzant. Whether you’re teaching math, science, or a musical instrument, tutoring allows you to earn money while sharing your knowledge and helping others succeed.

4. Selling Stock Photos

If you have a passion for photography, you can earn royalties by selling your photos on sites like Shutterstock. As a contributor, you’ll receive a percentage of each sale, creating a passive income stream from your creative work.

5. Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate, either directly by purchasing properties or indirectly through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), can be a profitable venture. By buying rental properties or investing in commercial real estate, you can generate a steady income from rent payments and potentially benefit from property appreciation.

6. Creating YouTube Content

Establishing a YouTube channel and creating engaging content can lead to ad revenue, brand partnerships, or even drive traffic to your own site. As you grow your subscriber base and views, you’ll have more opportunities to monetize your channel and turn your passion into a steady income.

7. Teaching English Online

If you’re a native English speaker with a strong grasp of grammar and pronunciation, teaching English online can be a rewarding way to make money. Platforms like VIPKid, and Teach Away connect English teachers with students worldwide, offering flexible hours and competitive pay.

8. Participating in Market Research

Companies are always in search of consumer opinions to improve their products and services. By participating in market research, you can get paid for testing products and providing feedback. Sign up for platforms like Curion and Vindale Research to start earning money from your opinions.

9. Selling Handmade Products

If you’re a skilled artisan or craftsperson, consider selling your handmade products on platforms like Etsy or Handmade at Amazon. By showcasing your unique creations, you can reach a global audience and turn your hobby into a viable business.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a low-risk e-commerce business model that allows you to sell products without holding inventory. By partnering with a supplier and setting up an online store, you can market and sell products while the supplier handles fulfillment and shipping. Platforms like Shopify make it easy to set up a drop shipping store, allowing you to focus on marketing and customer service.


Earning money without a traditional job may seem challenging at first, but with dedication and perseverance, you can create your own path to financial independence. By exploring these ten innovative ideas, you can find the best fit for your skills and interests and start generating income on your own terms. As you embark on this journey, remember that patience and persistence are key to success in any venture. Embrace the challenges, learn from your experiences, and watch your non-traditional income sources grow over time.

flow chart plan

Behold: The Performance Improvement Plan!

Ok so where do we start here?   It’s my narcissistic self absorption that wants to me to say let’s start with my life story but I’ll hold off for now.   Let’s instead start out with the current situation summed up rather quickly.    As of today, I’m approximately four weeks into what has been described as a 60-day “Performance Improvement Plan” or PIP for short.

The reality of the situation though, more often then not, is that the PIP is simply a formality to eliminate an undesired employee


A PIP is most ironic of so many of the ridiculous corporate jargon the fill boardrooms of America.   Why ironic?  Well on it’s face, the PIP is a well intentioned effort to roll out a plan to improve performance of an employee that is currently struggling.   The reality of the situation though, more often then not, is that the PIP is simply a formality to eliminate an undesired employee by way of creating formal documentation to protect themselves in the event of a wrongful termination lawsuit.

It’s my understanding from various accounts of other terminated folks, that the reality underwear the stated performance issues is often starkly different.   An employee offended the wrong suit, failed to navigate the political waters correctly, or was simply canned because the company decided they could find  younger cheaper talent to accomplish the task.  All’s fair in love and war and business.

But I digress… So approximately four weeks ago I was put on a PIP.    The PIP detailed a laundry list of indiscretions I’ve committed., many of  which upon more careful examination and viewed from an objective lens weren’t really mistakes at all.  But objectivity isn’t what the PIP is about.     What the PIP is about is outlining page after page of hoops to jump through and how my every move will be carefully scrutinized for indiscretions and I’ll be having biweekly meetings to review and document my “progress”.

So the company perspective is I’ve made too many mistakes and it’s time for me to go.   If we dig a little deeper I offer what I think is a more accurate description.   A couple months ago we had a meeting to discuss improving “employee engagement”.  (another corporate euphemism).   At this meeting we were encouraged to meet as a team and discuss how we can improve our happiness and engagement towards work.

At this meeting, everyone on our team voiced a bit of their unhappiness with some policies and behaviors but I was a bit more vocal then others.  Vocal in a way that really exposed how poorly our manager was doing.  Let me detail this a bit as it will be cathartic to me.

You see as of this date, I still work as an analyst in the corporate offices of a billion dollar global retailing dinosaur.    After close to four years at this company, I’ve worked alongside and seen several other corporate employees that seem to enjoy common workplace perks that our team never gets.   I suppose this is whining but unfair treatment is something that grates at one after long enough time.  It seems to communicate something offensive to the person treated unfairly.   Managers receive a budget and there’s money in that budget to do lunch for your team at least every now and then but it was something that never happened for our team.   For some reason my company doesn’t even see fit to provide coffee or tea to employees.   Luckily water is provided free of charge for drinking and as of this writing it’s still free to flush the toilet and use toilet paper although about a year ago they locked the toilet paper down.

Being vocal about my manager not ever making use of the budget to treat the team I’m sure got back to him.  I’m sure it also got back to him how I highlighted the inconsistencies of how some team members were allowed to work from home after 6 months and other after a year or more even though the company policy states that employees can work from home after 30 days.

But anyways, I can only really speculate as to why I ended up on this most glorious PIP.  But what’s a little more concrete is that at this point, I’ve got about two weeks left before I’ll no longer be joining the daily grind.





Don’t Lose Your 401k Money. Do THIS Instead.

After you get fired, it’s going to be tempting just to kick back and relax for a while. The 9 to 5 weighs on your soul and after being terminated, your brain probably needs to unwind. It’s healthy to unwind a bit. But after a week or two of relaxation, travel, Netflix binging, or whatever else floats your boat, it’s time to think about what to do with the money in your 401k.  A rollover is likely the best option IMHO. (I hope you contributed to a 401k because if you didn’t, you’re probably missing out on free money but that’s another article.)

Now, I’m not a licensed financial adviser. Much to the contrary, I’m just a guy that has taken a deep interest in money and investing since the late 90’s but everything I’ve read would convey that with very few urgent exceptions, you should NOT take a withdrawal for personal use. Why? You’re going to have to pay an early withdrawal fee. Also, you’re going to have to pay income tax on this money. If you do this you’re going to see a significant portion of these funds disappear.

So what are your options? Here are the two most common.

Option 1:Do nothing. Leave it in your Employers Retirement Plan.

Move Money like a High Speed Train
If your current plan is taking fees, I’d move that money out with the quickness of a bullet train!

This might not be the worst option.  At least you shouldn’t get hit with an early withdrawal fee or have to pay income tax.  But that being said, there are reasons you may want to get that money out of your company’s retirement plan with the quickness. Your employer’s plan literally may be pick-pocketing you.

Your employer’s plan might not have great investment options.

A good traditional discount broker like Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab is likely to have a rich offering of investments to choose from.  And if you don’t want to manage your investment these days there’s great advisor managed  “robo-advisors” like Betterment, Wealthfront, or the quite interesting FREE automated investment advisor, M1 Finance  I may need to do a review of this free advisor. *Update:  I signed up for an M1 Account

Your Employer’s Plan Might Have High Expense Ratios in Their Funds.

In my humble opinion this is predatory and ought to be illegal.  Nuff said.

Your Employer’s Plan May be Pick-pocketing You.

My employers plan administered by Empower, actually charges your around $7 per quarter.  Why?   They say for “administrative costs”.   I’ve read somewhere that this is where companies get some of the money to do the match.  There are many brokers that won’t charge you $30 a year just to be a customer.   If your plan does this, get the money out.  But how?

Option 2: Roll it Over to a Better Home

If you’ve determined that you want to keep your money away from fees and administrative cost, consolidate multiple accounts, or just have more options, most likely rolling it over is a good choice.   So how?

The first step is going to be to establish the new account to roll it over to.   You can do your own research but being the investing enthusiast I am, I’ve found the best choices to be amongst the following:

  1. Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity.  Why? Ultra low-cost index fund and ETF’s.  No commissions on buying and selling Vanguard funds and ETF’s.
  2. Betterment, Wealthfront, or M1 Finance.  Why? Investments managed at a fair price by intelligent algorithms, to maintain your desired risk level.    This is great for when you want to automate your investment management.  I have an affiliate partnership with M1 Finance, so if you’re interested in signing up just click the graphic below.

Once you’ve established your account, you’re going to want to talk to your old plan and go through their (sometimes painful) process to start the rollover. Often your new broker can assist with this as they are happy to help you move the money into their custodianship and will take this as an opportunity to be of service and show your their customer service.  In my experience, Vanguard does well with this.

It’s actually kind of a funny feeling. It’s a bit like calling your ex girlfriend with your prettier new girlfriend on the phone and telling her that you need to come pick up your things. Sorry old retirement plan…I’m moving on.

M1 Finance

Disclosure:  I have an affiliate partnership with M1 Finance and may earn a commission on new signups over a certain threshold.