When friends or family members get laid off, it’s difficult to see them struggle to get back on their feet. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee job security – even in the best of times. So, here are a few things you can do now to prepare yourself in case of an unexpected layoff.
Focus on Networking. It’s never too late – or too soon – to start networking with your peers and other professionals. You don’t have to be looking for a job to build relationships, so get out there and reconnect with old friends and co-workers while also getting to know new people. If you’re laid off from your job, you’ll be able to quickly and easily turn to your network for support and job leads.
Cut Extra Spending. Make an effort to cut your spending and increase your savings by determining if each purchase you’re about to make is truly a “need” or a “want.” Avoid spending extra money on “wants” right now, and instead put that money into savings. Your co-workers can probably empathize with you as you cut back spending, so don’t be afraid to decline an invitation for lunch or happy hour with your co-workers. If you’re unable to find a job immediately after a layoff, you’ll be glad you saved some extra cash to make it through the tough times.
Create a Budget. Whether or not you anticipate a layoff, create a budget you could follow with a reduced or eliminated salary. Write down every expense you have and how much each one costs. Then, select several things to cut immediately and some you could cut later, if you become unemployed. Consider cutting back on items like eating out, entertainment, and clothing. Keep track of your daily expenditures to make sure you’re sticking to your budget, and then save or invest what you have left. You might also want to visit with a financial advisor to create a personalized financial strategy.
Clean Up Your Files. Clean up your computer files if you manage personal documents on your work computer, such as pictures, e-mails, and other downloads. Save the files you need to a CD or e-mail them to your personal computer. Then delete those unnecessary documents from your work computer. When you begin collecting your portfolio items, be sure that you’re only taking copies of acceptable documents, such as public newsletters you wrote or graphics you designed. Make sure to leave behind company documents that don’t belong to you.
Set Doctor Appointments. If you’re covered by a company health care plan, schedule all of your regular doctor appointments and refill all of your prescriptions. Ask about three-month prescriptions and preventative medication so you can be prepared in case your insurance costs increase or coverage stops.
If you’re uncertain about job security, some things to prepare for might be obvious, like updating your résumé and viewing online job boards. Focusing on these five things can increase your confidence and ease your stress because you’ll be better prepared if you face an unexpected layoff. Remember, as important as preparing is, don’t forget to stay positive and remain focused on your tasks and projects at work.