Mighty Bargain Hunter has a group writing project about preparing for, or dealing with, job loss.
So, I decided to take part with my 2 cents, or rather, my 15 tips 🙂
The first section is sort of buffer plan: how to lower your chances of getting laid off, and to lower your chances of getting hurt too badly if you are laid off. The second part deals with strategies for dealing with actually losing your job unexpectedly.
So without further ado…
5 tips to reduce the hurt of a lay-off:
- Try not to get laid off in the first place. This is not always possible to do (think Enron), but try your best. Work hard, contribute, and impress your bosses. Don’t be the Invisible Guy: he’s the first to feel the axe. Be the superstar whom everyone else is eyeing for their own company.
- Increase your knowledge. Remember, the best investment is an investment in you. Any way in which you improve your own value will help you down the road. Read a lot; stay updated on your industry, the economy, and the global scenario. Remember that learning never ends. Take advantage of as much company sponsored learning and growth opportunities as you can.
- Increase your network. Stay in touch with people, and meet new people. This point requires a whole post of its own, but the basics are: take as many opportunities as you can to meet people. Stay in touch, and be nice to them. Try to help anyone you can. Later, if you need a job, you can always ask these people if they know of anything.
- Have a side business. Diversify your income sources, so that a lay-off will not hurt you too badly. With home businesses and internet businesses a reality, you have few excuses for not having one of your own. Train yourself and invest time and effort in your business.
- Prepare a budget and stick to it. Prepare a contingency budget, and know how much you have in terms of emergency funds.
10 tips for dealing with unexpected job loss:
- Deal with your emotional issues first. It’s natural to feel anger at the company, and the top management who still receive all their perks; it’s normal to be scared of the future. You might find yourself dealing with a myriad of emotions. Do whatever you can to deal with them, instead of taking them out on others. If the company offers free counseling, take it; if necessary, pay for a counseling session yourself.
- Go through your contingency budget plan. If you don’t have one already, make one and try to stick to it. Allow for occasional indulgences, and reward yourself for any achievements.
- Think of ways to live frugally. There are so many tips and websites out there, that this should not be too difficult to learn about.
- Go through all the legal steps you have to. You may need to sign papers, give an exit interview, sign up for unemployment benefits, etc. Do them all calmly. Do not waive any rights without getting something in return.
- If you already have a side business, devote more time to it. If you don’t have one, start a side business which will earn some income for you.
- Develop yourself: learn more, take courses, read, pursue a hobby or interest which you haven’t had time for.
- Look for a new job: this is a d’oh action, but one which some people are reluctant to begin. That’s ok, break it into small steps. Start by looking for a job, then apply by sending your resume and contacting the relevant person. Give the interviews, and hope that you’ll get one that’s better than your previous job. On the other hand, if your side business does very well, you may want to devote all your attention to developing it into a more profitable income source.
- Remember all those people you networked with? If you’re looking for a job, now’s the time to give those guys a call. Mention clearly that you’re looking for a job, and ask if they know of any openings. Most people are happy to help.
- Ask for help if you need it. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, people who love you would help you out if you only asked. Be it a place to live for a few days, a small loan, editing your resume or helping you buy “interview clothes”, most people would like to help you out. Make sure you give them that chance, if you’d like them to.
- Finally, take a break. Now that you don’t have a job to stress about, take a mini-vacation. If you can’t afford to go anywhere, do some meditation and soul-searching. Make the most of the free time that you have.
I hope that you don’t get laid off. If you do, I hope that the guidelines are of some help. in the long run, change usually turns out to be a good thing, so don’t get too depressed if you’re fired. Everything works out, ultimately.