When you’ve been working at a job for a long time, you start to feel what most people would describe as job security. However, you’re only as secure as your company’s performance. When things start going downhill and there are cuts to be made, do you know what the first area of attack is?
We’ll tell you — personnel. Indeed, that means that the job that you thought was so secure can be gone in a heartbeat. For some people, losing a job isn’t a major event — many people can often see the writing on the wall, which means that it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to lose their livelihood. Having a savings account or a second income also helps, because then you’re not worried about how your family will eat tomorrow.
Unfortunately, there is still a large amount of people that truly aren’t ready to be fired from their jobs. So when it happens, they feel like there’s really no way out for them. They will have to beg the government for assistance, which is never enough to enjoy the lifestyle that you had.
Whether you’ve been fired for other actions that you may or may not be responsible for, or you have been laid off due to a change in the company’s economic futures, you will need to have a strong plan of making things right before it’s too late.
First and foremost, you will want to make sure that you’re as stable as you can be emotionally. You’ve been hit by a major life change, and that’s going to hurt. It’s going to affect you more if you have a family at home; because you will feel like there’s no way that you’ll be able to give your family everything that they deserve. You might even feel compelled to hide the information from them, leaving someone to figure out that you’re no longer working anymore at a very bad time. It’s better to come clean and ask for support than it would be to just assume that you’re not going to find any type of support waiting for you at home. It’s something that can really drag you down when you really think about it, but that doesn’t mean that it really has to be that way. It’s just better to come clean and actually talk about things instead of hiding them. Eventually, the truth of your job loss is going to become obvious, and your family will resent you for hiding something so important from them.
The next steps after you have admitted the problem to everyone is to immediately think about a plan to get back on your feet. This usually means getting some sort of budget in place, one that’s different from the budget that you might have had when everything was good. This means that you will need to cut back on all of the unnecessary expenses. It might seem cruel, but one of the things that really throw families off balance is the way that they spend. When things are good, it’s very tempting to spend a little more than you know you should. Mothers who bring their children to the grocery store know that they really shouldn’t let their children throw things into the cart that aren’t supposed to be there, but it’s hard to really deny your family anything at all. It’s better to really step back and think about the type of life that you want your family to have — and then work towards it. Yes, it’s going to be hard in the first few weeks to make sure that your family will survive.
If you do have savings, now is the best time to pull them out. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to attack your savings, because this will only make things worse. If you can actually get your savings out and have a plan to spend them wisely, you’ll be a lot better off.
However, if you’re like the many people across the country that really doesn’t save their money, you might not have any savings to speak of. Sure, there’s your retirement, but you really have to step back and think about whether or not you want to spend your retirement. It can be tempting to jump at your retirement account, but the truth is that you really might not want to. For example, if you think that the market will pick back up and you really do have a way of bringing more money quickly, then it might be better to go with the alternate income than to raid your retirement account. Once you take the money out, it will be hard to force yourself to put the money back in, let alone pay interest. Again, if you have to make the choice between your family starving and raiding your retirement account, then you definitely want to make sure that you raid the retirement account already. It’s really the best way to go.
From a career point of view, the worst thing that you could possibly do is just give up. That’s not saying that you shouldn’t take unemployment insurance or whatever is available for people that don’t have jobs anymore, but the last thing that you will want to do is just assume that there’s no future ahead of you. Bills will be due and there will still be things that need to get done. Instead of worrying and lamenting about these things, you will need to make sure that you keep moving your career forward. If you live in the shadow of a major city or directly within it, you should be able to benefit from many of the meet and greets that are done now for people that are looking for work. This is a good way to network and make sure that you still get your name out. If you have a little bit of money saved, you might want to go ahead and print out some business cards.
Don’t forget your local workforce commission center, because they will provide free career preparation services and even have local businesses come to do job fairs. This is also a good way to meet the local hiring force. You should make sure to dust out your old business causal clothes. If you don’t have clothes for success, you can always buy them used or even rent them for interviews. That way you still send a good message without having to shell out hundreds of dollars.
It can be difficult to balance all of the decisions that you will need to make and all of the points that you will have to consider when you’re out of work, but don’t give up — things can always change for the better!