I Got Laid Off – 5 Tips On How To Survive
If you haven’t been laid off you probably know someone who has. Even I was laid off many years ago. It happens. There is no such thing as job security or employer loyalty when it comes down to the bottom line.
Before I get too far into this I recommend this article “Live Like You Lost Your Job“, it is best to plan and live like you lost your job prior to losing your job. In case you are not living that way already.
When I was laid off, I was told I was “bench marked.” To me whatever they called it meant I was out of work. Sure it happened to me many years ago but the effects of losing a job are the same whether it happened years ago or yesterday. Fear sets in, you ask yourself “how will I pay my bills?” “How will I take care of my family?” Here are things you can do to help you survive a layoff, if you happen to receive a pink slip.
1. Figure Out Your Minimum Monthly Expenses
Focus on the four walls first, housing, utilities, food, transportation. You must have these things to live and these things must continue to be paid. You will find when you focus on solely on the bare minimum how little you really need to live. You will also see how much you have been wasting and living above your means. You are in survival mode. When Tom Hanks was stranded on an island in Cast Away he learned quickly that he could survive on very little. You are no different.
Cut back on anything that isn’t required to sustain life, big things and little things. Cut back on cable, eating out, newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Think about selling an expensive car and downsizing to a lower cost paid off car. If you are financially supporting adult children with car payments, insurance, etc, stop now. They are adults time to act like it, they can get a job and begin to survive on their own. When you are done cutting, go back and review again, I guarantee you will find more to cut.
You must figure out your bare minimum expenses so you know the bare minimum about of income that you need while in “survival mode.”
If you have unsecured debt like credit cards, they get the very bare minimum payments. Living expenses are the priority.
2. Emergency Fund
You must put money in an emergency fund, take money from your severance, sell stuff on Ebay, get a part-time job, find any legal way to make money, you need to get some money saved up. Remember live like you were stranded on an island, live on very little and all the rest put into savings. You must store up some money reserves you don’t know how long you will be without a job.
3. If you are laid off on Monday start looking for a job on Tuesday
That means losing your job isn’t a “vacation” you don’t get to take a day off to grieve. I know so many people who lose their job and totally give up, living off there severance and unemployment and only start to panic about finding a job when all the financial reserves are depleted. Wrong! If you are out of a paying job, your full time job is finding a job.
4. Network – Talk To Friends
Don’t be shy, ask friends or former co-workers to contact their contacts to see if there are openings somewhere. Ask friends to refer you to openings they know about. Be a ninja, you are in survival mode and you need a job…NOW. It is probably obvious to say but be sure you don’t burn any bridges from your last employer, from any employer. You never know when you will need their help in the future…which is now.
5. Nothing is beneath you take a job that pays less
Some people don’t want to sacrifice income, or they are unwilling to take a job because they think it is beneath them. You cannot afford to be without income for a year just because you don’t want to take a job below the income you were making. Personally, I believe you should take any job just to keep money coming in. It would help if the filler job was something that will allow you to continue your job search, so that filler job maybe at night so you can job hunt during the day.
Seek God and His wisdom. Wisdom is one of those things that He promises to give when we ask. Be diligent to do your part, but keep trusting Him and stay encouraged! God will never put you in a situation you can not handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13 CEV