A practical guide to preparing for job loss

A survival guide to getting through job loss!

One of the toughest things that can happen to us.

That call to say you are at risk of losing your job.

Times are tough right now, but there are ways to prepare for coming out on the other side.

That’s what this guide is all about. Making sure you can use the time you have to prepare for the change.

Having been there before, I wanted to share what works for me in the hope that it helps others.

Step 1 Finances:

***These are options available to you. But I’m no financial professional, this is not professional advice. Only options that are available for you to explore with a financial professional. Or the many free to use organizations like the citizen’s advice bureau***

Budget: You are going to have to make some adjustments to your spending habits. Go back through your last 3 months of bank statements and list everything. What doe’s your lifestyle cost you today.

Once you have worked that out, start cutting. Anything that’s not essential can go. This will give you a baseline of what it will cost you to live each month.

Be realistic, the more detail, time, and effort you put in here. The less stress you will have when your final day of employment comes around.

Severance: Once you know what it’s going to cost you to live, it’s important to know what you are getting in severance. You can tie this with any savings into your budget. This gives you an idea of how long you can sustain yourself.

You should also take some financial advice on your severance. You may need to pay tax on it and there may be ways to limit that.

Debt: This may be one of your highest expenses. Especially if you have a mortgage to take of. The good news is that there are several options here.

How many repayments do you have left on each debt? You may find that you only have a few payments left, you can factor that into your living costs going forward.

You are still employed today, so you may be able to re-finance and get a better deal with lower repayments.

If your payments are high but the amount to be repaid is low. It may make sense to pay that off with savings, allowing you to lower your living costs.

You may be able to get a payment holiday for up to 3 months on your debt. This is a last-ditch option because all it does it push your debt further down the road with higher repayments. Because the interest you missed paid back later on.

Cars, if you have a car or cars on a car loan, you may be able to return the car and walk away from the commitment. That can save you a fortune each month. After that, you can downgrade to a cheap secondhand option.

*** These are all valid options. But you should check the effect on your credit rating and financial position. Using an independent financial advisor before for advice***

Step 2 Job Options:

The job market might be crowded, but that’s not a disaster. Once you have your finances ready, you can accept a job with lower pay.

It’s easier to find work when you are already working, and it’s also a lot easier to pay the bills.

My personal choice is that if I will take any job I need to pay the bills and work for myself at the same time.

Getting ready for the job market is again all about the preparation.

Resume: You are going to need to stand out in the crowd. Use a template that’s simple and clear. Don’t focus too much on the details of your past job roles.

Focus on the skills you had to apply, the lessons you learned, and the highlights of what you achieved. If your severance package includes time with a resume or career coach, then take it.

You may also find coaches willing to help you on LinkedIn, for free or a very low rate.

Interview prep: This one is important. Sitting in front of people talking about yourself is not natural. Unless of course, you are a narcissist.

Getting your presentation down. Having a story about yourself and your career to present is important. Practicing question and answer with someone is important.

If you feel comfortable and confident in being interviewed. Then, you will come across as comfortable and confident. This is a big positive for you in those situations.

The backup plan: Especially if the job market is crowded, having a backup plan is important.

It could be that the backup plan is to move to another area where there is a need for people with your skills. Also, most of us have skills that we could use to make money for ourselves.

It could be anything from buying and selling, to driving or home decoration as examples. Anything that you can make money from.

In the current job market, I know quite a few people who have had to use their back up plan. They are making as much or more money than they did in their previous job.

Final thoughts

Losing a job and the security it gives us can be an upsetting and daunting experience.

But with some preparation and planning. It’s possible to turn that negative into a positive.

It’s hard to adapt to a new reality. But with some planning and a positive attitude, we can keep going through the hardest of times.

Take advantage of the time you get between notice and final severance. Use every tool your given and take good independent financial advice!


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