There is no question; today’s job market is a nerve-wracking place. Even people who are still employed have valid concerns about layoffs, salary cuts, and benefit reductions. When the worst happens and you lose a job in this economy, it can take longer than usual to find a new job to replace your salary.
It makes sense to think about ways to protect yourself from the potential financial and emotional strain of losing your job. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, it will be important to reduce the negative impact and build toward your future as soon as possible.
#1 Have a Backup Plan
The fear of losing your job when you don’t have any alternatives lined up can be paralyzing. Planning for life without your current job can feel a little bit like planning for your own funeral — you don’t want to think about it until it is too late to prepare for it. No matter how secure you feel your current position is, it’s difficult to know what will happen in this unstable economy. It is a good idea to sit down and create a plan of action that you can use if your job suddenly disappears. Approach your plan realistically with solutions that will work in a worst-case scenario. List your alternative resources for money, and think about ways to reinforce those resources before you need them.
#2 Increase Your Savings
A healthy savings account is your first defense when it comes to easing your mind about job loss. Most experts agree that you should save enough money to cover at least a full year of living without a steady salary. In the current economic climate, you may want to save even more to cover expenses if your job search takes longer than expected. Putting away an extra $20 or $50 every month can make a big difference over the course of a year, and it will be comforting to know that your savings will sustain you if you become unemployed.
#3 Research Ways to Bring in Additional Income
Another way to bring in a little extra security to your bank account is to earn a little money on the side. Think of things you are good at and create opportunities to earn some cash. Anyone with good writing skills, computer programming skills, graphic design experience, or marketing knowledge can earn money through freelance work during his or her spare time. There are several online forums that connect freelancers with clients who need services. Freelancing is flexible enough to fit around your current work schedule, and you can choose to work as little or as much as you like depending on the demand for your skill set.
#4 Start Your Own Business
If you are especially nervous about losing your job, you could build your own business. While you are still employed, set aside some time to create a business plan for your new company. When you are ready to launch your own business, you can leave your current job instead of waiting to be laid off. When you own your company, your job security rests solely upon your job performance. You might have more work to do, such as marketing and bookkeeping, but you will have the power to create your future on your own.
#5 Go Back to School
Additional training can make you more valuable to your employer. Think about taking a few community college courses or finishing an additional certificate program that would enhance your skills at your current job. If your job security can’t be increased through additional training, maybe you are ready to begin working toward a new career path. For example, the job market in health-related fields is growing exponentially due to the large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age. Earning a certificate or degree in a new field may give you a better chance of finding more stable employment.
#6 Avoid Taking Your Fears to Work
An important thing to remember is to keep your fears to yourself while you are at work. You might have the urge to meet with your supervisor to make sure your job is secure. If your company is struggling, your supervisor might not be able to discuss the problems with you at this point. Your worries will probably only serve as notice to your supervisor of possible fears and rumors in the workforce which could impact the morale and productivity of the staff. With regard to the overall atmosphere of your workplace, you could cause more harm than good with your inquiry.