How to Survive a Layoff

It seems like everybody is talking about layoffs lately. Our national unemployment rate is already listed above 7% nationally and is expected to rise over the next year. Severance packages and unemployment benefits aren’t going to last forever. In the event that you do get laid off, you need a plan and a job. Start here.

Cut the “wants.” Trim the “needs.” Since most of us don’t have the recommended six – eight months worth of living expenses in the bank, now is the time to seriously consider what can be eliminated from our budget. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if this is a “want” or a “need.” Making these changes can turn a two to three month severance package into a three to four month investment in your next career.

Renegotiate. Take a long hard look at your monthly expenses and ask yourself some questions. Do you need to move? Can you spend less time on your cell phone? You’ll be surprised at the savings you can create from trimming the fat from your “lifestyle budget.” You’ll also be surprised at how many of the vendors that you purchase services and products from are willing to negotiate in this economy — especially when you’ve been laid off. Call them and see what can be done to lower your bill. If you have a mortgage, seek a loan modification immediately.

Reinvent yourself. You have strengths and unique abilities. Identify them clearly and find ways to apply them in different fields. When applying for a job, take the time to customize your resume to highlight these abilities and tailor them specifically for the job you are applying for.

Educate and innovate. Even if you haven’t been laid off, it is never a bad idea to increase your employment options by investing in your education. Alternatively, you may even consider hiring yourself by starting your own business. If you are fortunate enough to be in a cash flow position to pursue education or start a business, begin today! There are still financial aid/grant programs available to help you towards your goals.

Be hungry. The number one piece of advice that I can give you to make this time as effective and beneficial as possible is to be hungry. Hungry applicants network. Hungry applicants are open to new career paths. Hungry applicants are eager to learn. Hungry applicants pursue getting a job like it is a job.

Hungry applicants get hired.

If you have been laid off, what is your plan for your next job? If you are employed but were laid off tomorrow, what would be your next career path?

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