Discover the Financial Principles of the Bible

Preparing For A Possible Layoff

2008 has been a year full of depressing headlines. Company failures, corruption scandals, stock market crashes and a declining economy have all affected each of us in one way or another. Recently, the headlines have been filled with layoff announcements. Of course company layoffs are not a recent phenomenon. In fact, employment losses started back in January 2008. Since then over 1.9 million workers have lost their jobs and unemployment rates have spiked to 6.7%. 

While it’s always sad to see companies laying off thousands of workers, the impact usually doesn’t strike home until it happens to you. The old saying is that when your friend or neighbor loses their job – we are in a recession, but when you lose your job – it’s a depression.  

Even if you have not yet been impacted by the current economic recession that is gripping our nation, you should certainly be preparing in case your job is impacted tomorrow. Economists are already predicting that unemployment rates could reach 10% by 2010. 

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Proverbs 22:3. 

There are already too many simple minded individuals that are continuing to live their lives in blissful ignorance to the serious threats that might soon impact both them and their families. So what should the prudent man be doing now? 

Set Your House In Order

While you still have a steady paycheck, you should take a serious look at your income and expenses. If you’re spending more than you’re currently making, then drastic changes need to be made immediately. Even if you are currently exercising good stewardship, it’s still a good time to evaluate how you could cut your expenses if things really get bad. 

If you’ve been following the Biblical principles of finance, you have also set aside enough money to sustain you for at least six months in case something catastrophic does happen. If you haven’t been setting aside an emergency fund, then you can’t afford to wait any longer. The next couple of years are not going to be the era of prosperity that we have grown accustomed to. No doubt millions of more workers will lose their jobs in the coming months and those that have a safety cushion will be much better prepared that those that have just continued in their free spending ways. 

Prepare A Resume

Writing a resume is generally not high on people’s list of fun things to do. It takes a lot of time and effort (and rightly so). That 1-2 page document has to contain the highlights of your working career and be enticing enough for employers to want to hire you. A resume should be written, rewritten and then polished some more. In fact, it should be an ever-evolving document. The serious job seeker may even want to tailor their resume for each job they apply for. That way you can better show how your experience and skills fit with the requirements of the job you are applying for. 

Find Job Opportunities

For individuals that haven’t changed jobs in a few years, you may not realize that a lot has changed in the job search process. If you are looking for job openings in the newspaper, you will be seriously disappointed to find that very few companies use newspapers any more to advertise jobs. Over the last decade, most job openings have shifted to being advertised on the internet. 

Finding a job on the internet can seem daunting, but it’s actually very simple if you know where to look. CareerBuilder and Monster are the two largest job boards and should definitely be one of your first stops. You also might check for a career specific website like Dice for technology professionals or eFinancialCareers if you are in finance. 

In addition, over the last couple of years a new type of job site has come on the scene called aggregators. Companies like Indeed and Simply Hired search thousands of job boards for you and then aggregate them all on their websites. This can be a huge timesaver. Even if you are currently employed, it’s still a good idea to check every few months to see who is hiring and what opportunities are out there. 

Alternate Income Sources

With the economy failing and fewer companies hiring workers, it may take several months for you to find a new job if you are laid off. Again, hopefully you have some savings set aside to help during this period, but if not you may need to look for additional sources of income. 

There is always part-time work and that doesn’t necessarily mean flipping burgers or serving up lattes. As companies downsize their staffing levels, many will find it necessary to bring on part-time contractors to help with the workload. Sometimes your former employer can be a great source of contracting work. In addition, there are several good websites that can help you land freelance jobs such as Guru.com, RentaCoder.com, and eLance.com. 

If you have ever considered starting your own business, now may be the perfect time. For one, you will have the time now to devote to your business endeavor. And secondly, many individuals end up using their severance payout as seed money to launch a business. It may be as simple as selling items on eBay or writing a blog about something that interests you. You would be surprised at how many million-dollar businesses have been started after their founder was laid off from his regular job.

 

So while there is little you can do to fix our ailing economy, you can’t simply ignore the risks that living and working in these economic times pose. No one wants to lose their job, but at the very least you can prepare for it and hopefully make it as painless as possible.

Filed in: Careers, Stewardship

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