You have a hunch that layoffs are on the horizon. Recently, a few co-workers were laid off, and you fear you’re next. The company has been suffering for quite some time. And unfortunately, you know it’s only a matter of time before they let you know that you’re losing your job too.
If you’re feeling the panic settle in (and rightfully so), don’t freak out just yet. There are some steps you can take when you get laid off and before that point as well.
Getting your finances in order is critical no matter what stage you are in, so start strategizing right away. Here are some ideas on how to get your ducks in a row so you can weather the storm until you find a new job.
1. Figure Out How Much You Need to Survive
We know it’s nice getting a Starbucks coffee every day. But now that you’re likely losing your job, you may want to think otherwise.
From here on out, you should think twice before buying an expensive drink. Instead, focus on making a list of what your must-haves are, and no, that won’t include a Starbucks coffee.
Your list will include, however, essential items such as food, toiletries, and of course, your bills. Figuring out your bare-bones budget will tell you what you’ll need to stay afloat.
Side Note: It’s often helpful to consult with friends and family who have lost their job before. They may have suggestions on what steps to take. Plus, there’s always good financial advice on the web for you to soak up and learn!
So, if you feel you’ll get laid off soon, start making wise decisions now. If you wait too long, you may not have all the necessary funds you need (unless you have a lot saved up). Even then, it’s still vital to stay within your bare-bones budget.
2. Take Advantage of Your Benefits
Now, we’re not suggesting taking advantage of a company that is already hurting. But as an employee, you are entitled to the benefits that come along with your position. But, if you’re concerned, consult with your HR department.
Your current job may offer health and dental insurance. And you know what that means. If you’ve been putting off getting a teeth cleaning and yearly check-up with your doctor, you better hop to it!
Other options include 401K matching and severance pay. If they offer severance pay, do some calculations. Your math will help you figure out whether severance pay or any other benefits can keep you going until you pick up more work.
3. Get on the Phone With Lenders
A big concern you might have is whether you’ll be able to afford monthly payments for debts you owe.
If this is something you’re worried about, get on the phone with lenders. You may have the option to defer student loans or transfer credit card debt, for example. If there’s a zero-interest credit card you can move the debt to, that’ll help you accrue less debt.
A few other ideas are looking into refinancing. And, it would help if you also inquired about a potential payment reduction plan. Lenders are usually willing to work with people who explain their current situation.
If you hit a dead-end, don’t get discouraged. Continue to be proactive until you find a solution.
The longer you delay coming up with a debt plan, the more money you’ll owe. So the fact that you’re researching ideas now will make things easier when you get laid off.
Bonus: Look for a Side Hustle
You may be working full-time, so it’s hard to find a new job just yet. But even if you’re applying for work right now, have you considered looking for side hustles?
Is there something you’re good at that you put on the back burner because you’ve been focused on your career? If so, now’s the time to resurrect that skillset!
For example, if you’re a talented photographer who used to take professional photos, why not give that a shot? (Pun intended.) Not only can it bring in extra money when you need it the most, but it’ll be fun!
Who knows — this side hustle could even become a full-time job!
It’s a scary time when you’re about to lose your job, but do your best to keep your cool.
Even if you don’t feel prepared, making a plan of action with your finances. Seeing everything laid out should help you feel better. And being clear on the current status of all your funds will guide you on which steps to take next.
If things look depressing, remind yourself that this is only temporary. Do everything possible to stay afloat and apply for work. Pretty soon, getting laid off will only be an afterthought!