Planning for unexpected job loss doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming.
Having a plan if you lost your job, got made redundant or found that you couldn’t work because of unexpected illness is smart, savvy and can save you a lot of unnecessary stress.
Countless organisations are feeling the impact of the Corona Virus outbreak impact businesses globally. The UK and US stock market for the first time since 2008 dipped to its lowest point and there is a massive risk of an economic downturn coming our way. The state of the economy is looking very uncertain with retail seeing a slow but steady demise. With social distancing, self isolation and working from home becoming the norm, now more than ever, unexpected job loss is a reality even those of us in permanent roles need to be prepared for. It is important to stay savvy to the signs and take action in case the worse should happen and you find yourself without the security of a regular income.
Planning for the unexpected can be done with enough thought and preparation.
Here are my 6 essential tips for planning the unexpected:
1. Check your mindset
Does the idea of unexpected job loss or change excite or scare you? Would you feel confident that you are employable? Do you know your worth? Would you confidently get the same salary, benefits in a new job? Are you even happy in your current job?
Ask yourself the tough questions. Be real with yourself and if you feel like you would be lost, unemployable or worse off in the event of losing your job then take action now.
2. Update your CV
Your CV is a working document. Just in the way you (hopefully) look after your car as you go, check the tyres, oil and give it a top up of fuel once in a while. Your CV should be a working document that is regularly updated with new roles, responsibilities and achievements as they happen. So when you need it, you can just focus on tweaking and tailoring rather than starting from scratch which can feel overwhelming.
3. Never stop learning
The more you know, the more there is to learn. If you know your job functionally inside out then I challenge you, how well do you know yourself? Whether you are learning about your trade or learning about yourself there is always some way to better yourself and your skillset. A growth mindset can be all the difference during times of uncertainty. It doesn’t have to be scary. Make it work for you.
Talk to your partner and/or family about what would happen if one/both of you lost your job. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen if you had to rely on a partner for a short time. Would they be willing? What about if you had to move back home? Can you? If not, is there a friend you can identify? Speak to them. Be pragmatic, have the discussion, so that IF the worst happens you are confident in your ability to act on the plan.
5. Stay connected
Set up and update your LinkedIn. If you love your job then even MORE reason to do so. Showcase your experience, build your internal brand, connect with everyone you work with and two levels above and below you. Request recommendations which are way easier to do when things are good and front of mind. So IF you find yourself looking you have a great profile that is already working for you.
Stay in touch with colleagues who have already moved on and previous managers who will endorse you. Your network is your net worth. In times of emergency the power of connecting with people can not only create amazing opportunities, but create a support system that gives you hope and gets you back on track faster.
6. Emergency fund
Create 3-6 months worth of savings that you do not touch. A minimum of 3 months rent/mortgage payments plus any contractual outgoings (i/e direct debits) is recommended. This fund should not come from credit/investments/stocks/ISA’s or property because with credit you still ultimately have to pay this back and the others are non-liquid, and can come with penalties if you need access fast.
With social distancing enforced, put money you might spent at the pub, restaurant or shopping into a pot. If you must shop, support local businesses, they need your support now more than ever.
Your emergency fund needs to be easy access, but untouchable remember. If you have a mortgage, get insurance and know the T&C’s in case of redundancy or illness.
A Monzo pot is a great example of creating an effective Emergency fund.