Wise have always said, “Life is a Challenge”.
And I too agree with this statement. Life is definitely a challenge. One simply cannot take out this element out of the whole gamut of life. As you might have seen yourself, Life puts before us various challenging situations.
One such prime challenging situation to face is a “JOB LOSS”.
At the outset, it looks a dreadful situation to find yourself out of a job. It is as if you have been drowned to death. Your job determines your financial well being. Your whole life gets disturbed when you find yourself out of a job. However, you still have to manage your life and the related expenses. Without a job, it becomes really difficult to sail your boat across the river of life.
Having said that, you have to take a mature stance to deal with the challenge of job loss. There is no point is taking a pessimistic view. A Job Loss doesn’t in any way means the end of the world for you. On the contrary, it might signal “A New Beginning” for you. You have to accept it bravely and find ways to come out of this financial and career crisis.
The challenge might be big, but you have to be bigger to take on the challenge head on. As a matter of fact, nowadays a job loss is considered a normal situation. With the economic crisis, it is not rare to face a job loss scenario. Just see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to say on this. According to its data, as much as 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the start of the (recent) recession.
So, if you are the one who has recently lost a job, it’s time to take on the challenge head on and set your finances in order. Here, I have come with tips which can help you to meet your financial obligations while you make your efforts to get back on your feet. These tips help you to take on the challenge posed by your job loss.
10 Financial Tips for Surviving a Job Loss
Tip #1: Do not Panic – First things first. You have to assure that you don’t panic when you lose your job. You have to realize that a job loss is not a strange thing which has only occurred to you. In fact, you should see your “job loss” as another fact of life. Just about everyone loses a job at some point of time during his or her career span.
You should have a positive outlook which helps you to propel forward in life. You should have a strong belief that you will come out of this challenging situation. It may even happen that you can eventually benefit from such a situation. You may find a better job. This is quite possible. Having said that, as a responsible person you should inform your family about the present state of affairs.
Your family should know that the family income has taken a hit for now which has a direct implication on the family expenditure. You should make every effort to seek the co-operation of your family members. All through this phase, you should demonstrate leadership skills as well as mental strength and assure your family members that everything will get back on track very soon.
Tip #2: Never Burn Any Bridges – A job loss means a frustrating situation for you. In the midst of such situation, you might lose your calm and go onto take out your frustration on your boss. However, you should ensure that you should remain calm throughout this entire phase. And there are obvious benefits that are lined up for you. So, you should never burn any bridges.
In fact, you should have amicable relations with your boss. When you have cordial relations with your boss, he may likely be a reference for your next job. He may even hire you for a part-time contract work. So, an embarrassing exit is not in your favor. Remember to take a recommendation letter from your former employer. Don’t shy to take help from your former employer be it in the form of skills-upgrading workshops, or it might even be in the form of getting classes on how to look for jobs.
As a matter of fact, you should adopt a professional approach throughout the process. Be remembered as a responsible worker. This would do lots of goods from your career point of view.
Tip #3: Take stock of your Finances – When you have lost your job, it’s very important to have stock of your finances. In fact, in such a situation you have to handle your finances with utmost care so that you do not spend any extra penny. So list your monthly expenses. Set up your survival budget and find out how long your emergency funds or savings would keep you afloat. In the other sense, it is like a time bomb which will explode as soon your savings expire.
So before it happens you have to get back on your track. So together with expenses you have to take stock of your savings and investments. The amount of savings will determine how much time you can take to find the right job for yourself. So when you are done with exact stock of your finances, your expenses and your overall savings, you can be more specific in your job search. Rather you come to know how much time you have to be able to search for the job that you are looking for. This gives you an opportunity to have a strategic approach in your job search activity.
Tip #4: Downsize – When you are out of job, less is always a better option for you. So start downsizing as soon as possible. So your living expenses need to go down drastically if you wish to manage your finances and hope to keep up-float in such times of the financial crisis such as a “job loss”. Downsizing is a formidable success formula when you are out of a job. So in times such as this, you should entirely stop using credit cards. Resort to cash only. Further up you should cancel all unnecessary and luxury services. Example might be use of Cable TV. You should also have to reduce your overall cell phone minutes. Then start using public mode of transport instead by driving from your own vehicle. You have to stop dining out and have to slash your fun budget too. Each penny you spent should be a conscious decision of yourself.
Tip #5: Apply for a New Job – A Job Loss could be only healed when you start applying for a new job right away. A new job is what you want, and it can only be had once you start applying for it. Having said that, you should also apply for government benefits such as unemployment allowance. This will ease the financial situation for you. With such financial aid, you can at least meet your necessary expenses. This will enable you to concentrate on finding an appropriate job for yourself. At this stage, you should make every effort to reassess your career progress. You should be able to determine whether you require taking any new course or education to further your career objectives.
Now, as you have the time you can readily carry on with your career development. Further up, you need to be flexible and creative in your job search. Schedule specific hours for job search and network widely. There are various job portals on which you can post your resume. You can choose job category and apply according to your skill-set, knowledge and interest. All this steps will help you in getting the right job for you.
Tip #6: Keep Intact Your Insurance and Retirement Accounts – A Job Loss can create panic in your mind and you can end up taking some nasty decisions that can be detrimental to your future financial planning. A Job Loss invariably creates a shortage of funds. However, this does not mean that you stop doing efforts on your future financial planning.
This does not mean that you have to buy a new insurance policy or have to invest in some new scheme. This only means that you have to safeguard the retirement accounts and insurance that you have for yourself. So don’t quit life insurance in the midst of a job loss. You should realize that this is a temporary phase, and you have to be intelligent enough to meet such a situation. Apart from this, you should keep paying for your home and auto policies. Your retirement savings are very crucial for your life, so don’t think of touching it.
Tip #7: Prioritize Your Bill Payments – A Job Loss means a drastic financial crunch. You are left with no other choice but to cut short your expenditures. So you need to intelligently spend your money. This means that you have to allocate your money in such a way so that you are able to pay off all your necessary bills. This in turn, requires you to prioritize your bill payment. You should have a viable bill payment strategy.
So if you have a line of creditors to pay, you need to start up with most important ones first. Thus, you should be clear with what bills you need to pay first. Prepare your bill payment list and rank them according to priority. Creditors are persistent but don’t sacrifice the important bills in order to make them happy. A viable and practical bill payment list according to priority can be your rent, followed by utility bills, food, insurance, and medicine.
Tip #8: Contact Your Creditors – You may feel awkward to contact your creditors in the midst of a job loss. However, it is in your own benefit. Telling your creditors that you have lost your job may help you to strike a deal with them. Your creditors may come up with an alternative and viable payment plan tailor made for you. They may also offer some minimum payment or a feasible settlement option. The creditors are likely to be more reasonable with you when you tell them upfront that you are at presently out of a job. So don’t wait to miss a payment to your creditors; instead call them and let them know that you are out of a job. Here, being proactive will help you a lot so don’t miss out calling your creditors.
Tip #9: Ask for Help – It may sound contrary to your self-respect, but it is not a bad idea to ask for help when you have lost your job. You may feel that people will consider you irresponsible, but actually it is not your fault at all. There can be various reasons for losing a job. You might have done your best, but eventually ended up losing your job. It’s not your fault, and you should not feel guilty for asking financial help. Believe me, there are some situations in life, when you cannot resist but take others help. So don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can ask help from one of your family members, friend or even the government. If you have maintained your credibility and integrity, believe me people will come forward and feel glad to help you in such a financial crisis.
Tip #10: Continue Your Job Search – Last but not the least; continue your job search. Make every effort necessary to find the most suitable job for you. Here, it is important to state that you should never compromise your aspirations and career objectives. So look for the best job for yourself. You should aspire to get back to work as soon as possible.