The top five things to do if you get laid off

posted by Melissa Cappleman
June 9, 2009

Are you worried about getting laid off? There might not be much you can do about your job, but there are 5 things you can and should do to layoff-proof your finances and improve your chances at landing a new job faster.

  1. Don’t tap into your emergency fund just yet. Instead, continue saving as much as possible under the circumstances.  If you are paying off debt, temporarily stop paying more than the minimum payment. Put the rest into your emergency fund along with your severance pay, if you are given any. You will be able to get back on track with your debt repayment once the financial storm passes.
  2. Budget and cut your lifestyle to the bare minimum.  If it’s not basic food, shelter, utilities, clothing or transportation, consider it a luxury item. Put all the savings right into your emergency fund.
  3. If you had health insurance through your employer, see if you can find insurance that is less expensive than COBRA.  If you had term life insurance through your employer and you can afford the payment, shop for that as well.  Going without health insurance then having a medical emergency is the number one cause of bankruptcy. 
  4. Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile.  Tell everyone that you’re looking for your next career move (even if you are still employed).  Good old networking, whether online or offline is still the best way to get a job. Be sure to line up your references before you need them.
  5. File for unemployment insurance the day after your last day on the job.  If you’ve been laid off, you are definitely eligible.  Also, don’t be afraid to take part-time jobs while you’re landing your next position.  They will help to both steady your confidence through this transition and improve your bottom line. 
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