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Preparing for Unemployment


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Preparing for Unemployment


In these uncertain times, no one should think that their Job or Career is completely stable or reliable. Large Corporations across America are filing Bankruptcy at unprecedented rates, outsourcing Labor to Third World nations, and dismissing seasoned employees to hire cheaper replacements to cut labor costs. Some are corrupt from within, falsifying Earnings and Profit Reports to Stockholders as well as the Internal Revenue Service, even stealing from their employees pension funds, cutting benefits and even lowering wages to try to become more profitable. Smaller Businesses find it harder to compete with ever increasing labor costs, workers compensation cost, and rising fuel prices and supplies, and other challenges such as illegal immigrant labor competition and shortages of skilled labor who can or will work for affordable wages.


Economists suggest that each family have a savings accumulated to cover your living expenses for 3 to 6 months, which would hopefully give you time to find another job, and keep your househhold running. However, for most of us, we are not prepared, as it takes all of the paycheck to meet our monthly obligations.


Below you will find some tips and information to help you recover. As with any disaster, the better prepared you are, the easier you will survive the challenge and recover with as little disruption as possible.


1) Pay attention to rumors, and watch Local and National News. Sometimes you might hear about your Employer's financial problems or potential cutbacks before layoffs happen. You might hear they could start reducing the work force, and other employee benefits to cut costs. National News might cover your Industries challenges and potential problems, such as outsourced labor, or a flood in the market for their product. Don't think the cutbacks won't affect you, the vested and seasoned emploees are often among the first to go, due to higher employment costs, your title or rank won't necessarily save your job.


A) If you are concerned, start saving as much money as you possibly can. You can save money in several ways such as cooking from scratch, brown bagging your lunch, cut any unnecessary expenses such as extra phone services, cable TV etc. There are many Web sites available full of information on saving money. Build a pantry to ensure you will have enough food on hand in emergency situations.

B) Consider reducing or elimination 401k or other retirement allocations, if you feel job loss could be eminent, and you do not have sufficient savings on hand.

C) You might consider refinancing your Mortgage or other Consumer debt to get smaller payments, better interest rates etc. while you still qualify for financing. You might not be able to qualify for a loan without your job, as proof of employment is often required to qualify for a loan.

D) Consider brushing up on your skills or perhaps taking evening classes if needed, this will give you an advantage if you are suddenly out in the market for a new job.

E) If you have excellent health coverage provided for by your employer, go ahead and have any dental or medical checkups or procedures you might have been putting off, before you loose that benefit. Stock up on prescriptions if this will save you money later.

F) Start posting your updated Resume' discreetly, and networking. You might want to get an early start before the rest of you co-employees are out there looking for jobs too.


2) If you loose your job, DON'T DELAY IN FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION. This benefit has been paid for by your employer and has been part your "wages and benefit package."


A) Consider COBRA benefits, ask your employer about this, DON'T DELAY IN MAKING THIS DECISION, AS TIME IS OF ESSENSE.

B) Promptly and carefully READ any 401k or other retirement information you receive. This may affect your taxes. Get help with the forms if you don't understand what you are signing.

C) Don't delay your job search by taking a nice vacation first. Your vacation might turn out to be longer than you anticipated, with todays job market.

D) Be prepared to accept a lesser paying job, and perhaps a second job, if your financial cushion won't support a longer job search. You can still continue to search for your "Dream Job," but at least you and your family will continue to eat in the mean time.

E) Keep a positive attitude and appearance. A good attitude will benefit you and your family. Update your image if needed, pay attention to details in your appearance.

F) If you don't have a large savings, pay minimum payments only on your credit card. If your carrying a balance on them, this isn't the time to put ANY "extra" money on the balance. It is EXTREMELY important to keep your payments current, as any late payments could affect future credit availabiltiy that you may need, as well as could affect potential job opportunities.

G) If you have problems with making payments, contact your creditor before your payment is past due. Explain your situation, as well as your payment plans. You might be surprised at their willingness to work with you.

H) Search the Web for Job Opportunities, Classified Ads, and talk to people wherever you go. If you mention to someone you are looking for a job in ________ field, they might know someone who is looking for someone like you.


3) Live a normal life. Don't get depressed and shut yourself in, or be embarrased, this happens to the best of us at times. Life is more than money, or what you do for a living. Sometimes new opportunities are found, and your life will be better than ever. Think outside the box. Just because you have experience in that field, or have always worked at a particular job, this just might be the chance of a lifetime to do something new and exciting that can make you love your job again!!

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