13 Steps to Preparing for a Layoff

by Gary Foreman

Steps to Preparing for a Layoff photo

Everyone should be prepared for a layoff, regardless of which industry you work in. These steps will guide you in financially preparing for a layoff from your job.

editor’s note: This page is a step-by-step process to help you prepare for or survive a layoff. Please don’t just read it quickly and think that you know the topic. It’s important to consider your circumstances and make the necessary changes. Naturally, we hope that none of our visitors suffer a layoff. But, we’re also wise enough to recognize that’s not likely. So we offer these steps to help you in preparing for a layoff and surviving a challenging time.

1. Don’t deny the truth. You could be facing a layoff.

Denying the danger to your income will not make the problem go away. Facing the truth gives you a better chance to be prepared for whatever the future may hold.

2. Make yourself too valuable to layoff.

As companies go through layoffs those employees that remain need to be capable of handling more than one job. Look for opportunities to learn new tasks at work.

3. Take classes to learn new skills.

Many fields are developing new ways of doing things. Unless you continue your eduction you’ll be left behind. It may mean taking some classes from your professional organization. Or a trade school. Or you might even need to take some college classes. Even if the new skills don’t help you avoid a layoff, they’ll make it easier to find the next job.

4. Evaluate how hard it would be to survive a layoff financially.

Will you be eligible for unemployment? How much would you get and for how long? You’ll find information regarding the state pages covering unemployment here: How to Claim Unemployment Benefits.

5. Stockpile non-perishables.

Fill your pantry before a layoff. You’ll find more information about stocking your pantry here.

6. Refuse to take on new debt.

Now is not the time to buy a new car or take an expensive vacation. Even if you could afford the payments today, they’ll become a problem if you lose your paycheck.

7. Pay off debts.

Especially credit card debt. Squeeze your expenses or find new sources of income. Use that money to pay down your debts. Check your credit cards to make sure that you’re the lowest interest rates possible. That will make it easier to pay them off. Compare credit cards to find a lower rate card.

8. Build a savings cushion.

Having a few dollars stashed away is important when you’re facing a layoff. Start a savings program today.

9. Evaluate how hard it will be to find a new job if you’re the victim of a layoff.

Are there employers looking for your skills? Or will you find it necessary to change your career path? Do a little research on job sites such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.

10. Prepare a resume.

The best time to prepare a resume is before you’re a layoff victim. Here are some tips for writing a job-winning resume.

11. Seek a new job now before you you get caught in a layoff.

Use your network to find out about job opportunities. It’s always easier to find a job when you already have one.

12. Medical Insurance during a layoff.

You’ll need to make choices as to what type of medical insurance you need. No one answer is best for all situations.

13. Remember that there is life after a layoff.

Many people even turn a negative into a positive. Take a look at this woman’s story on surviving 5 years of job losses.

A layoff can happen to just about anyone. But preparing for a layoff now can make things much easier later if it does happen to you and your family.

Reviewed June 2020

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About the Author

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, Credit.com and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

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