Today I will be writing about job loss. It’s not a cool or happy post, but usually is needed. I want to discuss what you can do to prepare for unemployment in today’s job market, or any market for that matter. Also talking about what you can do today, even if you are currently employed to help you if you ever actually lose your job. And we discuss some things that may help you get a job once unemployed.
If you are currently unemployed or just recently was told that you will be losing your job, there are some things to get in order. The ironic thing is, they are the same exact things that I recommend you do while employed. Don’t wait till crunch time to do these things.
Get your resumes together. I am not going to teach you how to build one, but you do need to learn the way to build one. Everyone will tell you not to add ALL of your skills to your resumes. I actually say that they are wrong. It is really a technicality that I am bringing up. You should display all your skills in different snapshots geared to different occupations. You should have at least these three resumes together, or you will miss out on 90% of opportunities out there. They are:
A technical resume: If you are in a technical or engineering field, this one will be easy to cover. You need any of the day to day aspects of your job. Do you use any special equipment that is extremely important? Are you proficient at any important software in whatever your field is? Is there something that you are unnaturally proficient at that will place you above the rest? This is the nuts and bolts of your job, with a very rare mention of your management and marketing skills. You want to be seen at the “can-fix-it-all” prospect.
A management or supervisory resume: You aren’t really worried about the technical or sales here, but you may briefly mention it so that it highlights quickly that you have a technical past. But, what you really want to highlight here is your leadership experience. Training others, Improving employee dynamics, teamwork, team dynamics, understanding cost analysis and how to reduce costs, quality controls, and other company aspects are all the types of things you need to show that you are thinking about. Can you create or build a team from scratch? Can you cultivate the team environment to create success within the team that you are handed?
A sales and marketing resume: As with the other two, we will add just a small blurb to show that we have some management and technical experience. A lot of technical people that travel to jobsites are also very good sales people in a technical environment. This is usually a good start. You need to show that you understand some sales dynamics, and basic human interraction. Do you know how to cultivate inter-relational conversations, or promote the synergy of doing business a certain way. I don’t like these terms, but some employers dig it. You really need to show that you are an out-of-the-box thinker that can bring something fresh and awesome to the company. How will you help them.
You may not be especially strong in one of these, but it never hurts to visit your skillsets in these different aspects of the job market. If you are lacking in a sales background, but are really wanting a job in that career path, then you may have to get creative, as with any of the other fields.
If you are looking for a job, why are you asking people if they are hiring? Why aren’t you thinking of better questions, like, “What department, or division are you having problems with right now, that I can help you with?” Questions like this prove that you think different, and could be a valuable asset. IF you really show that you are a dynamic thinker that has alot of mental capacity, with great relational abilities (not me, ha) then they may even create a spot for you.
I have sat down in the interview process both as an interviewee and an interviewer. I have heard all of the conversations that happen behind closed doors. In my current field, I know that we will not hire technically sound douchebags, nor will we hire someone that is a great fit at the company that has no technical background.
If you are missing a quality that we are looking for, and you find out during your FOLLOW UP CALL (that YOU should be initiating) then maybe you can ask to be an uncompensated intern for a short period of time to prove yourself. If you are truly that good, it should be no problem to you to have to prove yourself.
So, even before you lose a job, you should have the resumes that I discussed written out, even for promotion within your company. Be ready. Oh, and YOU ARE NOT TOO GOOD FOR ANY JOB. That is what is wrong with people today. We all think that we are too good for that job, but I promise you, ALL other things being equal, I will hire the person that took the job that noone else wants, just to get off of unemployment and to provide for his family until he can find a career. Just understand that HOW you explain things is just about as important as the fact that you did something.
Enough of the job search aspect. What else do we need to do? The great thing about this post and most things in prepping it the fact that almost EVERYTHING can be done proactively, or in reaction. Now I always opt for proactive if given the choice.
You need to have a store of funds. We need a good six months to cover our current expenses. The six moths supply is a great number, because if you are at all intelligent, and do the other suggested items, you may be able to extend it out to 9 months or a year WITHOUT A JOB. So save up six months worth required to cover all expenses.
Along with this, you need to cut your spending. This is even more important and urgent when you have already gotten laid off. You may need to get rid of cable, or the extra ellaborate cell phone, or the extra number of cell phones. You may need to get rid of that Netflix or Hulu Account (streaming movies and TV shows). You want to have all your expenses reduced.
Along with reducing expenses, is reducing your debt. You need to get your debt paid off. This is an unecessary expense that is taking from your other bills and savings that is doing nothing from you except draining a little blood every time your financial heart pumps it. Get rid of it, because it is two-fold beneficial.
If you ar in a job loss though, if there is something that will have to be kept unpaid, then credit cards are probably that. You need to focus on keeping your house or apartment, basic utilities, and keeping food on the table. Everything else is fat, and needs to be cut out. It sucks to not pay something, but alot of times, if you are open and communicate with the companies, they will give you a grace period, or even hold your debt at little to no interest without reporting to credit bereaus.
Proactivly, if you get rid of debt and expenses, you free up more for saving and prepping. At this time you can actually save money to buy the cool gadgets outright and not be making financially rediculous decisions.
Let’s say you pay off credit cards and now you have extra money that you can either save or pay on your current home. You will end up saving enough for a down payment, and transition from that house to a smaller home (maybe a tiny house, even) that is more economic freeing up more funds. There are many ways to reduce spending and raise savings.
Are you storing up food like I have mentioned many times? If you have a year of food and 6 months expenses saved up, you can weather a job loss for quite some time. It kinda takes the shock, surprise, emotion, and urgency out of the situation. This take the worry out, so you can stop, step back, assess the situation, and act on your assessment.
Did I mention unemployment? Get on it right away if you lose your job. It isn’t welfare. Unemployment is for people that have worked and payed a certain amount of contribution into the unemployment system in the form of taxes. I don’t agree with forced inclusion in an unemployment system, but the fact that I am paying into it, and have no choice to pay for it, then I would use it to help my transition to a new occupation. Welfare is legal mooching or a communistic redistribution of wealth to the lazy, unemployment is a transition account for someone to get another job.
So, before you even lose your job, and hopefully you won’t, you need to get rid of debt and expenses, save more, and have all your resumes together. Once you actually do lose it, do the same, maybe more drastically, and get unemployment. Then go out and get a job. Be creative in the way you try to get it.
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