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10/7/07

Surviving Financially After You Have Been Laid Off

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, economic factors beyond your control cause a company to downsize. Sometimes, a merger or a buyout means that a company’s employees will be laid off. What do you do now?

For purposes of this article, we will assume that our fictional, laid off worker did not have any savings, or money set aside in order to “weather the storm,” so to speak. To tell somebody that has been laid off to tap into their savings assumes that the person has savings. One cannot give advice about what to do AFTER one has been laid off based on assumptions of what one should have done BEFORE one was laid off. Do you see the problem with that?

First and foremost, you cannot stay discouraged for long. Being discouraged makes you doubt yourself and, therefore, takes away your motivation to find a new career. If you are feeling discouraged, remember that statistics show that people now-a-days change career three or four times throughout their work lives.

At this point, you have to sit down and calculate your bills. Note what you have in your bank account and see how long (under a worse case scenario) that you could survive without working. Now take that timeframe and shorten it by two (2) weeks. Once you figure this out, you now know your deadline to find a new job. You shorten the timeframe by two weeks because that is how long it usually takes before you get a paycheck at your new job.

You may to get a part-time job in the mean time to cover any bills that you cannot afford while you are in between jobs. The part-time job should be easy to get and not interfere with your goal of getting a new, full-time career.

If things are taking longer than expected, you might want to consider cutting costs. Getting rid of some luxuries (eating out on the weekends, your morning latte at the coffee shop, expensive cable packages, etc.) will help reduce monthly expenses until you have your new career in hand.

If all else fails, start thinking about selling assets. This does not mean hold a garage sale. This means you might have to dump a car, some television or stereo equipment, or something else that when sold would actually have a positive financial impact.

Just remember that your main goal is to find a new career. Do not procrastinate and stay positive!


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