By Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady
The Value of a Backup Plan
Career Resilience is all about being ready to deal with what comes. Thinking through scenarios, or contingency planning, is one way to prepare for possible outcomes. By thinking through your next steps before you are in that situation, you can ensure that you are better prepared for whatever does come to pass.
After seven layoffs, I know the importance of ensuring my financial security. Here are my best practices for preparing for a possible job loss.
The Scenario: Unexpected Job Loss
What would you do if you went to work tomorrow and found out it was your last day at work? If you've never had this experience, this prospect might be almost unthinkable. Let's take a few minutes for you to think through how this change might impact your life. Here are a few key areas you would need to address.
Once you find out your job is ending, you'll need to figure out how to pay your bills without what may be your main income stream. You would need to find out about any final money you would receive from your employer, including your last paycheck, a vacation payout, and maybe even some kind of severance package. You would also need to explore other possible money you could access to pay for your main expenses until you could find a new job. This might include unemployment payments or your savings.
In addition, realize that your health care coverage might end with your job. You will need to determine how you will pay for any health-related costs. This could include switching to a family member's plan, finding and paying for other health care coverage, or determining how to handle possible health care costs outside of an insurance plan. Each of these options has a different price tag and level of risk.
Budget Questions To Ask Yourself
Ask yourself these questions about your current budget for your household:
Possible Contingency Planning Steps
hile all of these questions might seem big and scary to contemplate, remember you're not in that situation at this time. Right now is a good time to do some research and preliminary thinking on how you might manage each of these factors. Consider doing the following to help inform your contingency planning:
What Do You Think?
What questions do you think you need to focus on as you do your contingency planning? Share your thoughts in the comments.
7-time layoff survivor Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady, waxes poetic on layoffs, job transitions, & career resilience.