Let's face it: No matter how much of an effort you put in at the office, there may come a point when you find yourself on the wrong end of a layoff. Unfortunately, layoffs can happen to anyone, and sometimes, you can lose a job when you least expect it. However, these moves can make the weeks and months following a layoff far less stressful for you.
1. Have a resume at the ready
When you've been working for quite some time, it's easy enough to neglect your resume, especially if you're happy where you are and aren't actively looking for work. But you never know when you might suddenly lose your job and need to start searching, and that's why having an up-to-date resume is crucial. In the weeks after a layoff, you may not be in the best frame of mind to sit down and focus on a resume, so having yours ready can take one trying task off of your plate. Just as importantly, having that document geared up to go means you'll be able to jump on whatever immediate opportunities come your way.
2. Continuously network
One of the best ways to land a new job after a layoff is to have a business contact submit your resume for an opening. But it's not so easy to reach out to people you haven't spoken to in months, or even years, and ask for their help in finding a job. On the other hand, you should feel more than comfortable soliciting help from the people you speak to regularly, which is why networking should always be on your radar. It always helps to maintain close business relationships, and you never know when an associate might have an opportunity that saves you from an extended period of unemployment. So, make a list of your key contacts and be sure to reach out to them consistently while you're still employed.
3. Have a solid emergency fund
When you don't work, you don't make money, which is clearly a scenario that's not ideal. Having a fully loaded emergency fund, though, can spare you some of the stress that comes with wondering how on earth you're going to pay your bills in the absence of a job. A solid emergency fund is one with enough money to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses, and it should go without saying that if you hit the higher end of that range, you'll be in even better shape when your paycheck ceases to be. Not only will your emergency fund help you pay your bills, but it also might make your ensuing job search less stressful. After all, if you have the money to tide yourself over for a bit, you won't feel as compelled to take the first job offer that comes your way.
4. Lower your fixed living expenses
We all have expenses that come with wiggle room, such as groceries, clothing, and leisure. But then there are those expenses that are fixed from month to month, like our car payments and rent. The higher those are, the less flexibility you have to cut back if you do lose your job -- so if you keep those costs as low as possible, it'll put less of a strain on your limited resources when you find yourself out of work. Another thing to consider is that following a layoff, you may end up taking a job with a lower salary than you're used to, so if you keep your expenses to a minimum, you'll have an easier time adjusting to that new income.
There's no question about it: Getting laid off can be stressful on many levels. But if you prepare appropriately, you'll make a difficult time in your life just a bit less stressful.