When I was in the workforce, I kept my resume updated–always. It didn’t matter if I was happy with my job or not. I wanted to be ready in case there was a better job–or the unthinkable happened.
In today’s changing workforce, jobs are downsized, reformulated, and sometimes eliminated all together. The idea of staying with the same company all your life is something from a different generation, so you have to stay on your toes.
Whether you lose a job or change jobs here are some things to consider before you cross that ocean.
• Keep your resume updated.
• Network. I mean really network. Strengthen your relationships with coworkers, people from other departments, people who have left for other jobs, as well as salespeople and vendors for your company. Believe me. They are gold.
• If you’ve lost your job, tell everyone you know you’re looking for a new position.
• If you’re changing jobs, be descreet. Your boss might not appreciate you canvassing for a new job while you’re on the job.
• If your job looks like it’s on shaky legs, go at once to your doctor and get any medical or lab work done before you lose your health insurance. Same goes for vision or dental. Be upfront with your doctor about your imminent job loss. S/he might be able to increase your prescription order or give you free samples to hold you over.
• By the way, unless they’ve changed the policy, the company can’t fire you if you’re sick or out on disability. They’ll wait until you walk back in the door.
• If you haven’t already started your emergency fund, do that now. Go here for tips on how to Grow an Emergency Fund. If you lose your job suddenly, that emergency fund becomes a lifesaver.
• While you’re at your job, create a Contacts List with names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the people you work with, including and especially managers. Keep a running list of vendors too. Vendors come into contact with a lot of other companies in your industry. They’re good people to know.
• Always stay on good terms with your boss. You’re going to need a good reference.
• Run your resume past someone with a good grasp of business writing. Their input could help sharpen your resume.
• If you’ve lost your job suddenly, immediately cancel all subscriptions including cable. Keep your internet. You’ll need that, but if you have a free wifi nearby you might be able to go without it.
• Eat out of your pantry. Now is not the time to be picky.
• Look for ways to cut down on your rent or mortgage. If it looks like a long siege of unemployment, consider taking a roommate, or selling your home and downsizing.
• Spend only what is absolutely necessary. You don’t know how long you could be unemployed.
• Do odd jobs to keep some income coming in while you’re job hunting. If you’re handy, I suggest joining NextDoor. It’s a community web site. I’m always seeing posts looking for handy people, caretakers, and drivers.
• When you’re jobless, any job will do until you can get back into your industry.
• Don’t lose your friends. This is when you need them most. Remember though, that as much as they might love you, you cannot expect them to sympathize forever. Ask them for referrals or to sniff out any potential jobs at their companies.
Have you ever lost your job or jumped ship for another position? Did you do anything ahead of time to prepare?