Job layoffs are increasing in frequency all across the country. Due to the poor economy, businesses in all industries need to reduce costs. Unfortunately, one of the most effective cost cutting measures is laying off valuable employees. You may be one of those employees.
Many laid off workers are given small severance packages, but no notices. They may arrive for work, work for two hours, and have a late morning meeting. After that meeting, they have one hour to clean out their offices or lockers and leave. On the other hand, you may be one of the lucky ones. Yes, you still got a layoff notice, but it is a pending layoff notice. You may still have a job for one month or one year, but the layoff is still coming.
Pending layoffs are different than immediate layoffs, so what should you do to prepare for them?
Estimate your unemployment. If you were laid off and do not have a second job, you should qualify for unemployment. Your state uses a specific formula to calculate your benefits. Find this formula on their website. Take your weekly unemployment benefits and create a monthly total. This is how much you have available to spend each month. If married or living with a romantic partner, add their income. This is now how much income your household as a whole has to survive on.
Determine if you can afford the basics. Unless you were already living above your means or had money management problems, you should be okay with the necessities. These include rent, mortgage, car payments, utility bills, food and so forth. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the cost of utilities and food. If your car is too expensive, sell and buy a cheaper one. If you cannot afford the cost of your mortgage or rent and do not anticipate finding a new job right away, consider moving to a cheaper house or apartment.
Track your expenses to eliminate unnecessary purchases. There is a difference between paying your monthly rent or mortgage payment and buying a cup of coffee from Starbucks once a day. To eliminate unnecessary purchases, you must first know what they are. Track your expenses for one or two weeks. Write down everything you buy. Then, look at the list. Eliminate anything you can do without or make cheaper alternatives for. For example, instead of buying a Starbucks coffee once a day, make your own coffee at home.
Put forth extra effort at work. You received a pending layoff notice. That notice said that in X amount of days, whether it be 90 days or 300, you will be without a job. This might cause most people to slack off at work. You should do the exact opposite. Layoff notices are not 100% guarantees. Something may change in that time. Other employees may opt to leave on their own, the company may see an increase in profits, or get financial help from the government. Layoffs are still likely, but the number laid off can easily go from 100 to 75. Would you like to be one of those 25 who kept their jobs? Put forth extra effort at work and you may be.
Look for new jobs. This is tricky, as you are still working. Fortunately, your employer handed you an official layoff notice. There will be no awkwardness when your current employer gets a call asking about your work history. They anticipate this. Feel free to apply for new jobs. In fact, you should. On that same note, keep your estimated unemployment benefits in mind. Don’t rush to find a lower paying job if your unemployment benefits will be more. If they are, take the time to find a steady and well-paying job.