Job loss is such a scary thing to think about. As Christians, we're supposed to "be anxious for nothing," and boy, is that easier said than done. However we are still responsible to tame our minds, on a daily basis, and give our fears to God in prayer; to let go of them, and put them away, as many times as they come to mind.
However, I don't believe that means we just live by the seat of our pants, and expect God to rescue us when we're irresponsible. Thankfully, because of His grace and mercy He may choose to do this, but the Bible also says, "Let everything be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14:40).
I could be wrong, but I've always taken this to mean to take steps to be wise, prepared and organized. Now lest you think I've arrived in this area, let me assure you, no, I haven't, but I do continually strive to plan ahead for potential possibilities.
Being prepared for an unexpected job loss is a smart thing in my book. Experience has taught me that many companies nowadays frequently change ownership, have layoffs, or shut down completely, and some jobs or people are cut immediately without warning. If this were to happen to your family or mine, I'd like us to be prepared with a plan in place, that may make it a bit easier to endure.
Here are 10 things we can do ahead of time to be more prepared for this circumstance.
- Keep your resume up to date and enhanced for submitting online (I thought this was a good article on optimizing a resume for online). Also LinkedIn is a networking tool that many use for their employment information, and to make connections with others that could be useful when you're looking for a job. Helpful Link: 13 Ways You Can Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Get Your Dream Job
- Make and Stick to a Budget-- If you have no idea how much you're spending, or where your money is going, you are going to be so much worse off if you or your spouse loses your job.
- Keep a list of expenses you can cut if you have to. Have a rock bottom budget with just the things you would have to pay for during a lean time. This could mean cutting things like cable, eating out, clothes shopping, specialty food items, gym memberships...
- Don't burn bridges with people, keep your options open for future needs. While you should be kind to those you work with anyway, be thoughtful and respectful of others in the workforce that you come into contact with. You may never know when they might be able to help you.
- Save up an emergency fund, and pay off credit cards and vehicles as quickly as you can. Dave Ramsey is a well known financial advisor to check out with lots of advice on this subject.
- If you and your spouse both work, you could try living on one income, and saving the rest. When I got pregnant with our first child, although I worked up until a few weeks before his birth, we lived on just my husband's income so we could get used to one income, since I planned on staying home with my son after he was born.
- Stay up to date with what's new in your current field with reading, training...Learn a trade or skill on the side to expand your options in the event of a job loss.
- Keep a list of valuable things you would be willing to sell, if the need for extra cash arose, or you could sell things now if you need the money to build up an emergency fund. Things like furniture, a second vehicle, antiques or jewelry...
- Be aware of company policies regarding severance pay and health care. Helpful link: A newly unemployed person's guide to severance pay
- Research state and federal resources that may be available to you after a job loss, such as health insurance, unemployment and job training. Helpful article: Government Help for Job Loss
Once you've prepared yourself, then you need to rest in the fact that God is in control, and that He will never leave you.
Matthew 6:25-26 (KJV)
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
God will take care of us, and give us wisdom to direct the paths we should take, if we seek Him. He doesn't promise to provide all of our wants, but He does promise to supply all of our needs.
Disclaimer: I'm not a professional job or unemployment counselor, so this isn't meant to replace professional advice, but simply to get you thinking to what you and your family can do to be more prepared.
In your personal experience, what would you add to this list?