The last few years have been full of rounds of job cuts across the board. In nearly every industry, in every experience level and in every age group. Chances are that you know someone who has laid off from a position in the last few years, and if you don't personally, you know someone who does. The same may be said of people who are actively looking for a new job: recent graduates, laid off employees, and underemployed people. You most likely know some of these people as well.
In the past some people worked at one job for their entire careers, but now even sectors where people settle in for the long haul are not seen as stable. This blog is not to push you into a panic, so that you are constantly worried about secure your job is or that you should constantly be looking for a new job. Instead, it is to help you realize that you should set up your finances so that you can handle being laid off in the future. It's a matter of taking financial responsibility now and planning so that when you need to find a new job, you will not be as stressed out, since you have money set aside and a plan in place.
The first step is to work on getting out of debt. Set up a monthly budget and stick to you. Stop using your credit cards and take on home and car debt carefully only when you know you can truly handle the payments. When you are working on getting out of debt put between $1,000 to $2,000 in an emergency fund to use to cover things like car repairs and other emergencies.
Once you have your debt under control you should work on building up an emergency fund of at least six months of your income. This money will stay in the bank, and you can use it to supplement any unemployment and severance packages you qualify for. It will give you more time to find a job and that should reduce the stress. When you appear desperate at a job interview, it can negatively impact how the interview goes.
Keep your network of contacts active. This means be friends with people, and stay friends with them. It helps to have an inside recommendation to get a job. Also you need to stay on top of your field. Keep your certifications current, even if you are not currently using them, and work on getting the most required certifications right now. This way you will be competitive when you are looking for a job.