Last week I lost nearly $20,000 in net worth. 🙁 Parts of the stock market slipped into correction territory. My Amazon shares lost up to 6.2% on a single day, the worst performance since 2016. The market has recovered a bit this week, but I am still in the red for the month. The recent volatility is a stoic reminder that the market can be fickle, and doesn’t care about how much we pray or like it on Facebook.
Stocks and bond funds move up and down without our control. But the one investment that can not be taken away from us is personal development. When it comes to building wealth, human capital is more valuable than money in the long run. 🙂
Developing useful knowledge and skills is the best way to maintain a prosperous life. Ideally you want to become so valuable that the company can’t afford to give you the pink slip. 🙂 But even the most stable careers are susceptible to a labor shake-up or restructuring. I was employed by the same company for about 10 years. My position certainly felt safe, until I was suddenly let go earlier this year without any warning. :/
If anyone is nervous about potentially being laid off, below are 8 suggestions to help you prepare for the unexpected.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile and resume up to date. Recruiters often use online tools to help them look for potential new hires. 🙂
- Save up your vacation time and treat it like an insurance policy. Any unused vacation days must be paid out if a worker is laid off in my city. I always try to keep at least 10 working days of vacation stored up. This amounts to 2 weeks worth of extra termination pay. That’s a pretty good parting gift. Yay!
- Build up some cash liquidity or savings to give yourself time to look for other opportunities. Many experts believe saving enough to withstand 6 months of living expenses is enough. I personally prefer longer. According to my stress test calculations (under the employment risk category) I currently have 36 months.
- Collect work achievements. I have been periodically saving projects throughout my career to demonstrate my thought process and problem solving skills. I keep these files at home with permission so I can update my resume and show off my skills to future employers.
- Don’t burn bridges. Be nice to everyone because you never know who can help you get your next job. One coworkers who was laid off the same day I was received a call from the same company a few days later. Apparently they wanted to hire him back. He even got to keep his termination package lol. 🙂 #bonusmoney
- Practice solving problems. Our productivity is correlated with how many problems we can solve. If we are good at finding solutions to big problems then more people will want to employ us for our skills.
- Explore new careers options. I worked at an Amazon warehouse making about $14.50 per hour, which is less than half of what I was making at my old job. The experience made me appreciate my old desk job a lot more. I also developed more respect for physical laborers.
- Create a side income. My part time job kept food on the table while I was looking for another full time job. Other side hustle ideas include giving music lessons, selling t-shirts online, or building up a dividend stock portfolio.
I received 3 new job offers since my layoff in February thanks to being well prepared and planning ahead. Some points above are universal, but others are more specific to government regulations or industries so your mileage may vary. Losing a job is one of those things where we don’t think it will happen to us, until it does. So the important thing is to be proactive about it and not wait until it’s too late.
Random Useless Fact:
Pit bull dogs are banned in New Zealand, Germany, Singapore, and many other countries due to their tendency to be aggressive.