Editor’s Note: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report, the unemployment rate fell to 5.9% last month, the first time it’s been under 6% since 2008. Other indicators of joblessness are also falling: The number of long-term unemployed (those out of work more than six months) is now under 3 million for the first time since the recovery, while less than 700,000 people report that they’ve given up looking for work because none is available, down from more than a million in 2010. Plus, layoffs recently hit a 10-year low.1
While this might be a positive signal, the jobs recovery is still incomplete. Since the height of the Great Recession, layoffs have become less common across the job market, but it’s still important to keep these lessons in mind, regardless of your current employment situation.
An unexpected job loss can be one of the most difficult things to endure, especially from a financial standpoint. If you and your family rely on employment income to pay for living expenses, losing your job can cause drastic changes to your current lifestyle. While you might be coping with feelings of shock or disbelief, it’s important to pick yourself up and face the problem rationally. You’ve lost your job — now what do you do? This article will focus on a few ideas that can dramatically improve your situation.
Notify Your Financial Planner
Schedule a meeting with your financial planner to let them know about your job loss and anything that alters your financial situation. He or she can help you re-evaluate your plan so you can rely on your current assets to cover day-to-day expenses until you find a new source of income. If you invest in a high-risk portfolio, you might want to re-evaluate the risk and invest in something more conservative. If you’re close to retirement, you might want to ask your advisor if retiring early is a feasible option. Your financial advisor can help you make those decisions. If you don’t have a personal financial planner, there are many organizations that offer free one-time meetings. For example, the CFP® Board regularly hosts Financial Planning Clinics throughout the country. At these clinics, local CFP® professionals meet with attendees and provide free financial guidance and advice. Losing a job can be difficult to talk about, but communicating with your financial planner is key. Help them help you.
Reach Out to Your Network
Network, network, network! Reaching out to your social and professional networks can be the difference between finding a new employment opportunity and delaying employment. Whether it’s a former colleague or fellow alum, reach out to people who can speak to your professional knowledge. And by reach out, I mean call them, email them, connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook message them, tweet them or text them! They might know of a few opportunities where your skills and background would provide a great fit. Remember, it’s not what you know; it’s who knows what you know.
Supplement Your Income
This is a great opportunity to tap into your interests and find ways to earn extra income. Fiverr.com is one resource that allows people to list a broad range of professional services for sale. For instance, let’s say you’re a really good writer. You can write business plans, essays or even letters for people on Fiverr for a set compensation per project. Or, perhaps you have a lot of old things laying around the house you no longer use. Well, you can sell those things on eBay! Own a car? Apply to be a driver for companies like Lyft or Uber. Thanks to the Internet, there are more ways than ever to earn some extra cash. You just have to be creative and resourceful in your approach!
Losing your job can be very tough, but it’s important to look around and approach the situation rationally. Be sure to communicate with your financial planner so they can help you manage your finances accordingly. Reach out to your network to see if anyone knows of open employment opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Find others who are willing to pay for your professional services, or sell some old things around the house to supplement your income temporarily. Using your resources and reaching out to your social connections can help you bounce back quicker than you might have thought!