In difficult financial times one of the most common concerns we all face is job stability. No matter what your job may be or how strong your company may appear to be, there is always that nagging wonder about whether or not your position is firm. Knowing how to handle a period of unemployment before it occurs will help you weather the difficult times ahead.
First, if you are still happily employed, save all that you can. You should work to have no consumer debt and at least three months worth of income in a savings account. Of course, those two goals take time to achieve, but you need to start working towards them sooner rather than later.
If you do find yourself out of work, do not sign your severance package right away. Find out what benefits you will have and for how long after your job ends. Will you get severance pay? Does your human resources department offer any support to help you find a new position? Will your insurance coverage be continued? Read everything carefully, and if you feel something is unfair, consider consulting with an attorney.
Whatever you do, do not start talking badly about the company that fired you. Remember, networks in similar professional fields are going to run deep, so if you talk to your best buddy about the horrible company that just fired you, it may come back to haunt you when you apply for a position in the company that his brother-in-law works for.
The moment you learn that your job is going to end, start working your contacts. Even before you lose your job, make sure your networking is in place. Always keep your eyes and ears open for the next opportunity. You may find something that is an even better fit for your skills while you are employed, and if you find yourself out of work your name and skill set will already be out there on the minds of new employers.
Finally, take the time to brush up your resume. If you are not skilled a resume writing, hire a professional to help you. A great resume can be the deciding factor if you are applying for a competitive position, and you can make yours great even while you are still employed. This is one less thing you will have to do if your job ends.
We cannot predict how stable any position is, as recent corporate bankruptcies have shown. By taking some steps to be prepared, even if you feel your job is stable, you will have a far less difficult time if you suddenly find yourself out of work.