By Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University
Statistically speaking most Americans will experience job loss at some point in their career. Job loss is not restricted to poor performers of an organization. Organizations are eliminating jobs and closing altogether with amazing frequency and today’s professional must prepare for the likelihood of job loss.
You might not be able to stop your organization from going bankrupt, but you can avoid personal bankruptcy. Material possessions can be replaced, but you need to plan for the lean times. This could mean reducing your debt, and/or cutting back on luxuries.
Dealing with job loss is all about planning. Those that take the blow the hardest are those who are less prepared. If your credit cards are maxed out before you face a reduction or loss of income, you are setting yourself up for failure. Living on the financial edge and not making progress will make matters critical when job loss occurs.
Too many people are cash poor and cannot survive a disruption to their income. Save now so that you have a few months of expenses in the bank.
There’s also a personal impact of a job loss, which diminishes feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. Take time to build and assess your support system. Understand what kind of help is available. I had to ask for my fair share of help from others to get through my own job loss situation.
At one point, I lost my job when I had two mortgages, a family to support, and no job prospects. Worse, I did not have a plan. To survive, I had to cash in my 401k and sell off my few meager investments at a loss. Not only did I end up without any retirement savings, but also I ended up owing thousands of dollars in taxes.
Since then, I have developed better spending habits and have a plan in place in case I am without a job again. I find that much of the stress of job loss can be mitigated by having a plan.
Job loss is temporary, but extremely unsettling. Having a plan to deal with the ups and downs of the job market will give you peace of mind. The best time to put together a plan for job loss is now. Reduce spending, reduce debt, and set aside funds for that rainy day.
About the Author: Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is the program director for the Reverse Logistics Management department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over 25 years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. Dr. Gordon earned his Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA.
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