Not all prepping is about statistical long shots such as the world around you going into a riotous chaos overnight. Statistically a person today will change jobs 10-15 times throughout their career. Job loss is a very real scenario that can be devastating for a family especially in today’s economy where the number of unemployed people severely outweighs the available jobs. There are a lot of ways this can happen, from the company going under to doing something that gets you fired. Outside of a physical handicap, no matter how it happens the scenario is basically the same. Here is how you can prepare to be fired and quell that fear once and for all.
With financial prepping the golden rule is you want 3-6 months of income saved up so you have time to find a new job. This isn’t something you can do overnight unless you have some sort of windfall. But it’s something to strive for. The way to achieve this is to take 10% of every paycheck or income and put it in the bank. This means by this plan in 3-5 years you will reach this goal. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you have 3-6 months to get back on your feet and you won’t have to break out your MREs and bug out bag to survive.
If you are married ideally both of you will have job skills and be earning an income even if the second one is part time. Which would give you a leg up as there is still some money coming in, just less than then you are use to. If you aren’t married or your spouse isn’t able to work then you will need to find ways to take skills or hobbies to make a small side income. Maybe you have some land and grow more food then you need, a farmer’s market could be a good side income. Know how to fix cars or household issues? Then start helping out friends and co-workers maybe you can drum up some business. Ideally you want to find some sort of product you can create and profitably sell that can help make side money. This money can be used in enhance your prep or buffer your income. Relying on a single job as your source of income is very risky. As well the thrill of self-reliance for money creation will open up your mind and be freeing.
Food and Supply Reserves
Being a prepper you are in a more advantageous position than most people who really feel the pain. You have supplies to help you survive a collapse, which in a pinch can help you live on less cost while you get back on your feet. If you were able to recover without dipping into the supplies do so. However it’s better that in this scenario you preserve cash so you can buy as many months of rent/mortgage, electric, water, gas, etc as possible. The food and supplies can be replaced and this is in effect what they are there for. Just be conservative with your consumption so you don’t use up 3 years of prepping on 3 months of unemployment.
The biggest problem with the economy today is the amount of unskilled workers there are. With illegal immigrants coming in to take over the unskilled jobs for next to no money, this is a dangerous category of labor for you to be in. So make a plan and make sure you have job skills that are relevant and in demand in the current and future economies. It’s your job to make sure you have marketable skills and they are up to date with today’s needs. Take night and weekend classes, seminars, or online classes to learn something new if you have to. Find new areas you could serve if your entire job category went overseas like manufacturing has in America. Sit down and write down all the skills that come to mind. As well the things you like to do for fun and then look at the want ads online or in the paper for any jobs that use those skills. What requirements are needed to get a job using those skills. Work to gain some of the requirements. Having these other options you can jump to if your current career path closed is a great hedge against a personal economic collapse.
Taking what’s available.
To many people hold out taking a job in favor of looking for the right job. This is a bad way to go, work your way up. Try to get something in your field if you can but once you have exhausted those options be ready to work your way back up. You don’t have to stay at a job for 20 years so don’t sweat taking something that isn’t the “right job.” Take it and keep looking. The right job might surprise you as well and show up where you least expect it. You will need to get comfortable with jumping from job to job to get higher up on the pay grade. So some money is better than no money.
Have a plan
Think critically about how you could live on either a spouse’s income if you had to or your side income. If you lost your job today what would you do first? Are their bills or services you would cancel to save money? Any habbits you would need to break such as smoking or the $5 for a coffee in the morning? What would you do to make it work? What companies would you call or visit? How would you approach them? The time to make a plan isn’t when you are being shot at. Make a plan ahead of time and be ready to execute it. This will save you a lot of stress. Who knows as part of this planning you may find ways to save money doing without things you have now and don’t use or need.
Have your resume, portfolio and other job hunt items ready at all time. You should take a look at the jobs that are available for your career every few months. This will help you keep track of the current job market, how easy finding a job would be, what skills matter to get a similar job, how much they pay and where the industry is going. The problem most people laid off face first is they feel they need to update their resume or portfolio. So they spend the first month they should be hunting putting together a kit and waist a lot of time there before they even apply for work. If you were to go out hunting or fishing in the wilderness you wouldn’t spend your first hours putting together your kit and waste good fishing time getting ready. You would prepare the night before or earlier so you can spend as much time as possible fishing. Better yet you might keep your fishing gear in the car to fish whenever it seems like an good opportunity. So keep your bags packed and know where the door is in case of fire.
There are a lot of government aid programs out there, unemployment being the key program for this scenario. While your prep SHOULD NOT plan on this being available it’s still important to know it is currently, and may be used. The problem with our entitlement programs like Social Security and Unemployment is once the money starts running out in our government all the people who rely on them won’t have a pot to piss in. This will create a lot of angry people. With today’s debt load don’t plan on it being there much longer. However when assuming the job isn’t lost due to you quitting or doing something your ex-employer can prove was your fault you should be able to qualify for assistance which and help ease things while you find a new job.
Family and friends are generally willing to lend a hand. I don’t recommend this. I personally have helped extended family crash at my house two different times for over a year while they attempted to find a new job and get back on their feet. This caused me a lot of financial strain I am still working my way out of as well it strained the relationships. I didn’t agree with how they lived their lives or where going about finding work as well personalities didn’t work well. I have talked to countless people who have opened their doors in this way and 99% of the time it ruins the relationships. The best help you can ask these people for is if they know someone who might be hiring in their field and can get you an introduction or a meeting with them. This is where site like linkedin.com shine.
A final note about prepping for a job loss.
Just like your regular prep, don’t anticipate getting help from anyone on this. There is no guarantee that the help will be available when you need it. Focus on what you can do to buffer your lifestyle from a job loss. As well you should be vigilant for signs that the business is not going well, or your attitude about the business will result in being fired. Sometimes warning signs are there saying it’s time to bug out of that business and you won’t listen or believe them. Create some guidelines in your life that say “If x, y, or z happens then I am out of here” Then stick to them.
It’s a lot easier to recover from a job loss then an economic collapse so if it happens just take a moment breathe, and be ready to pull yourself up by your boot straps. You can overcome this situation with massive directed action. Remember it’s only temporary and like all other preps keep your hope and spirits up. Through personal tragedy is when we learn who we really are and in many times set out on a path better than the one we have been walking.