Job Loss Preparedness
Preparing for job loss and surviving unemployment

You can get through a job loss by preparing when times are good.
A job loss is a life changing event, but it doesn't have to be
devastating when you prepare for a job loss. Preppers can plan
for and financially survive unemployment.

Below is your guide to getting through financially hard times
ahead whether you're employed right now or you just lost your
job...

Prepping for Job Loss
The time to prepare for job loss is while the economy is doing
well and while you still have a job, but even if you've just lost
your job you can take steps to enjoy financial freedom. You can
prepare for a "rainy day" as your ancestors used to do.

Preppers are a creative bunch of planners. We have a contingency
plan for just about every disaster, but not many have a real plan
for a personal financial disaster. Think about that.

  • How are your finances right now? Get started thinking
    about your financial future from a prepping perspective. The
    Prepper's Financial Guide, right, provides a practical guide to
    living a life of financial independence so you can weather
    whatever personal financial problems you may have. Lots can
    happen: your home can burn or suffer damage from a
    hurricane, earthquake, superstorm or other natural disaster.
    The Prepper's Financial Guide teaches you the other half of
    disaster planning―so you can survive the economic turmoil
    that hits regions and nations after the storm has passed.
    (We recommend Jim Cobb's other prepping books, too.)
    Remember, you can buy used prepping books to save money.

These things will help you prepare financially and emotionally for
a job loss...

#1: Recognize the signs of job loss before it happens.
You should be particularly concerned about job loss in October
and November, which is the time when most people suffer job
loss. Learn to recognize the red flags so you can prepare:

  • You have a gut feeling. Trust your gut. Intuition is an
    amazing thing if you know how to harness it. Ask anyone
    who has been laid off before and you'll find they knew
    something was coming down the pike. They had a gut feeling
    the axe was going to fall. Trust your gut feeling so you can
    get an early start at a new job.

  • Things are slow. Work ebbs and flows, but when things are
    really quiet it's a huge sign. Maybe your company lost a huge
    contract. If so, layoffs are inevitable. Maybe projects aren't
    coming your way because the higher-ups are planning to out-
    source you. It's never good when a boss reassigns your
    projects to someone else.

  • You didn't get a pay increase or bonus. If you didn't get a
    pay increase or a bonus at review time, it's time to plan your
    next venture. You might be making too much money when
    compared with your colleagues, but don't let that be an
    excuse.

  • Your company is cutting expenses. When all expenses
    suddenly need approval then the wheels are in motion.
    Instead of being focused on the company being petty, take it
    has a huge hint that someone is getting the axe.

  • You get a bad review. A bad review is an ominous sign, but
    you need to constantly get a take on what your boss is
    thinking of you everyday. . If your boss is avoiding you or
    leaving you out of important meetings, consider that a deep
    hint. If you're not hitting sales numbers, then consider that a
    bad review

  • You get a new boss. Anytime there's a layoff of one of your
    colleagues it's an ominous sign, but sometimes it starts
    higher up the chain because there are too many chiefs If you
    suddenly get a new boss whether because of a lateral
    transfer or your boss got fired, it is a concern. This new
    leader is looking for how to consolidate and streamline the
    department.

  • Quiet departures. Sometimes senior managers leave quietly
    and without fanfare. With a firm grasp of the true financial
    future of the company, they've been planning their exit
    strategy and you should too. Be among the smart ones and
    begin lining up your next gig.

  • Restructuring. Leaders meeting behind closed doors could
    be a hint of the layoffs to come, but senior managers also
    may be very direct in gathering employees for a meeting to
    discuss restructuring. In this case termination is coming ~
    either for you or someone else. Layoffs are imminent.

  • Mergers and acquisitions. Leaders are often excited to tell
    you that the company has merged with another. It may seem
    exciting but the reality is that there will be redundancies and
    it's just another sign of layoffs.

In short, no job is permanent. Your company only owes your last
paycheck. In some states you lose your vacation and sick pay.
Don't be complacent. Don't feel that any job is a permanent job.
Like the saying goes ~ nothing lasts forever. Someday your job
may end unexpectedly.

#2: Think of your job as a short term contract.
You may not think of your job as a contract, but it is! You agree
to work in exchange for payment and benefits, which can end at
any time. This is called At-will employment, according to U.S.
labor laws.

Check your employee handbook and you will see the troubling
words "At-will employment," which is nothing more than a
contractual relationship. As an at-will employee, you can be fired
at any time, for any reason, though there are a few illegal
reasons. Employers must be careful to terminate you lawfully, but
your employer really doesn't have to establish "just cause" for
your termination, and it can come without warning.

You've heard of the saying that all good things must come to an
end. Your job is a good thing and someday it will come to an end.

#3: Be happy and grateful.
Don't get mired in the At-will employment thing. Just take it as a
good reminder to have gratitude if you have a job or if your
partner has a job or income. The universe is an energy that you
can harness and it all starts with gratitude. Be a happy prepper!

Before you lose your job, do these three things:

  • Be grateful for your job! Being employed is a great thing,
    but you may not realize it while you are employed because
    you were too busy complaining about your job or your boss.
    The steady income is something you'll miss when it's too
    late, so while you have a job be grateful for the income it
    provides and the satisfaction it brings of taking care of your
    family with it.

  • Appreciate the people at work. While you're at a job, the
    people around you are like family and appreciating them is
    something that won't go unnoticed. You see them day in and
    day out and when you appreciate them for who they are and
    what they do for your company you'll have a better
    understanding for how you fit into the matrix. Good feelings
    have a way of growing

  • Be happy for your benefits. Think about the perks of your
    job. Maybe it's the flexible hours so you can pick up the kids
    or volunteer and get paid for it. Maybe your office offers
    bagels on Fridays. Maybe you get mileage and meals on the
    road which can help make ends meet. Whatever the fringe
    benefits, be happy and grateful for it all.

Losing your job is tough emotionally ~ it means losing your
coworkers, your way of life and so much more. It's not just about
the pay check or about the health insurance, although those are
two major factors. You might lose a company car, life insurance,
and other fringe benefits. The good news is you can have a plan
so that you know exactly what to do if it ever happens to you.

#4: Revise your resume, keep up your networking.
One obvious way to feel prepared for job loss is to write your
resume. It's always a good idea to update your resume and keep
your networking lines open. In case you're laid off in the morning,
you can start sending out resumes by the evening.

  • Resume. Make a resume on your personal computer (not the
    company computer). Having a resume on hand can help you
    feel more confident about your situation; while having a
    network of professionals online will also boost your ego.

  • Contact list. Develop a contact list of past and former
    colleagues, clients and friends. Reach out to them. Social
    networking sites, like LinkedIn is a great place to start.
    Employers will want to see your list of connections.

Now that you have the basics in place, you can begin to think
about preparing for job loss prepper style.

#5: Begin to stockpile cash, small denominations.
Something we've learned from any short term crisis, such as a
natural disaster, is that cash is king! In Puerto Rico September
and October 2017, many civilians couldn't get money for food
because the electrical grid was shot. ATMs and credit cards were
not available. Those who had cash were able to procure food and
supplies.

Cash is even more important as in a job loss to pay for fresh
food. What money you may get in terms of a severance package
or unemployment checks should go towards the major expenses,
such as payment on your home (rent or mortgage), and you can
use your spare cash for the farmers market.

When the time comes, spend this cash wisely. Be sure to hold on
to some petty cash for when the credit cards and other sources of
income dry out, to use for the small things you can't or shouldn't
put on a credit card, like the
Dollar Store.

#6: Become an expert in Junk Silver.
Another way you can deal with a job loss is to stockpile silver.
Preppers should become experts in junk silver and start collecting
for reasons beyond job loss:

  • Silver is an excellent bartering item in a world without rule of
    law as it has value in the long-term as currency. Silver has
    trade value.

  • No matter the economy, you can always liquidate your silver
    into cash. You can take silver to a pawn shop.


#7: Stock up on food and keep a garden.
Coping with a job loss is stressful, but thankfully the things you
already do as a prepper can help relieve some of that stress.
When you stock up on food and keep a garden you reduce your
grocery bill and help provide stability during job loss.

  • Keep maintaining a proper food storage. The food you
    store as a prepper can help when money is tight. You can
    divert money that would have gone to groceries to pay for
    other expenses. Your prepper's pantry is perhaps the most
    practical resource you have as a prepper ~ and not just for
    job loss. The stuff in your pantry can help you get through a
    personal crisis, such as an unexpected vet bill, dental bill, or
    expensive car repair. By taking the load off your grocery bill
    you'll have more to deal with the unexpected. Learn to use
    your food storage. Start creating more recipes that include
    rice. Another example is a bucket of pancake mix. Did you
    know there are 101 things you can do with pancake mix?
    Start incorporating these ideas in your diet today!

  • Get that garden growing! Mormon leaders ask their
    community to keep garden as well as a year supply of food in
    case of an emergency or job loss. Having a garden is a fun
    hobby and it can supplement the food you put on the table
    in good times and in bad. There's nothing tastier than home
    grown tomatoes. The tomatoes at the grocery store were
    engineered for long shelf life, but it really effects the taste
    and you may not realize it until you grow your own!
    Remember too that a greenhouse can extend the home
    grown food supply year-round.

#8: Stock up on non-food supplies.
When you have no income or very little everything seems more
expensive ~ especially things like razors and laundry detergent*.
To prepare for a job loss, make a list of all the things you use
regularly in your household. Thankfully most on the list have no
expiration date!

Your personal
list of non-food supplies to stockpile might include
  • Cold medicine.
  • Diapers
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Dishwashing liquid and detergent
  • Feminine hygiene producs
  • Laundry detergent
  • Paper towels
  • Razors
  • Shampoo
  • Soaps
  • Toilet paper

* You can make your own laundry detergent.

#9: Shop the dollar stores.
In preparing for job loss, be sure to shop the dollar stores
regularly so you'll get a feel for what's available. Be sure to stock
up when your favorites come into the store. Deals come and go
and your favorites might not be there next time you shop.

#10: Start a gift closet.
Well before job loss, it's a good idea to have a gift closet. It may
sound like the most unimportant thing on the list, but job loss
often happens in October and November ~ right at the start of
the holidays.

Having a gift closet is especially important if you have kids as it
can boost morale. Birthdays and anniversaries happen year round
and you may need to produce a gift for a holiday. Having a closet
of gift items is handy to stretch your resources in times of job
loss. Just make sure it's something that your own family will
enjoy.

#11: Make a budget.
An easy way to prepare for job loss is to budget. You can set a
daily limit on your variable expenses, such as food budget. Once
you reach that budget limit, you need to find another way to
make it through the day. Alter your breakfas, lunch or dinner plan,
skip the six-pack, make your own coffee instead of getting a
latte, pack a lunch, get a cheaper cut of meat, and do whatever it
takes to stay within your budget.

  • Make a list of the luxuries in life you can do without:
  • Do the kids really need to take music lessons if they don't
    practice regularly?
  • If everyone in the family is tuned out on their devices, do
    you need the cable television?
  • Did you know you can save money on gas? Here's how to
    save money on gasoline.
  • If you're the creative type, you can save money in so many
    ways. Here's a full list of money saving ideas.

  • Make a list of the necessities. Do not cut corners and stop
    paying on life insurance if you have life insurance. Job loss
    can create quite a stress on the family and with added stress
    comes disease and even death. You don't want to leave your
    partner with an even worse situation.

#12: Take hold of your financial picture.
Prioritize your bills. It's important to really know where you stand
financially and to figure out which things are most important.
When you take hold of your financial picture you'll realize that
you can streamline and earmark money for saving.

  • Set up a cash flow plan and stick to it. Allocate exactly how
    much you'll spend on things like groceries, utilities, gas.

  • Get a new checking account as a savings. Open a new
    checking account to take hold of your finances and set up an
    automatic direct deposit. By having your money dispersed,
    you can budget and earmark money for certain expenses. If
    job loss never happens, you'll have a nice nest egg or extra
    money for the holidays.

  • Get a different kind of mortgage insurance. Back in the
    day when you could have down payment of less than 20
    percent on a home, a lender would require you to buy PMI
    (Private Mortgage Insurance). PMI is really an insurance
    policy to compensate lenders for losses if you default on
    your mortgage loan or die. In other words, it protects the
    lender and not you, if you stop making payments on your
    loan. Want to protect yourself and your family? Consider  
    mortgage life insurance. You can buy a mortgage protection
    insurance to help your family cover the expenses should the
    unthinkable happen and you pass away. State Farm and
    many other insurers offer a mortgage protection insurance.
    It's actually a term life policy to benefit your family. If you
    have a home, mortgage protection insurance can help your
    family cover expenses if you die while you have the policy.

  • Research alternate health insurance. Consolidated
    Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is expensive,
    but it provides necessary health care coverage for a certain
    period of time to gap the costs until you find another job.
    For a family of four in California you'll pay around $1300 or
    more a month. That can really sting.

  • Have one credit card with a zero balance. An obvious way
    to prepare for job loss is to get out of debt, but for many
    that's a nearly impossible feat. Wiping your debt to zero
    might be impossible, but there are things you can do. Make
    sure to have at least one credit card with a zero balance that
    you can use for emergencies only. Do whatever it takes to
    keep one credit card free for emergencies.

    You can get a zero balance credit card by accepting credit
    card offers, but vowing to never use them. Another way is to
    pay off your credit card with the lowest balance first.

#14: Consider contractual employment.
If you've been laid off or if you want to get out of the rat race,
consider contract employment or a temp job. With a contractual
agreement for a few weeks or months, there's less pressure to
stay late and you get paid for every hour you work.

A contract employee also doesn't have to attend staff meetings
or have to endure annual reviews. It can do wonders to relieve
your stress level and it's a good option for those who have a
partner who can cover the health care costs. Best of all they can
get out of the office a reasonable hour.

Contractual employment doesn't have to be an office worker!

After a job loss...

#1: Reflect, but stay positive.
If you lose your job, make sure to reflect on what happened. You
may know the reason for your firing or layoff. This self reflection
is critically important, so that you can accept responsibility, move
forward and regain confidence in yourself.

  • Reflect. Did you have a bad attitude? Were you sloppy on
    the job? Were you not a team player? Take responsibility for
    this. Even if your job loss was nothing personal, it's
    important to think about what transpired for the next time
    around. Did you make too much money? If a company can
    hire someone cheaper to do the job, they will. Maybe you
    were on the job for 20 years an all the merit increases put
    you in an undesirable income bracket. It just good to reflect
    on this.

  • Keep a good attitude, don't burn bridges. Having a good
    attitude upon your departure is really important. Little does
    the average employee know, but when a manager prepares
    for your untimely departure there is an important little
    "rehire" box your manager can check. It opens the door for
    you to be rehired. Think of it as a personal recommendation.

#2: Realize you are not alone.
In coping with job loss, there is comfort in knowing that others
have survived job loss and even thrived afterwards. Read stories
from other preppers to help you realize that you are not alone:

  • Even business owners experience job loss. A business can
    incur a debt from another business partner or from an unpaid
    contract. In this story of preparedness and a job loss from
    beprepared.com you'll understand how prepping helped a
    family maintain to provide stability.

#3: Ask for help and accept it.
Don't be too proud to ask for help. There's a community of loving
people who are there to help you at the food bank, your local
church and school. You should also ask for help from your former
employer.

You may be a prepper and think you've thought of everything, but
your friends and family will be there for you when you need them
most (or you will quickly learn who is not your friend). Always be
grateful and never greedy.

Be sure to thank the people as you get the help and long after
you've recovered. Make the exchange meaningful and heartfelt.
Being appreciative is a gift in itself.

#4: Take care of yourself.
Most importantly be sure to take care of yourself. You deserve
every happiness and you must always remember to sit in the sun,
walk off the extra stress, watch a funny comedy so you can smile
and sleep better by night.

The movie,
The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, is the
true story of a man working as an intern for no money gets
evicted from his apartment and is forced to sleep on the streets,
in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro
station bathroom with his son. It gives a glimpse of the trials and
tribulations of homeless life when you have kids. The scene in the
bathroom is something that will resonate with you. It's well worth
a watch to give you inspiration.

#5: Know how to fatten thy purse!
Now that you have a little time, read the Richest Man in Babylon.
Not your ordinary prepper's guide, this is a book of parables on
money written in the 1920s by George Clason. It's easy to read
and imparts secrets of the ages with regards to finances. In just
145 pages, you will learn how to "fatten thy purse, control thy
expenditures and make thy gold multiply."

#6: Remember to always have hope.
It will be the best of times and the worst of times. Job loss has a
way of either bringing a family together closer or tearing them
apart. We hope the former and not the latter happens to you. Be
good to each other, and stay strong.

The prepper's motto couldn't be more true: hope for the best, but
prepare for the worst. You may even end up

Happy endings...
There's an upside to getting down-sized or out-sourced: you get
to start anew. Remember, when one door closes, another opens.
You may well end up with more pay and a more satisfying career.
Remember that happiness is an inside job!

More prepping articles....

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