What to Do if You Get Laid Off

By Leni Parrish on April 19, 2009

If you’ve just been laid off or fear you are next on the list for being laid off, there are a number of things you can do to help ease this difficult financial time period. If you haven’t established an emergency fund or the funds you have isn’t adequate for sustaining your expenses for a long period of time, you’ll want to try some of the following tips for surviving a layoff:

Reduce Your Expenses: at first glance, you may not think you have any expenses that could be reduced. It’s time to get serious though and differentiate between your necessities and your wants. When you are laid off, you need to focus on fulfilling your necessities first – your wants can be pushed aside temporarily until you get paying work again. If it’s not paying the mortgage, your utilities, food or existing debts – chances are it’s not an absolute necessity and it can be eliminated. Cable television, internet that is used for entertainment rather than work purposes, multiple phone bills, gym memberships, subscriptions, etc – these are all areas that can be eliminated or drastically reduced to save you a lot of money each month.

Pay Only the Minimum on Your Debts: While it’s always a good idea to pay as much as you can on credit cards and loans to pay them off faster, when you are laid off and surviving on a reduced income, now is the time to pay just the minimum to ensure you have money for groceries and other necessities.
 
Look for a New Job: If you are sure your layoff is not a temporary one, you will want to start job hunting immediately. Don’t put it off until the unemployment money runs out because then you will be more likely to be stressed and accept the first job you are offered. Instead, take some time to think about your next move, the career you would like to be in, and start applying to jobs that interest you. If time is running out, you may need to take a job to make ends meet while continuing your job search for your preferred choice for a job.

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