Sunday, September 14, 2008

You Will Be Fired In One Year...What Do You Do Now?

Here's the scenario: you have a crystal ball, you have the gift of future sight, you just know it's going to happen...however you figure it out, you know with certainty that in exactly one year you will be fired, let go, kicked to the curb, RIFed, given a pink slip, etc. You know this is going to happen but quite frankly, you NEED your job if you want to keep junior in sneakers and your wife in Fendi. What would you do in the ensuing year to secure your life as you know it? Here's some ideas:
  • Work five jobs if you have to in order to pay off all of your debts.
  • Polish up your resume and your networking skills.
  • Put some time into developing the side business that you have always wanted to start.
  • Cut expenses like your life depended on it.
  • Build up your stockpiled food.
  • Be so excellent at your current job that they couldn't let you go.
  • Get a grip on your entire financial life (review your insurance coverages, know what COBRA is, make sure your investments are well diversified, etc).
  • Do all of your home improvements now while you still have a good cash flow.
  • Review your current needs. Do you really need three cars when there are only two drivers in the family? Do you really need a boat that is only used a couple of times a year?
  • Boost up your emergency fund (try to have six months to a year's worth of expenses socked away in a savings account).
  • Be involved in the community in a variety of ways. Often people whose entire lives are built around work are left with nothing when they lose their job.
  • Connect with people. It's easy to be aloof and solitary when you are the master of your own destiny but when the chips are down, other people often become very important--connect with them now before you need them.
  • Use your current insurance plan to the max--get your physical, get dental work done, order new glasses, basically do all of the things that you keep putting off now while you still have insurance.
  • Look into your end-of-job options. Are worker retraining programs available? Would you get a severance package?
Anyway, you get the idea. Even if you intend to be at your job for the rest of your life, every once in a while act like you will be let go within a certain period of time and take the actions that you would have to do if job loss really was on the horizon. There are currently tens of thousands of people who have been recently let go from their jobs that wish that they would have done this a year ago.


  1. It is a mistake to ever think your job is for the duration. In my experience jobs have always only been temporary - until a recession, downsizing, reorganization, or I just plain get sick of the workplace environment.

  2. Even though I am self employed, what affects my clients indirectly affects me so whether a person is employed, self employed, or living on a pension (even pension funds go bankrupt on occassion), taking a look at their "survivability status" every once in a while is important.