Plan for the Unexpected: Preparing for Layoffs

Planning for the Unexpected: Finding a New Job in the Age of COVID

It goes without saying that the last few months have brought unprecedented changes for all of us. Shutdowns, quarantine, job loss or loss of income, have given every working man and woman in America a lot to figure out. For many of us, not receiving a paycheck for any length of time leaves us in dire financial straits. That's why, no matter how stable you feel in your career, you should prepare your finances – and your resume – for the unexpected. To ensure your financial stability despite an income disruption, follow these money and career planning tips.

How to Financially Prepare for a Job Layoff

1. Expect the Unexpected

As hard as it is to admit, no job is truly stable, and no income is guaranteed. Even the strongest, most successful companies can fall on hard times, add in a global pandemic, and the picture doesn't get any prettier. While this doom and gloom narrative shouldn't be part of your daily reflection, it is an unease you can easily alleviate with a little proactive planning. Even if you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, you can begin to create a cushion in case you find yourself without immediate income. North Country Savings Bank offers a wide variety of savings options to help you create an emergency fund. Aim to save enough to hold you over until your paychecks kick back in, or until you can find a new job. The general rule of emergency funds is to have at least one month's worth of pay set aside, just in case.

2. Live Within Your Means

The best way to save more? Spend less. While credit cards can serve a very useful and responsible purpose, they shouldn't be a lifestyle. If debt is piling up and you're unable to make more than the minimum monthly payments, it's time to reconsider how you manage your money. It's a harsh reality, but one that you have to consider if you're going to be proactive about your financial future. Luckily, there are lots of little things you can do to start living within your means, and the Personal Bankers at NCSB can help you create a plan of attack to pay down debts and get back on track with your finances.

3. Consider Remote Employment

If there's one thing we learned from quarantining ourselves for weeks on end, is that it can be really nice and just as effective, to work from home. Job sites are filled with positions for remote tutors, writers, customer service representatives, data entry clerks, and more. While sitting in front of a computer all day might not be for everyone, remote employment is an increasingly viable option. Sites like Upwork.com and WeAreRosie.com make it easy to find job postings, apply, and secure contract or long-term work.

4. Consider New Career Paths

This is a scary one, doesn't matter if you started a job right before the pandemic or have been with a company for years. It's daunting to shift career focus. But it can also lead to finding new ways to branch out, help people, or even fulfill a long-cherished dream; whether it's finally enrolling in nursing school, becoming a barista, or finding part-time work that lets you pursue a passion project.

5. Have Your Resume Ready

If all of a sudden the contents of your desk are in a box in your hands, the one thing you shouldn't need to do is update your resume. Whenever one job ends, whether by choice or by circumstance, you should immediately be ready to apply for the next. Review your resume regularly, update job experience promptly, and add any additional skills or education you gain. You never know when your employment circumstances will change, especially right now, and you don't want to be caught off guard!

NCSB Is Here to Help

No matter how prepared you are, finding yourself suddenly laid off or unemployed can be overwhelming. In your time of need, lean on the expert Personal Bankers at North Country Savings Bank. Call or stop by your local branch to discuss your options and find a sense of financial security. When the unexpected happens, you can rely on your neighbors at NCSB to help you get your finances back on track.

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