Losing your job to a lay-off or being fired during upswings in the economy can be a personal economic crisis, but it is usually short-lived. As long as there are plenty of jobs to be had, finding a new one is not very hard. During times of national or global economic crisis, jobs can be extremely difficult to find that match your skills and interests. In any type of economic situation, some place is hiring. The problem is that if you have received a lay-off from one company in your field, it is often a signal that the entire field is struggling financially. This dramatically lessens the chances of you being able to locate and land a job that matches your earnings level.
The first step is to deal with the depression and fear.
For many people, their career helps them to define their own identity. During an economic crisis period, loss of a job can mean the loss of a career. The prospect of having to retrain and start your career from the bottom again can be frightening. Less money, less prestige, more stress, and the need to change your lifestyle can send many into a depressed state. The only way to defeat this position is to lay out a career and life path for the next 3 to 5 years that takes you downward for awhile and then back upward. Knowing that an eventual recovery in the economy will spell faster rises in wages and better job opportunities in your new field should bolster you courage to face the tough times.
Take the time to look at your career choices before leaping.
In good times, very few people get the chance to redefine their pathway through life. You may not view this as a positive at first, but many times people realize later that they are happier with their new direction once it is established. Look for growing fields that have an interest to you. You can go from a laboratory technician to becoming a teacher. You may choose to change from factory worker to the medical field. Do not just leap in the first direction that seems plausible. Spend a week or two researching where various career paths will take you both in personal growth and the growth of the field itself.
Take advantage of educational opportunities.
Many government programs help employees who face lay-offs due to foreign competition be retrained to enter new career fields where demand for people is growing. These programs generally pay for the education plus give you some form of living expenses to help you survive the transition period. Some employers will give some form of golden parachute that can give you the resources to switch directions with your life. Take advantage of whatever opportunities along this line are offered.
Find ways to reassure your family that you will all be fine.
Children especially need to know that their parents believe that future still has a silver lining. Most children are willing to accept some lean times if their parents are open about the need to be very conservative in spending for a specified amount of time. You can explain that it might be a year or two before big new toys can be purchased. Even older teens will usually be willing to seek work to help get those things that are needed during the final years of high school and the start of college.
Negotiate with creditors to stave off foreclosures and bankruptcy.
If you are in a position to see your financial future clearly for the next year or two, use this to work with creditors to adjust payments and debt to manageable payments. You may find that this is not entirely possible, but do not assume a total loss of property and resources until it is the final option. You may be able to secure a second job that will raise your income enough to persuade creditors that you are a risk worth taking. It will be tough, but it is something that you can do.
Sell unneeded items and conserve cash.
Classify unneeded items as anything that you have multiples of that can be lived without. You really do not need 5 televisions or stereos in the house. Multiple computers are most likely not necessary. It can be a good time to do that long needed house cleaning and thin the material goods down. You may find that you can raise several hundred or perhaps thousands of dollars. Once you have traded extra items for cash, do not spend it until it has to be spent. Avoid buying luxuries or excess dining out. It may seem harsh, but you will learn to be a better money manager while learning new job skills. This gives you a one-two punch for getting back on top as you emerge from the set backs of the lay-off.