It is 2017, we’ve had so many advances and changes take place in our world over the last decade, both positive and negative. Gone are the days where you would train and educate yourself in one particular field; work it for 40 years and retire with a sizable saving. Our landscape for work now is vastly complicated and different to those that have gone before us. For most millennials (born between 1977 to 1997), jobs are usually talked about in the plural because you will probably hold between 15-20 different ones in your entire working life (Forbes, 2012).
Many times, you may have made a voluntary decision to switch between jobs, other times it may be less a decision of your own and more to do with the economy. Whatever the reason may be, you will likely experience having to walk away from your position at some point in your lifetime. Here are 5 ways to prepare for that inevitable jobless situation.
- Save Money. Like many people in your life have probably told you before (likely your parents), try to save money as much as you can! According to the Canadian Payroll Association in 2014, nearly half of all working Canadians are living from paycheck to paycheck! In his book Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsay talks about always having an emergency fund. A $1000 if you have debt, just in case something like a tire were to blow, and you had to deal with that. If there is no debt, you should save and set aside three to six months of your living expenses. This ensures that you always have a backup plan and that things are always taken care of should something like this happen. To learn more about these plans, as they differ for each person, read Total Money Makeover.
- Constantly have your resume and cover letter updated. Whenever you so happen to be working on a new project, learn a new skill or get promoted to a new role, add it in to your resume. This not only make things easier for you to track in the long run, but it also makes freshening up your resume that much easier when you need to start applying for jobs. Refer to this post to get tips on maintaining your resume, and this one for your cover letters.
- Make sure you know your benefits. Take the time to know what it looks like to apply for Employment Insurance or other assistance when you are unemployed. There are many services that are out there that can help you get your affairs in order, but just as important is making sure that you know what things you need to keep organized in your life prior to this situation. Such as what bills you have to pay, loans, credit cards, membership fees, etc. You should look into what kind of employment benefits are available to you post employment, some companies may offer counselling as well. Knowing these things ahead of time will make it easier and less stressful for you later on down the road.
- Always be networking and build genuine connections. As Gary Vaynerchuk would say, “51/49!”, provide more value than the other person. When you build relationships based on that principle, where you are constantly looking out for everyone around you, it makes it very easy for people around you to look out for you as well. Just be sure that you are genuine in your interactions. It can be very easy to view this as a tactic, rather than a standard way of conducting yourself with other human beings. If you do not genuinely care to want to help others, this tip might not be for you. Make sure you know your heart is in the right place before implementing this into your life.
- Evaluate all your decisions. I was once told that you are always one or two decisions away from making the worst decision of your life. If you are anything like me, where you enjoy making spur of the moment decisions, or you have a tendency to say “f*** it, who cares,” maybe take some time to consider the consequences of your choices. Think things through so that you are left with no regrets later on, even if in that moment, it feels so right.
Being without a job is no fun, but being without a job and without a plan is even worse! Hopefully, this helps prepare you for that inevitable joblessness. Next week we will bring together a list of books that have been hand selected by Season One of our Podcast for building a successful you. As always, be sure to leave a comment if you know of more tips and tricks on this topic.