In times of economic uncertainty, or due to performance or work dynamics, you might get to a point where you start to worry about losing your job. The loss of a job can be extremely stressful and can also create a lot of financial hardship.
If the thought "I'm worried about losing my job" has crossed your mind, it's time to create a plan to minimize the financial impact in the event that you do lose your job.
Constant worrying can cause physical and emotional stress and in turn, inhibit your ability to take strategic action before anything actually happens. Creating a financial plan is one way to help manage your fears and reduce stress and anxiety about a job loss.
We are going to provide key actionable steps to take if you have a fear of losing your job or what to do if you lose your job, so you can prepare yourself financially!
7 Key Steps to take if you are worried about losing your job
Here are some key money tips to help you ease the transition until you find new employment if you have a fear of being fired or do happen to lose your job.
1. Start bulking up your savings
The first thing you want to do if you have a fear of being fired is to start saving as much money as you can while you are still employed. Studies show that people who have access to financial resources cope better with the overall impact of job loss.
This is because when you are less worried about finances, you do better from an emotional and mental health perspective.
So it's essential to prioritize the importance of savings.
To bulk up your savings effectively, it's important to lay out all your expenses. You also need to determine how much it costs each month for you to survive. A good starting point for how many months you should save for is 3 to 6 months.
As you determine what this amount is, also consider what things you can cut back on to minimize your expenses during the period you may be out of work. This would include any non-essential spending and purchases.
This savings is essentially your emergency fund and you should build funding it into your budget as soon as possible. This is the most important step if you are afraid of losing your job.
2. Be more frugal
So, what's one of the best things to do if you are about to lose your job? Learn how to be more frugal! Reducing expenses is essential, but you also need to become savvier with your money so you can keep more in your wallet.
Start couponing to cut your grocery costs, shop secondhand for clothing when you need it, and use cashback apps. There are tons of crazy ways to save more money, so you can bulk up your bank account and reduce your job loss anxiety!
3. Begin the process of looking for another job
The next step of taking strategic action is to get ahead by beginning the process of finding another job. So, start your job search now if you have a fear of being fired. Carve out some time to update your LinkedIn profile and make your resume attractive to employers.
You can also start doing research on companies and positions you can apply to. If you need assistance updating your resume or preparing for interviews there are several amazing websites with career advice that you can leverage. Be sure to check out our list of the best recession-proof jobs too!
You can also find tons of job postings on sites such as Indeed, Careerbuilder, and LinkedIn.
Don't forget to dig into your professional and personal network to let people know you are looking for work. You never know who might give you a lead to help you find a new job.
4. Take advantage of current employment benefits
Be sure to take advantage of any current employment benefits before losing your job. For instance, leverage your health insurance coverage to get any medical concerns you have attended to and fill your prescriptions.
Choosing multi-month over monthly prescriptions if possible can save you a ton of money and carry you over while you are out of work. You can ask your doctor about this option.
Healthcare can be a massive out-of-pocket expense. So you want to make sure that if you have benefits to use, you actually use them if you need to before you lose your job.
Be sure to find out what the options are to extend your healthcare coverage after you are laid off.
Also, if you have vacation or sick days, ask your employer what happens in the event of a job loss. There might be a payout for the unused days and you can put this money towards your emergency fund. Knowing these details in advance can help reduce job loss anxiety.
5. Research unemployment benefits
The next step is to research the details of unemployment benefits if you are about to lose your job. Unemployment benefits are intended to replace lost wages in the event that you get laid off and qualify to receive this benefit.
Formally known as unemployment insurance benefits, this benefit covers workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements.
You can determine the qualification requirements for unemployment by visiting the website for your state's unemployment insurance benefits. Your state's website will also provide you with specific details on how to file. Filing for unemployment compensation immediately is what to do if you lose your job.
6. Explore additional sources of income
Exploring additional sources of income can help to minimize the impact of losing your job until you find a new one. Some ideas to make money without a job include:
Sell stuff for cash
The first thing I did when I was worried about losing my job was look for stuff to sell for money. You won't believe how much stuff you have that you probably don't even use that you can sell to sock some money back. So start looking through things you own that you can sell online for cash!
You can sell stuff on sites such as eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace. Not only do you make some extra income, you declutter your home too! So, it's a win-win.
If you think you are about to lose your job then consider finding freelance work to supplement your income. You could start it as a side hustle beforehand so you can have money flowing in. There are plenty of ways to start freelancing.
For instance, you could become a freelance writer, virtual assistant, or even a freelance marketer. Plus, these freelancing gigs pay pretty good money so you can easily bulk up your emergency savings fast.
Find a part-time job
Another option is to find a part-time job. That way, you have additional income just in case. You could even find work-from-home jobs.
For example, data entry, transcription, and bookkeeping are just a few good-paying part-time jobs you can do from home. You could also work them as weekend jobs. Having a backup job reduces job loss anxiety.
Keep in mind that in order to stay afloat, you might need to take a job below your skillset or work multiple jobs and that's ok. There's no shame in doing what you need to do to boost your income before you find another job.
Start your own business
You may be thinking "How can I start my own business if I don't have the money?" Well, the great news is, there are plenty of businesses you can start with no money! For instance, pet sitting, flipping free items, and cleaning houses, are all things you can start with no money.
For more ideas check out our post "A Guide For How To Start A Business With No Money."
This is the perfect way to boost your income if you are about to lose your job! Plus, it may just be the motivation you need to finally pursue something you love instead.
Get a roommate or rent out a spare room
Basic living expenses are on the rise. Which can make things much more difficult financially. However, you can get crafty and reduce even your essential living expenses.
For instance, you can get a roommate to split the rent with. Or, you could even rent out a spare room on Airbnb! This can drastically reduce how much you are paying in rent or mortgage payments.
Of course, creating multiple streams of income is a fantastic financial move whether you are about to lose your job or not. In fact, millionaires have an average of seven income streams...so keep that in mind! The more income streams you create, the less financial worry you have.
7. Expand your skills
Expanding your skillset is one of the best things you can do if you are worried about losing your job. Learning new skills can make you a valuable employee or even help you continue on a new career path.
The great news is, there are plenty of ways to learn new skills without spending a ton of money. For instance, Google offers free career courses on topics such as UX Design, Data Analytics, IT Support, and Project Management. You can also take free courses on Canva Design!
Learning new skills will drastically reduce your job loss anxiety because you will feel confident in your ability to find another job fast.
Make a backup plan if you're worried about losing your job!
Now you know what to do if you lose your job or have a fear of being fired. Thinking about losing your job can be scary and stressful but with a plan in place, you'll be in a better position to weather the worst-case scenario.
Don't allow job loss anxiety to prevent you from taking action. Instead, plan ahead for the worst and hope for the best. It will give you the peace of mind that you will get through any temporary impact of a potential job loss.