Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Survivors Guide to Weathering a Financial Storm

Work force reductions and layoffs are a lagging indicator of the tough economic environment that businesses are operating in these days. With more and more companies forced to reduce their payroll expense to meet budget this year, many families are finding a family member back in the job market. Here is a list of some pointers that will help your family weather the storm.
1. Don’t do it alone
Many people find themselves attempting to manage the stresses of job loss and the ensuing job search on their own due to our cultural norm of individualism. We tend to hold to the idea that people succeed and fail due to their individual efforts; the reality is that success depends on relationships as much as it depends on the individual.
Look to family, friends and peers for coaching through the struggles and victories. Find opportunities to network with other professionals, you may even consider seeking out a professional job coach or counselor to help you identify your future career path. Listen to people when they tell you you’re good at something.
2. Find out about benefits available after you lose your job
One of the first phone calls you should make after the job loss is to the benefits department at your former employer. For health insurance, coverage usually expires the last day of the month in which your employment ends. Ask about continuation of medical coverage through a program such as COBRA, you will be responsible for the full cost of the coverage but it may be an expense worth taking depending on your specific situation. Also ask about your flexible spending account or health savings account. In most cases long term disability and life insurance coverage ends on the last day of the month in which your employment ends as well. For more specific information regarding your plan options please contact your benefits department.
You should automatically be sent a distribution/rollover packet from the 401(k) department that outlines all of your options. Typically 60 days are allowed before you must rollover the balance to an IRA or other qualified plan. Please contact me with rollover questions and options offered through the credit union.
 storm 3. Get Organized
Getting organized and staying organized are essential to success in a new job search. Brush up that resume and put together solid references that can be called upon to give rave reviews. Determine and write down how far you are willing to go to find work, will you do part time or temp work? Research and keep files on the companies where you are applying, be sure to have a polished presentation of yourself specifically tailored to each position.
Getting your financial house in order is also essential to be able to focus the necessary attention on your job search. Sit down as a family to determine your new household budget; you may want to consider seeking the help of a professional to act as a sounding board for changes or to help you identify other areas where you could save. Please contact me if you would like help in this area!
4. Remember where your satisfaction comes from
Resist the temptation to cut out the gym membership and social events with friends, unless of course you cannot put food on the table for your family, but it should not be the first thing you cut. Look at this time as an opportunity to re-invent your career path and dive into opportunities that appeal to you. Stay positive and remember where you find your personal satisfaction.

No comments:

Post a Comment