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From Layoff to New Career: 15 Transition Tips

It happens after decades of steady employment. You hear the words “Thank you for all your years of service. We’re shutting down the company. It’s over.”

There’s no way to prepare for those words. No industry or job market is safe and no one is immune.

When your boss calls you in and begins the conversation with “You’ve been a good employee all these years, but…” you may be wondering about your next career move, but you don’t have to wonder about your finances.

Before you try a GoFundMe page, living with relatives or sofa cushion dollar-diving, consider a little creative hustle to keep going.

Before a job loss – 10 money tips for right now:

  1. Stash cash and keep it out of your sight: Deduct a set amount from every paycheck and deposit it in an online bank account. You cannot easily spend what is not readily available or easily accessible.
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  2. Get direct deposit if you don’t already have it: It means fewer trips to the bank. Set up different direct deposit accounts (checking, savings, funds for major purchases/payments, HSA, taxes, etc). The money is saved without much effort on your part.
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  3. Take advantage of free money when the bank offers it; open a new account they pay you to open.
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  4. Put together a budget: Know your basic expenses, the things you need for survival: food, shelter, transportation, electric, and gas, water and medical coverage. Then list the rest, including Internet, cable, phone, personal grooming, gifts, eating out, and prioritize them. When you lose your job, the necessities come first and the wants are a definite second.
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  5. Pay off your credit cards and keep the balances at zero: Interest payments are money you pay to use your own money. Pay the balances every month.
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  6. Really clean up your resume: Make sure it’s ready to go when you need it. Check the employment dates for accuracy and write short but vivid job descriptions that showcase your worth as an employee. Don’t lie, but do point out your accomplishments.
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  7. Stock a food pantry: Shop for these nonperishable food staples, plus health and beauty items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper and paper towels. The time to buy is when they are on sale, not when you need them.
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  8. Join some store loyalty programs: Some really do pay off, like drugstore and grocery store programs. Combined with sales and coupons, you can save hundreds of dollars a year and receive additional online savings and presale information not available to the general public.
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  9. Avoid the temptation of window-shopping and “just browsing” in department and clothing boutiques: Also avoid their loyalty programs if you cannot control spending; you don’t need the added “incentive” to spend money on clothes and shoes.
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  10. Don’t walk out of a job without a letter or recommendation or letter of explanation as to why you are leaving, if a layoff is the reason. If the company closes or moves, you may not get another chance.

After the job loss – 5 things to do:

  1. Budget cash for immediate needs: Do the figuring each week. This is not the time to say “Charge it!” and figure you’ll pay it off when that new job begins. Unemployed can last weeks or even months.
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  2. Keep feeding your human side: Maintain a tight budget, but add a little fun. It could be one ice cream cone a week, or one new app a month. The job-hunt process is painful; don’t completely deprive yourself.
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  3. Talk to anyone who can assist your job search. And thank everyone who does, even if the conversation does not lead to a new job.
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  4. Spend a set number of hours every day looking for work: Treat finding a new job as a job. Use dependable online sites and deal with companies that provide their full contact information.
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  5. Don’t wallow in a weekend (or longer) pity party: It stinks to lose your job, and it’s tempting to sit on the couch, drink cheap beer or eat ice cream (both cost money and calories) and cry. Make life less miserable by getting engaged in a job hunt right away.

By Nancy Munro

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  • My husband JUST went through this, and I have to say, these are excellent tips! I’ve never experienced a lay-off, but from what he experienced, I can say it’s NOT ideal at all. This post is super helpful!

  • Kelly Reci

    This is such a brilliant tips and ideas! My husband and I never thought these! I’m really glad to know these, thank you!

  • Julie Syl

    What a helpful tips! Everyone will come at this point soon! Glad that I found this, this is so helpful!

  • Rebecca Swenor

    These are great tips for those who know they are going to be laded off and those that are choosing a new career. I will have to share this with a friend of mine who is going to be going through a layoff soon here. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Elizabeth O

    This is such a great and smart ideas. Very helpful for those who are in layoff. Saving money for our future and for everyday use is really important.

  • This day in age, window shopping is so hard NOT to do – because you can easily “window” shop on line. That’s my huge downfall, ha! If only you could see how many things are in my Amazon cart! You made me want to go take a look as my resume and see when the last time I updated it was! Ha!