Intel, a darling of Silicon Valley high-tech and the business world in general, announced Tuesday that they were laying off 12,000 people (about 11% of their workforce). If there are any sure bets for stable employment, surely one would have thought Intel was one of them.
As you navigate over the span of your career, economic shocks will come your way. All employers are subject to this, even successful ones; Examples: Intel and a while back Twitter. Your employer could be next and with that, YOU.
Another example of a shock is when the economy takes a major hit, like the great recession of 2008. Most companies halted hiring, braced for bad weather, cut expenses, and in many cases, cut jobs.
In this new economy, it is up to you to plan for rough sailing. With a little planning all will be well, but failure to plan has massive liabilities.
Pew released research in January of 2015 that said if the breadwinner loses her or his job, the family is out of liquid savings in three weeks. If unemployment persists, they blow through their entire 401k or IRA within four months.
So What Do You Need to Do?
- Establish an Emergency Account: This is an account that is readily accessible with 3-6 months of your normal expenses in it. With this, you have a buffer to weather these inevitable ‘shocks’ during your career. It allows you to reach for the funds to live as you transition to a new job. More importantly, it grants you the luxury to be choosey because you don’t have to jump at the first offer.
- Be Perpetually Building Your Brand: The brand in this case is your employability in today’s job market. Always be reaching for greatness because this builds a more significant track record but also, it makes you more employable. Become a lifelong learner. Feed your head with books and podcast daily and turn working out time, or commuting time, in to advancing your education.
- Build a More Powerful Network: When it comes to job search, your network is everything. If you wait to build, nurture, and serve you network in to a game-changing career asset at your moment of job search, it is too late. Remember the rule of thumb in networking, connect with people who are going to where you want to go professionally and/or are at levels of success that you are aspiring to.
- Master the Process of Job Search Excellence: When employment unexpectedly falls out, it is a real gut-punch. It is normal to have moments of doubt, if not panic. You need to supplant the panic of being let go and have confidence in a process that you believe will result in a job better than the one you just lost.
Finally, the Definition of ‘Living Within Your Means’ Has Changed
It used to be living within your means meant spending less than you take home. Now it means:
- Funding an Emergency Account
- Adequately funding your eventual financial freedom (put 12-15% of earnings in to your 401k or other vehicle consistently over the course of your career)
If you aren’t doing both, you are economically fragile. So make the necessary adjustments and become strong. Be prepared for the next bump in the road and all will be well. Failing to plan can be disastrous on many front, so turn this advice into action.
Now get after it.