10 Hacks to Prepare for Lay-offs
July 10, 2020
CATEGORY : Career Hacks

The economy of employment is like a wave as seen in the line graph - sometimes at the crest (the mountain) and sometimes at trough (the valley). If you predict lay-offs from a distant future it’s an unforeseen event that makes one of those wave patterns. On the other side, it’s possible to know some signs of lay-offs before they happen. In this article, we discuss how to prepare for unforeseen events especially on layoffs and unemployment.

What causes layoffs?

  • Buyout
  • Changing policies and standards
  • Cost-cutting due to economic downturn
  • Lack of funds
  • Merger
  • Project ends
  • Relocation
  • Staff redundancy
  • Technological progress
  • Industry decline
  • Natural disaster

These hacks are also applicable in the following situations:

  • Resignation
  • Pandemic (COVID-19)
  • Medical problems
  • Bankruptcy

Why prepare

  • To avoid economic hardships - Just imagine if you’re suddenly out of work because of lay-offs and bankruptcy, then you’re broke. 
  • To prepare for medical problems - You’ll never know if you suddenly get sick or face medical emergencies from your family or relatives.
  • To easily find a new job - Resigning and finding a new job will be easy if you have buffer funds to rely on and cover bills and daily experiences while searching for a new job.
  • To easily find a new career - Changing careers will be easier if you have resources to face things that you can and can’t control.

Hacks to Prepare for Unforeseen Events

Keep focused on your job

Some people who knew their company was planning for lay-offs may act as loafers. Dabbling in the world of procrastination can make you an easy target of employers who are thinking of reducing their workforce due to reduced revenue or hard-hit economy. Your employer might consider jettisoning staff so stay engaged from the first day you have been hired until you leave your company. Another good outcome of working zealously is you can make your employer as one of the best career networks.

Pad your savings and buffer funds 

Whether it’s a piggy bank full of bills and coins or several accounts, padding your savings can help you cope with the sudden and unexpected events. Savings can be your buffer funds or in other words - the shock absorber that can help you withstand the negative economic effects of the lack of stable income. Save money that is enough to cover expenses such as utility bills, rent, transportation and daily costs while finding a new job. 

Take note that it’s more effective to save as soon as possible. The moment you get hired, immediately open a bank account and dedicate it as your savings account which means no - unnecessary spending.

Savings and investment type



You can open and maintain several accounts in local and international banks.


A cooperative can lend you enough money to cover your unemployment days.


Lets you prepare for the future. Available in various packages.


Piggy banks can be of any shape and size. It happens that piggy banks are the most popular. 


A more secure physical storage

Lower your spending

Depending on your spending habits, you can plan skinny spending without living as a total broke. In fact, spending little and intelligent spending can help you reinforce frugal living habits and save for the hard times. 

Reducing your expenses also means finding a free alternative for the things you need such as using the internet to watch news or movies instead of subscribing to a monthly movie show.

To save more is to identify your wants versus needs. Here are the examples:



Apparels: Used clothing, shoes and handbags

Shelter: Quality housing with size enough for the occupants

Water: Clean tap water

Food: Home-made meals made with healthy, inexpensive or backyard grown ingredients.

Electricity: Using energy-efficient appliances

Communication: Internet for Home-based job

Mobile: Inexpensive smartphone

Entertainment: News and streaming from the internet

Exercise: Daily walking and weight lifting.

Apparels: Expensive and branded clothing, shoes and handbags.

 Shelter: Large house for 2 occupants

 Water: Mineral water

 Food: Daily meal at restaurants and fast food

 Electricity: Keeping two appliances open even not absolutely needed

 Communication: Ultra-fast internet just for entertainment

 Mobile; Expensive smartphone

 Entertainment: Monthly subscription for movie shows.

 Exercise: Gym membership

See it on the bright side 

In layoff situations, you can picture it on the bright side by seeing the positive effects over the negative ones. There’s a saying that a negative event such as job loss is a blessing in disguise. Maybe such lay off is your chance to change your economic situation or career. Looking in the bright side can help you reduce anxiety and depression brought by negative unforeseen events. It’s focusing on things you can control and not on uncontrollable situations.


Research is like doing homework. You take notes and use the internet to find articles and websites offering tips and info. Or, you can review reading materials shared by your company. In lay-offs, you can research the following:

  • Severance benefits
  • Employee handbook
  • Labour rights

Learn another skill 

Relying on one skill is a set up for failure when that skill which relies on the industry suddenly hit by the economic crisis. For example, during the pandemic - COVID-19, if your skill is using software for tourist booking, you could end up unemployed since most or all tourist booking services have been affected or hit by the pandemic. It’s best to learn an extra skill if you’re still employed as this can prepare you for the hard times. Learning an extra skill comes in two ways:

  • Learning a new skill - Acquiring a new skill to add to an existing skillset

  • Enhancing existing skills - Polishing an existing skill through a training

By upskilling, you can make your skill more marketable in the event you lose your job. You could study offline and online. More online schools are now offering digital certificates for printing or embedding in your resume. Here is the resource for the online study:

List for MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)


Repurpose your skills

Got transferable skills? You can use them to find work in industries that aren’t in your industry.  Transferable skills are adaptable as they are sought across different industries such as from IT to online delivery or IT to a law office. Examples are:

  • Writing skills
  • Event management
  • Multilingualism
  • Social media management
  • Leadership
  • Public speaking


If you have many connections, you can ask them for job vacancies or referrals. Meet new people, maintain contact and good relationships. The following could be your networks:

  • Alumni networks
  • Business organizations
  • Friends
  • Neighbours
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Work colleagues

Plan a vacation

You can use your free time to visit nature parks, beaches and amusement centres to relax and relieve stress. Take note that this is only okay if you have enough savings otherwise you could take a short vacation or proceed immediately to job hunting.


Update and prepare your resume and job hunting website.

Any job experiences, training and new skills can be included as updates in your resume. In this way, you can easily upload them on job boards or hunting websites. Here are the things you should update in the resume:

  • Objective or summary
  • Skills set
  • Education
  • Interests or hobbies
  • Certifications
  • Personal info
  • Training
  • Portfolio links (for web developers, graphic artist, writers, SEO specialist)
  • Website links to digitised diplomas, transcript of records, and certificates
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