“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” While some businesses are experiencing higher than ever demand for their services, the pandemic continues to have a lasting effect on the bigger economy.
It’s budget season again and even if your company seems to be doing well, they likely have had additional operational expenses as they pivot to new ways of doing business or automate their operations.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have kept your job in 2020 it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan for an unexpected furlough, a reduction in hours or salary or an outright layoff. Having a plan in place will help minimize the effect of losing a job and will help you bounce back sooner.
Take stock of your finances
Assess your financial health; take the time to do a review of your savings and investments and how you can access those funds should you need them. Talk to a financial advisor, it may be a free service offered through your company’s retirement plan. Review your company’s policies on severance and payment of unused time off to understand how much you may be eligible to receive.
We’re not suggesting you put off taking vacation time, especially around the holidays. We all need time to rest and recharge and this year is no different.
Insurance and benefits
Many companies have their annual open enrollment period at the end of the year. Now is a good time to assess what benefits plans you have and what you may need in the future. Are you in a high cost PPO plan but haven’t used it for years? Consider switching to another plan that may be more cost effective.
Many of us have put off routine physicals or dental appointments due to the pandemic. Our advice is to schedule those year-end appointments now to ensure you can get new glasses or have that cavity filled before you may lose coverage.
Prepare now for your next job
It’s a good idea to keep your resume current even if you’re not actively looking for another job. The end of the year is a great time to take stock of your accomplishments and add them to your resume. In addition, remove any outdated accomplishments that no longer highlight your skillset. Use action oriented verbs to describe your key accomplishments. What new things did you learn? What projects did you lead? What was the business impact and results?
Always be networking
We can’t emphasize this one enough! Don’t wait until you are laid off to connect with colleagues and recruiters. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Keep your LinkedIn profile current and spend a few minutes building your connections. Share job opportunities with others and they’ll reciprocate in kind if the time comes.
Develop a growth mindset
A “fixed mindset” assumes that our intelligence and creative ability are static and unchangeable. A “growth mindset” thrives on challenge and sees any failure or setback as an opportunity to grow and stretch existing capabilities. Psychologist Carol Dweck writes about developing a growth mindset in her book “Mindset: The Psychology of Success” “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them?”
Actively work on the skills you may be missing. You may find that you need to go to school to get a specific certification or credential. Your current employer may even reimburse you for that. Check out these free resources to upskill.
Learning new things or taking on new challenges grows your mindset and your career.
Arche helps people architect, navigate and advance their career path with expert advice and tools to support your job search, interview preparation, professional branding, salary negotiations, and career advancement.
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