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December 15, 2008

Preparing for a layoff

Posted: 09:21 AM ET

1.9 million jobs lost this year. And more cuts are coming. Could you be next? Here's what you need to do if you're worried you'll lose your job.

gerri.willis

1. Get prepared

Get some savings together. If you don’t have six months worth of savings –  enough to cover your mortgage/rent, food, energy and transportation – GET IT. In this environment, when there is more competition and less jobs available, it may take even more time for you to find a job. It’s worth it to stop contributing to your 401k and sock the money into an savings account if you currently have no savings and you are reasonably certain you are about to be laid off.

2. Use up your health benefits.

Get the annual checkup, specialty exams, shots, in short, everything, because you don’t know what sort of insurance coverage you might have once you are jobless. The only thing that you can count on is that coverage will cost you more. Use up any money in a health savings account or transportation savings account. This money disappears at the end of the calendar year – anyway – so be sure to use up any money in these accounts – this is your dough, don’t leave it on the table. And now is the time to start reading up on COBRA coverage.

3. Be proactive

All is not lost. It may be that you aren’t going to get laid off, or that your employer is currently putting together the list of folks who are about to be axed. For that reason, you’ll want to continue to push your star higher at work. Get yourself assigned to critical company projects. Find ways for the company to save money. Reestablish connections with people in different parts of the company.

Get more tips every day this week during Gerri's Layoff Survival Guide on CNN's American Morning.  Tuesday's topic will be: Advice for the day you’re let go. Post your questions on Gerri's blog.

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Filed under: Economy • Willis


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About this blog

Clark Howard helps you become a wise consumer. We know you're busy, and that's why Clark's tips are quick and effective. He'll arm you with the information you need to make smart choices. During these tough economic times, Clark wants to help you save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off!