How to Recession-proof Your Life

by Jeri Masterson - Date: 2008-11-27 - Word Count: 808 Share This!

With all the doom and gloom in the financial news, how is the best way to make your life recession-proof? At this point I've been laid off four times in my 30-year career, so I have some perspective on this topic. Here are some of the things I learned.

1. Check Your Financial Reality.

First, determine your own situation. Not knowing your exact financial position breeds anxiety; the truth drives out fear. Take stock of your money. Add up how much money you have and how much you owe. The difference is your net worth.

Compare your monthly cash coming in to cash going out. If you have debt, how long will it take you to pay it off? Remember, you have to make over a 20% return on alternative investments before borrowing at 15% makes sense. Paying off debt is the best investment you can make!
If you don't have a job, how many months of living expenses do you have? What is the worst thing that could happen if you run out of money? Make plans now for what you'd do then. It will probably never come to that, but just having a "Worst Thing that could Happen" plan is a big step in managing fear of the downside.

2. Practice Gratitude.

Practice gratitude. Don't let the media hype stress you out. They thrive on propagating fear, so turn off the news if necessary. Do you have a job? Then you are not an unemployment statistic. And, you can keep working to restore your retirement funds.

If you don't have a job, do you have your health? Do you have friends? Then be thankful you can look for a job. Remember: you only need one job, and it's not a statistic.

Find things to be grateful for each and every day. Write them down if that helps you focus. Start with "I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise." Or "I have time to visit my ailing parent." "My child went to school with matching socks." Walk around outside and look at nature, or do some volunteer work to get perspective on your own situation.

3. Find Ways to Cut Back...and Start Your Own Business.

I'm from the "More is More" school of consumerism, so this one is particularly painful. During one season of unemployment, I discovered if I could just fill my car with gas and put fresh flowers in the house I felt like a million dollars. I discovered these two small things were really important and let the rest go. What makes you feel like a million?

Also, when you're unemployed, you can do more for yourself rather than hiring someone to do it for you. Like ironing your own shirts, mowing the lawn, detailing the car, redesigning your interior, or working in the garden.

I'm unemployed and living in a small town. My husband and I invented BigSlider™ utility mover to help me get jobs done at home while he's at the office. My "unemployment" result: we won Popular Mechanics Top 13 Tools of 2008 award at the National Hardware Show and were featured on DIY Network's Cool Tools program. Hopefully BigSlider will turn into my full time job. In the mean time...

4. Looking for a Job is a Full Time Job.

Writing a resume, filling out job applications, talking to your friends - and their friends, and reading job listings are simple steps that take an amazing amount of time. Make sure you do at least one of these things every day to forward your job search.

Find your highest energy point in the day and use that time to make phone calls to people you don't know. Don't ask strangers for a job (that puts them on the spot); instead, ask for help or information...and take no more than 15 minutes of their time. At the end of your conversation ask for at least one other person's name to call, then request permission to use their name when you call that person. Classic networking can be the path to employment.

Get clear on what you're bringing to the table. Why should someone hire you? Take the Briggs-Myers personality test and the Johnson O'Connor aptitude test, if needed. Third-party tests objectively clarify your strengths and are a great morale booster. Write - and memorize - a 60-second pitch starting with "I'm the kind of person who..." Be ready to give it to anyone at any time. You never know who you'll meet.

5. Don't Give Up.

Finally, don't get discouraged if a job doesn't turn up immediately. The rule of thumb is it takes one month to find a job for every $10,000 per year of base pay. Review your "Worst Thing that could Happen" plan. Keep being grateful for what you already have, keep looking for a job, and use your time off to focus on other relationships. Your season of unemployment may be exactly what your family needed.

Related Tags: job, unemployment, recession, laid off, downturn

Jeri Masterson invented the Bigslider to empower anyone to move almost anything easily. Her goals are to reduce effort to move heavy and bulky loads at work and home, increase productivity, and empower an aging workforce to continue contributing. Her advice on surviving in hard times comes from her own experience. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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