How to Survive a Job Loss in a Recession

By: Curtis Wayne 0 Comments   3/9/2019

The job numbers are starting to drop last month the economy only added 20,000 new jobs.

This time is going to be different than the 2008 recession because there were a lot more small businesses.  Small businesses are private owned and they usually hold on to employees much longer during a recession than big companies. 

Large international companies have very little loyalty to their workers anymore.  The moment they see a slowdown coming they will start laying off employees.  And many more people work for large companies that have bought up many small businesses over the last debate. 

If the majority of the workforce has moved from small businesses that are less likely to lay off employees, into large businesses that are quick to start laying off workers, than when the recession is clearly evident the economy is going to shed jobs very quickly. 

Estimates for Q1 GDP is already close to zero.

The keys to surviving a job loss in a recession;

  • Make a plan with about 10-15 steps that you can take.  It will be overwhelming and emotionally straining.  Once you have your plan, try to work on at least one thing per day and write down what you do each day.  This will help you build confidence that you are making progress as you can read through what you have done each day before deciding what to do the next day.
  • Start looking for a job right away, don’t wait for the recession if find its way into the rest of the economy.  The very next day ask your old managers and co-workers for a reference and write down their name, phone and email address.  You will need these very shortly.
  • Call your local unemployment office and get what you can.  Create a short term budget that you can survive with for the next few months.  If you have a small business, consider how you could quickly grow to support yourself.  Recessions causing new markets to open up and if you are already in business you may be able to expand into a new market.
  • Create your resume, look at examples and create a LinkedIn profile.  Use YouTube to learn how to create your resume, how to get active on LinkedIn and how to search for a job on the job boards like
  • Start applying for jobs, even if the jobs you find are not a perfect match for your stills.  Realize that during the last several years with a low unemployment rate many jobs have been unfilled for 2, 4 or 8 months. 
  • Use your personal network to spread the word that you are looking for a job. Call you friends that work at businesses that you could work for and ask them if there are openings or if there are going to be openings it the near future.  When you get on the phone will a manager or HR at one of these companies, drop the name of the person that you know works there.  Put your family to work for you asking their friends for jobs.
  • Do not get discouraged, realize you will probably need to apply for ten jobs before you get one. You probably have about a 10% chance at each job at the beginning of the recession and depending upon how deep the recession is when you get laid off, you may only have a 2% chance, which means that you may need to apply for 50 jobs before you land one.
  • Be careful not to take a job in an industry that is collapsing.  The industries that have seen the asset bubbles will see the greatest collapse.  If you get a job in a collapsing industry you may get laid off again a few months later.  Therefore do some research to learn about the industries that will have the best growth potential during the recession.  

Your new job will not be like your old job. Most likely it will not pay as well or provide as many benefits, but don’t hold out for the same pay. 

Realize that your income will likely drop and therefore while you are looking for a new job, make a list of things that you can cut back on or completely drop like cable TV or eating out.

In The Meantime

In the meantime while you are waiting to hear back from HR departments, stay busy each day working on something on your plan and documenting what you did. 

When you get sick of working on your job search, take some time with your family and friends.  Find a way to help someone, maybe you can help your children with their school work or planning their education, visit some colleges with them.  If you have younger children or grandchildren, you can find a way to get involve in their lives.

Your new job may take extra time away from your family, so enjoy the time you have with them while you are still looking for a job. 

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