If you don’t have a Plan B, an alternative, in case your job moves overseas you’re putting yourself in a precarious position that could hurt you for years.
That’s a strong statement, but when it comes to your family’s financial and emotional security, we must be strong. Anyone who’s lost a job or been at risk of losing a job knows the toll it can take.
The risk: your job may not be safe.
With an ever-growing global economy and the increase in robotics and automation, jobs are no longer the secure and life-long guarantees from which our grandfathers benefited. Our jobs are not even as secure as what our fathers had.
As with most things in life, a backup plan helps. You have health and life insurance in case anything goes wrong.
Prospective college students apply to multiple colleges in case they’re rejected from their school of choice.
It’s for the same reason that it’s important to know what you’ll do should your job be shipped overseas.
Here’s how to start preparing yourself just in case your job moves overseas:
Build an emergency savings account.
First and foremost, have an emergency savings account. This is important not only because of the risk of losing your job, but for many other reasons.
An emergency savings account provides added cushion if you experience health issues and high insurance deductibles. If you’re a homeowner or car owner, it provides you extra protection if there’s an accident. Hot water heaters only breakdown in winters. Be prepared for that little bit of Murphy’s Law.
Open an account at a bank or credit union that has no bells or whistles. Decline debit card and check-writing features. Make it as hard to access this account as possible. This way you’ll be less inclined to access this money when a fake emergency, such as your TV going out, presents itself.
Arrange for a direct deposit from your employer or a one-way, regular electronic funds transfer (EFT) from your primary savings or checking account into this new account.
(Editor’s note from Miranda: I actually use a taxable account for my long-term savings. You can learn about my tiered strategy for emergency savings, which includes a traditional savings account and my investment account, by listening to our podcast episode on emergency funds.)
Once you save more than $400 in this account, you’ll be better than 47% of Americans.
Don’t stop at $400, though. Save three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If you’re unemployed for three to six months, you’ll appreciate this savings. If you never use it, at least you have a sense of financial security that many Americans lack.
Create a list of employers.
Create a list of employers within the distance you’re willing to drive every day. Make sure these employers offer jobs for which you qualify. This won’t guarantee you a job immediately, but it will reduce your search time. If a lot of people at your company lose their jobs at the same time, you need to know exactly where to go before everyone else starts hunting for work.
Gain more skills.
Learn one or two new skills that can be applied to your job each year. This is a good practice whether you’re at risk of losing your job or not. Learning more and more new skills will make you more and more marketable and available for upward mobility.
Many employers pay a certain amount of money each year to each employee to learn new skills. If you’re not sure if your employer offers this, contact your manager or human resource department. If you’re lucky, it’ll only cost you your time to increase your skills, your value, and your job security.
Sites such as Udemy and Coursera, offer advanced education for a fraction of the cost of college courses. This is great whether your newly-acquired education is being funded on your dime or your company’s dime.
All these courses can be taken on a computer from almost anywhere in the world.
Always be connecting (ABC).
There’s an acronym sales people use, ABC, which stands for Always Be Closing. The idea is that if you’re always closing sales, you’re making money.
This same strategy can be applied to maintaining or improving job prospects. The more people who know you and what you do for a living, the more people you help with their jobs and careers, the more people who will be your advocate if you’re in need of a job or career advancement.
Networking is an important skill to develop.
Link up to LinkedIn.
If you’re in the workforce or want to be in the workforce, you need to be on, and engaged with, LinkedIn. Ours is a virtual world and an online presence matters. Whether for your business or yourself, whether you’re employed or want to be employed, the number and value of professional connections that can be made on LinkedIn knows no comparison.
Use your company job board.
If your job moves overseas but your company doesn’t, search your current company’s job board to see what jobs are currently open or, better yet, who you know within your company that is hiring.
People like familiarity. If someone already knows or likes you and is hiring, they’re more inclined to hire you than they are a stranger. This may give you a leg up even if you’re not the most ideal candidate for the job.
Start your side-hustle.
I gush over our new gig economy because my entire business is predicated on it. I also think it’s important to have multiple streams of income, which the gig economy has made easier to achieve.
All that’s needed is a tablet, a website, or web hosting platform, and some social media accounts. Invest a few hundred dollars in recording equipment and basic editing skills learned from YouTube or other podcasts. The right person can create a successful blog or podcast themselves.
Blogs and podcasts can be monetized with affiliate marketing and sponsorships that can provide a stream or multiple streams of income.
Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and it’s ever-changing. Many of these recommendations should be started today — before your job moves overseas. The more proactive you are, the better you’ll survive employment and unemployment.