Preparing for Uncertainty Part 6
By Rieva Lesonsky
If there’s one thing you can predict about entrepreneurship, it’s that it’s unpredictable. In this special series sponsored by The Hartford, we’ll help you prepare for uncertainty, minimize risks and protect your business.
The U.S. unemployment rate may be low—today. But it’s not all roses and sunshine. In 2018, companies from Sears to Ford to Amazon laid off workers, while the stock market seesawed wildly. Going into 2019, the forecast is more of the same—all of which means growing job uncertainty for the nation’s employees.
We know many of you are working to save money to one day realize your entrepreneurial dream, so your job is important to you. If you’re worried about job security, you’re not alone. To help yourself prepare for whatever the future brings, here are 8 steps to take.
1—Keep your job skills updated. If you want both your current employer and future employers to see you as a desirable employee, now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Keep your job skills sharp and learn new ones. Participate in industry conferences, attend seminars or sign up for online courses or webinars to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry. You can even take part-time or night classes to boost your skills. This will better prepare you for business ownership as well.
2—Prepare for financial uncertainty. Experts recommend having three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved up. While this is a tall order for many, do the best you can to build your savings and create a financial cushion. Review your personal budget for ways to cut expenses (subscription services and eating out are good places to start).
3—Raise your profile at work. Make yourself as indispensable as you can at your job. Volunteer for projects; help your co-workers out; make suggestions to your boss. Now is the time to go above and beyond, not to slack or complain. Be positive and encouraging—the kind of person the boss wants to keep around. Through it all, be sure to toot your own horn (tactfully, of course).
4—Explore your options. Don’t let worries about getting laid off paralyze you. Instead, try to think of a possible layoff as a door to new opportunities. Take the time to explore possible new jobs or careers while you’re still employed. Once you know what your options are, a lot of your worry will dissipate.
5—Find ways to deal with stress. Job uncertainty creates unnecessary anxiety. Whether it’s throwing yourself into a hobby, meditating every morning or going for a daily run, figure out ways to release some of that stress. Set aside 30 minutes a day to do something that relaxes you.
6—Update your resume. You never know when a potential job opportunity will present itself, so have your resume ready to go at a moment’s notice. If it’s been a while since you updated your resume, ask a trusted adviser for help or check out the resume-writing resources at Monster.com for tips on everything from updating a resume to dealing with common resume dilemmas.
7—Reconnect with your business network. Freshen up your profile on business-related social networking sites you belong to, such as LinkedIn or industry-specific organizations. Check in with your contacts, both online and offline, to see what they’re up to and let them know you’re interested in job opportunities.
8—Prepare to start your own business. If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, getting laid off could be just the push you need to make those dreams a reality. Do as much preparation as you can while you still have a job. SCORE or your local Small Business Development Center both offer free, expert business advice. They can help you assess the feasibility of your business idea and develop a business plan for getting started. Since many small businesses can be started from home, you can even launch your business while you still have your day job.
Be sure to protect your new business from uncertainty by getting the appropriate insurance coverage. Business insurance can protect you from risks such as lawsuits, theft or disaster.
Are you planning to start your business from home? Your homeowner’s insurance probably doesn’t provide all the coverage your business needs. You’ll need a home-based business Insurance policy to protect both your business and your home in case of property damage, lawsuits, employee injuries or data loss.
In partnership with The Hartford