4 steps to tackle job and income uncertainty
Whether you've lost your job in recent times or you're feeling worried about potentially losing your job in the coming days, below are four simple actions you can take to put yourself in a better position for the uncertain days ahead.
Even as New Zealand continues its streak with beating the spread of COVID, its economy has not come out pain-free. Stuff reports that data out of Ministry of Social Development (MSD) shows 66,000 more Kiwis have gone on the unemployment benefit in the past four months, with unemployment figures topping 210,000. The worrying figure is that more than 400,000 jobs are being supported by the government's wage subsidy scheme which is due to end in September - likely driving unemployment numbers up further.
Even as "doom and gloom" lingers in the economy, one thing that we can count on by looking back in time is that the country and economy will beat the current situation and bounce back. The question is time - when this will happen. While we cannot control this, we can take this time to hit the reset button on our own situation.
Here are four steps you can take to come out better on the other side:
Stocktake your experience and skills
If you have been in the same job or company for awhile, chances are you have not given your CV a refresh. Deliverables and achievements over the years have been overlooked. It's time to recount your accomplishments over the years. LinkedIn is a handy and easy place to get started. If you don't have LinkedIn, get on it today. It's where recruiters live, connections are made, profiles are shared, and jobs are secured in 2020. The format of LinkedIn conveniently helps to prompt you to think about the skills you have, the companies you've worked for, the network you've developed over years... It all comes together online in one place - just like Quashed with insurance (plug alert!)
Start dreaming again
That dream job you've lost sight of over the years. The business idea you've always toyed with but parked. A new skill you've been meaning to acquire but never found time for. Whatever it is, now is the time to start dreaming about it again. Take this opportunity with the uncertainty to explore the new. Holding onto the old is a lot riskier in today's world. Established industries are fading away. New industries are being created with the rise of technology. Consumer expectations and demand are evolving. Dream AND step into it. If you want to pursue your dream job, learn what it takes to get there. If it's a new business, it's likely never been easier with all the tools to develop, build and market your new product or service. You're never too old! Our working lives are expected to extend as our lifespan lengthens. Retiring at 70 is already being discussed and could well be the norm in the not too distant future.
Evaluate your lifestyle creep
Lifestyle creep is real. It's a common syndrome affecting many - over time as income increases our lifestyle improves to "match". This is good and terrible at the same time. It's good when our lifestyle gets better, but when adversity hits, it's much harder to adjust to a simpler lifestyle. To put it simply, it's better for our lifestyle to lag our income growth. You'll not only find that it's less stressful to not have to keep up an expensive lifestyle but also seek contentment outside of the material pleasures that it's easy to get trapped in. If Lockdown has taught us anything, it is that we can do more with less.
Check your spending
Look and see where all your money is going. Take control! Most people will be surprise find that subscription services which accumulates over time bleeds our bank accounts dry. Gym memberships. Magazines. Expensive mobile and internet plans that was signed up to years ago. Insurance covers for your cars, home, contents, health, life, income, pet... that have not been looked at in years (it's now super easy to track all your insurance covers in one place online - get Quashed). This is like a leaking tap, only it drips money, your money. Before you know it - it's a massive puddle that's evaporated.