Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Gerri Willis Commentary:
Top Tips by Gerri Willis Column archive

Preparing for a layoff

Gerri Willis gives top tips on softening the blow of losing a job.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Gerri Willis, CNN

For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' "Home Rich," now in bookstores.
CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.32%
$10K MMA 0.27%
6 month CD 0.38%
1 yr CD 0.61%
5 yr CD 1.27%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nearly 2 million jobs have been lost this year and more cuts are coming. Could you be next? Here's what you can do if you're worried you'll lose your job.

1. Get prepared

Get some savings together. If you don't have six months worth of savings - enough to cover your mortgage or rent, food, energy and transportation - GET IT.

In this environment, when there is more competition and fewer jobs available, it may take even more time for you to find a job.

It's worth it to stop contributing to your 401(k) and sock the money into an savings account if you currently have no savings and you are reasonably certain you are about to be laid off.

2. Use up your health benefits.

Get the annual checkup, specialty exams, shots, in short, everything, because you don't know what sort of insurance coverage you might have once you are jobless.

The only thing that you can count on is that coverage will cost you more.

Use up any money in a health savings account or transportation savings account. This money disappears at the end of the calendar year. It's your dough, don't leave it on the table.

And now is the time to start reading up on COBRA coverage. Go to the Department of Labor at www.dol.gov and search for COBRA.

3. Get the forecast

Let's take a look at some forecasts.

Economy.com predicts this year we'll see 2.4 million jobs lost. And by the end of 2009, there will be 2.7 million people out of work.

All is not lost. It may be that you aren't going to get laid off, or that your employer is currently putting together the list of folks who are about to be axed.

For that reason, you'll want to continue to push your star higher at work.

Get yourself assigned to critical company projects. Find ways for the company to save money. Reestablish connections with people in different parts of the company. To top of page

Gerri's Mailbox: Got questions about your money? We want to hear them! Send e-mails to toptips@cnn.com or click here - each week, we'll answer questions on CNN, Headline News and CNNMoney.com.
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
A look at Sears through the years Now Sears has officially said its business has an uncertain future, here's a look at photographs that documents the store's rich history. More
Coolest hotel bars for business travelers in 2017 CNNMoney asked a high-end concierge service for routine business travelers what hotel bars they'd recommend in 4 major U.S. cities. Here are the best spots. More
Top credit cards for business travelers 2017 Just like a pair of pants, there's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the best credit cards for travelers. More