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  • Nick Burgess

Prepping for Pink Slips: Financial Tips for Young Adults Facing Layoffs

The following article is for entertainment and educational purposes only, and should not be considered financial advice. Please contact a licensed financial professional for individual advice. Some links below may be affiliate links that generate a small commission for the site at no cost to you.


In today's post, we're going to discuss an increasingly important topic: how to financially prepare for a potential layoff. It's no secret that we're potentially entering a recession, and corporations know it. Big Tech companies are laying off companies by the thousands. The dreaded "HR All-Hands" invites are starting to come through "to the affected." The COVID-era over hiring spree has started to bite these companies in the ass, and now their younger employees are the ones getting cut.

Let's face it, nobody wants to think about losing their job. But with a little humor and a healthy dose of reality, we can turn this bummer of a topic into something empowering. Here are our top tips for young adults (ages 21-35) on how to make the best out of a worst-case scenario. Ready, set, save!

Embrace the 6-Month Emergency Fund

You've probably heard this tip before, but there's a good reason for it. Having an emergency fund can be a financial lifesaver when the unexpected (like a layoff) strikes. Aim for at least six months' worth of living expenses in a high-yield savings account, so you can stay afloat while you search for your next gig. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint - it's okay to build your emergency fund gradually. You can start by setting aside a small amount of your paycheck each month and increasing it as you become more comfortable with your savings habit.

Do the (side)Hustle

One of the best ways to prepare for potential unemployment is to develop multiple income streams. Side hustles not only provide extra cash but also offer a fallback plan in case of job loss. From freelancing to dog walking, there's a side hustle for everyone. Plus, having something to fall back on can help keep your spirits up in a tough time. Consider your hobbies and interests and brainstorm ideas for monetizing them. Remember, passion can be a significant driver in turning a side gig into a lucrative opportunity.

Keep Calm and Network On

It's all about who you know! Networking is crucial in finding new job opportunities and staying informed about your industry. Attend industry events, join relevant online groups, and maintain relationships with former colleagues. The more people you know, the more doors will open for you in the future. Don't forget the power of social media as a networking tool - platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be invaluable in connecting you with potential employers and like-minded professionals.

Streamline and Simplify

When life gives you lemons, it's time to make some budget lemonade. Take a close look at your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back. Consider downsizing or giving up non-essentials (I'm looking at you, daily lattes) to maximize your financial security. Review your subscriptions and memberships, as well as your grocery, transportation, and utility expenses. Remember that every little bit counts, and these small savings can add up over time.

Get Insured

To my international readers, you can go ahead and skip this section. To my unfortunate U.S readers who rely on private employment for insurance to, you know, survive, listen up.

As a young adult, you might think you're invincible, but having insurance is essential to protect yourself from financial disaster. Review your health, life, and disability insurance policies to ensure you're adequately covered. If your employer provides insurance, research your options for coverage after a layoff, like COBRA or a marketplace plan. Don't forget to explore short-term insurance policies as well, which can be a temporary solution while you're between jobs.

Invest in Yourself

Last but not least, remember that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Keep learning and growing, both professionally and personally. Look into certifications, additional education, or self-improvement courses that can increase your marketability and give you a leg up in a competitive job market. Explore online courses, local workshops, and industry conferences to enhance your skills and make you more attractive to future employers.

Stay Positive and Proactive

Mindset plays a significant role in navigating a potential layoff. Stay positive and proactive in your approach, as this will not only help you cope with the uncertainty but also make you more resilient in the face of adversity. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities and embrace change as a chance to grow, both personally and professionally. Practice mindfulness and stress management techniques to maintain your mental wellbeing during this time.

Track Your Progress

Stay on top of your financial goals by regularly tracking your progress. This will help you stay motivated and accountable, as well as allowing you to adjust your strategies if needed. Use budgeting apps or good old-fashioned pen and paper to monitor your savings, expenses, and side hustle earnings. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and learn from any setbacks.

Diversify Your Skill Set

The more versatile you are, the more valuable you become in the job market. Learn new skills that complement your current ones or expand your knowledge into new areas. This can not only make you more marketable to future employers but also open up new career paths and opportunities you may not have considered before.

Plan for Long-Term Financial Stability

While it's essential to focus on your immediate financial situation, don't forget to plan for the future. Take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans or open an individual retirement account (IRA) to start saving for your golden years. Consider investing in a diversified portfolio, which can help grow your wealth over time and protect against market fluctuations. Remember, a long-term financial strategy is just as important as short-term financial preparedness.


Facing a potential layoff can be daunting, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can turn it into an opportunity to grow and thrive. By implementing these tips, you'll not only be ready for the unexpected but also become a more financially secure and resilient person. So go forth and conquer, and remember: when life hands you a pink slip, you'll be ready to rock the (job) boat!

Remember that setbacks and challenges are a normal part of life, and by adopting a proactive, positive approach, you'll be better equipped to navigate any curveballs that come your way. Keep pushing forward and stay committed to your financial goals, and before you know it, you'll have built a solid foundation that can weather any storm.


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