EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have often been heard to say, “Cash is a four letter word.”

It is for this reason that taking a sound approach to your job search REQUIRES that you have your financial house in order. There is nothing that is more distracting than to be concerned about your finances during a search.

With any luck, you have hopefully been fortunate to save a little money, and/or have equity in your home. However, regardless of where you have assets you can tap, it is sage advice to get yourself as liquid as possible. If you have equity in the house and your significant other is working, it is usually possible to refinance or get a second mortgage on their income alone.

Of particular concern is ensuring that you have enough cash to make the payments to keep the house and maintain the important parts of your life style.

But, don’t kid yourself. Much as a sailor who abandons ship, one never knows how long you will be in the lifeboat, and that is the problem that defies our logic. How long to plan for?

What you don’t want to happen is to be forced into making decisions because you run out of cash. If you set about to make yourself flush with cash and spend it wisely, with any luck, you will be “rescued” before your resources are depleted.

Key to this is, of course, insurance coverage. Insurance is to cover catastrophic losses, and in your weakened condition there is the very real risk that some unpredictable event will deplete your cash.

As I learned many years ago, disability coverage is not available when you are unemployed and that it isn’t part of COBRA. The time to arrange coverage for this very real risk is when you are working. Make it your first order of business when you are back on payroll.

Don’t avoid the hard decisions related to your lifestyle choices. Sure, you may find a job soon, but then again it may take longer. Opt for early choices in the process that will give you the breathing room you need to avoid taking jobs you know you should refuse.

The job search process is a stressful event. If you want to be able to maintain your full focus on what is important, you need to get and keep your financial house in order.

Bring the WHOLE family into the discussion. I think you will be surprised how everyone will rise to the occasion and how much more pleasant life will be if they all know the “rules of engagement.”

You can’t afford to be stressed about your finances when you are looking for a job. You are likely to be stressed enough about your search. Sure, you are bleeding cash, but with any luck you will find another job and have a few years to restore your finances to some level.

Ensuring you have breathing room will relax you and allow you to pour all of your considerable energies into networking, networking, and more networking.

Remember, no one is out of work forever. It just seems that way.

Regards, Matt

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