The Financial Choice That’s Most Important When You’ve Been Laid Off

Yesterday, a friend shared that she was laid off this week. Three weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal laid off approximately 100 staff – many of whom were personal finance journalists. Hmm… Recently, Microsoft announced it was laying off 7,800 additional (!) jobs. Layoffs are typically associated with tough economic times. But, our economy is steady! Even with this week’s weird concatenation of events (Greece’s debt crisis, China’s market meldown, and the NYSE’s three hour tech-outage), the U.S economy continues to grow – albeit slowly. And the “market” as measured by these key indices – Dow Jones Industrial Average; S&P 500; and Nasdaq – rallied to end the week in positive territory and not too far from their 52-week high. The reasons for the layoffs are as varied as the firms conducting them. For some, it is purely expense containment and reduction; for others, it is triggered by a needed shift in the company’s business and business model. Regardless of the reason, there is a person and family emotionally and financially affected by this decision to reduce staff. There is a person who now needs to work on plan B for their career and mostly likely their personal finances, too. Is this you? Have you recently been laid off? If so, you may feel tentative, anxious, short on confidence and may be even a little guilty. If this is a repeat layoff, the emotional scar of multiple layoffs may run deep. And you might be freaking out, mad that you have to start over (again) and wondering, “How am I going to bounce-back this time?” or “When will I...

The Unusual Bottom Line Factor: Personal & Professional Development

When it comes to talking about money, the discourse is typically centered on growing one’s earnings, savings, and investments, while reducing debt and careless spending. Rarely do we make a correlation between these aspirations and our own growth in terms of personal and professional development. Yet, I believe a strong case can be made for this oft overlooked connection – especially for those of us who are not professional athletes and therefore not “trained” to see the connection between improved performance and one’s level of wealth. Consider the small business owner who hires a coach because her business is faltering; or, the physician who attends the annual medical conference to obtain CMEs (Continuing Medical Education); or the middle manager taking firm-provided training to improve his chances for a promotion; or the artist who works for an arts-based non-profit and participates in an artist fellowship program; or the person who annually attends a yoga retreat. These are just some examples of how people invest in their personal or professional well-being. (Continue...