THE BLOG

Life Is All Good, Now What?: Eight Ways to Stay Prepared for Life's Inevitable Storms

Jul 25, 2013 | Updated Sep 24, 2013

Life is good. Good for you! There is still plenty that you can do to ensure that you are prepared just in case something unfortunate happens. Here are eight items you can tend to ensure that you are in the best position to sustain and recover from any mishaps that come along.

  1. Have enough of the appropriate insurance. No matter who you are and how great things are, you are going you need to have the appropriate insurance policies in place and confirm that your are not under insured. The time to make the necessary adjustments is before any mishaps occur. Just to start, you should have life, car, home or rental and health insurance. You can insure just about anything, so to make the determination as to what your particular insurance needs are, reach out to a licensed professional.
  2. Have a sufficient contingency fund for emergencies. It is a no-brainer that you should have money set aside in case of emergencies. The perfect time to start building up that nest is now -- when the going is good. That money should be easily accessible and enough to carry you if the worst were to happen. Where is considered a safe place for your emergency fund? You should definitely have at least a month's salary in account that is separate and accessible via ATM if your were to need it. The rest of your contingency money can be in an online savings account where it gets (what is right now a slight amount of) interest. How much should your emergency fund be? Well, the answer to that question depends on a few factors. Some of the factors you need to consider are the stability of your industry, whether you are the sole wage earner in your home, the amount of your monthly expenses and how long it will likely take you to find a new job.
  3. Keep your resume up to date. If you are laid off or let go, you will need to have a resume to find new employment. The best resume is detailed, neat and thorough and the best time to pull one together is before you need it. Keep a running list of big projects and impressive accomplishments that are job related. Incorporate the highlights from that list in the descriptive paragraphs in your resume. Every industry is different, but no matter what your industry is your resume will have more value if it includes quantifiable and detailed information about your skills and experience. Finding a new job can be a daunting task, but being able to hit the ground running with an already edited and inclusive resume will put you in a better position if your luck were to turn.
  4. Increase your knowledge and visibility in your field. When your life is nice and calm and things are going well, that is the perfect time take the initiative to move your knowledge and visibility in your field to the next level. Become more active in the professional group that is more respected in your industry. Go to conferences and conventions. Participate in webinars. Visit blogs and consider writing blog posts or articles. Give colleagues positive feedback on the work that they are doing. That which does not move, gets left behind. So, be sure to do whatever it takes to stay in the know and increasing your growth.
  5. Increase your value at work. Take a look around at your currently place of employment. There must be something that you can do to make things better, run more efficiently or bring in more clients. Whatever it is, take the initiative to do more. Just a little more effort goes a long way. Come in a little earlier, be more focused and ensure that your final product is something that you are proud of. Increasing your value also includes being a person that others in the workplace enjoy being around. Many of us spend more time at work than at home and it is certainly of value to have a reputation as a kind, respectful and hardworking individual. Think to yourself, if you needed to get a recommendation from a supervisor or colleague, what would they say about you? What can you do to change that for the better? Take the initiative and do the work to be the best employee that you can be, today.
  6. Continue to network. The best time to network is before you need to draw on the contacts in your network. Networking is certainly a muscle that gets stronger by working it out, so develop your skills while your life and career are going well. Networking has different levels and intensities, but you should certainly be planting seeds right now -- before you need to harvest sustenance. That means that you should introduce yourself to people you do not know, follow-up with people with whom you have lost touch. Use social media as a tool. Create profiles and keep plugged into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and LinkedIn. For those who are technology averse, I plead with you: Do not get left behind! Start slowly by picking one platform and move on from there.
  7. Make sure that you have a relevant and updated LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a powerful social networking tool for your career. You profile needs to include a professional photograph of you, and only you (no wedding shots or family portraits). You should include all the work that you have been doing to increase your knowledge in your industry. Include relevant articles you have authored, conferences attended and professional certificates earned. Take note of what people are doing in your network and comment. If someone lands a new job, congratulate them. If you come across an article that you feel is interesting, share it. None of this has to take much time. LinkedIn has a highly functional app, so you can literally network on the go.
  8. Be a friend to someone having a tough time. Karma is real. In other words, the energy you put out into the universe will circle back to you. With this in mind, you should leverage your success and good fortune into helping another who is struggling. You can do it on a big scale, or help one neighbor or volunteer your skills by serving on the board of a non-profit. Whatever you choose to contribute, you need to invest your care and concern into a community. We all share space on this earth, and sometimes life's storms erupt without warning and you will need a friend to shelter you.

Jaclyn Vargo is a self-trained, self-proclaimed, budget geek. After attending Harvard University and Fordham Law School she worked for eight years a Manhattan prosecutor. She is a problem solver who enjoys helping people. Jaclyn provides personal budget coaching services at Your Budget Builder LLC, where she counsels and inspires people to achieve their financial goals. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her wife and two children.