“You’re Fired!”

If you are a viewer of the reality show ”The Apprentice”, then these words are familiar to you. These words are meaningless to you and I, as we know this is merely Mr. Trump’s explanation point at the end of the show. What happens when you or I are face to face with our superiors and the phrase “You’re Fired” is directed at us?

As many startup companies develop exit strategies in case of potential disaster or overwhelming success, the everyday person needs to develop an exit strategy as well. What happens if your main source of income all of a sudden collapses or you get to a point in life when you are no longer able to do what you currently do?

Here are some good exit strategy steps:

Make sure that you and your loved ones are covered with a life insurance policy.

Save, Save, Save! Health insurance rates are increasing all of the time. You will need money to get adequate coverage unless another family member can cover you.

Develop a business on the side. Do something you are good at or invest in an asset that is going to produce money for you. This will go a long way if it is in place now.

Begin to hone skills that may be a bit outdated (i.e., enhance your computer and communication skills). If you are let go after years of service, the way you communicate may have to change because you will be in a different environment. In today’s society, if you are not computer savvy, your world becomes very small.

Get out of debt! The quicker you are able to do this the better off you will be if you were to be fired.

Fund the retirement plan. Does your company offer a 401k or a 403b? Are you a participant? If not, get in it right away! You may be able to use this money if an emergency arises upon your termination.

Rethink your lifestyle. Ask yourself what is it that I can do without right now? Could it be going out to dinner every night or are you spending too much money on clothing? Whatever it is, you may need to alter your lifestyle a little.

Look at the trends in your occupation. Research what is going on at your company’s competitors. If your company’s competitors are trimming the department that is equivalent to yours, then it may not be long before your department is trimmed as well. Is there a salary freeze in your occupation (no or very low raises)? Is your position being outsourced out of state or overseas? The handwriting is normally on the wall. We just don’t see it sometimes.

If you don’t have an exit plan in place, you are looking for trouble. Even the highest paid persons who work for Fortune 500 companies are susceptible to being fired. They normally are able to walk away with a plan in place until they are able to secure a position somewhere else.