(CNN) – General Motors recently announced it plans to slash thousands of jobs and experts say it is a warning that in this era of rapid and disruptive technological change, no one is immune from layoffs.
The best time to plan for when things get rough is while everything is going well, experts say. As technology rapidly changes markets, layoffs can be unexpected.
“A couple days after Thanksgiving, they give everybody the pink slip. I mean, what are they thinking about,” says Rep. Tim Ryan.
Experts say it reflects a trend across the U.S. economy, not just manufacturing.
So, how do you prepare?
The first step is to learn from the past.
“If you’re unsure of your position within your company is safe, ask the people who were in that same position what happened during the last recession,” says David Greene, Host of the “Bigger Pockets” podcast.
Step two: Improve your position.
Experts advise you try to become more central to your company’s future.
“Ask yourself what would happen if sales decreased or if the economy slowed down. Would they still need me, or would I be expendable?” Greene suggests.
Step three: Learn new skills and view education as a lifetime process.
Step four: Save for emergencies. If you’re already saving, stack up even more money.
“There’s another really good reason, too,” Greene says, “That’s the fact you have money to invest when assets are cheaper.”
Finally, be flexible. A recession may force you into a new career, and that is okay.
“Plan for the best and prepare for the worst,” Greene said.