Most of us will lose a job at some stage in our life. It can be a stressful time, particularly if you have a family to provide for.

Even if you’re in the twilight of your career, think your job is secure and you’re excelling in every way, you could still find yourself being made redundant due to external factors.

Unless you own or run the company, some things are just out of your control. Because of this, it’s wise to be prepared.

By applying the following 11 tips you will survive losing your job and be in a good position to find the next one.

1) Assess Your Finances

First thing’s first, you need to assess your overall financial situation. How much are you being paid, how much are you spending now, and how much do you require to cover the essentials? Do you have any assets or a mortgage? And how many people depend on you? What about savings and investments?

If you are in debt and/or spending most of your wages or salary (living pay check to pay check), you will be hit hard if you lose your job.

2) Have a Budget

Once you’ve assessed your finances you are now in the position to create a budget (if you don’t use one already). This will allow you to stay informed about your finances moving forward. Should you lose your job you’ll know exactly where you can tighten spending.

3) Build an Emergency Fund

The time to build an emergency fund is while you’re in a secure job. It should be able to cover at least 3 months of essential expenses (or longer for added security), but the exact amount to save will depend on your individual situation. You will be able to rely on these savings if you lose your job.

Even though saving can be tough, you’re only doing this until the pot is full. And remember, if you cut into the fund, don’t forget to top it back up again.

4) Assess Your Job Prospects

 Even if there’s no sign of losing your current position, it’s always a good idea to regularly overview your skills and qualifications, and update your CV. How quickly could you find another job if you lost the current one?

Take a look at the job market for positions you are qualified for and could apply for. If there aren’t many available or requirements have changed (sometimes you might find yourself disqualified from your current job on paper), you might want to prepare for a career change or even some retraining.

5) Consider Insurance

Income protection insurance is a form of insurance that pays out when you lose your job (though certain requirements have to be met). Typically, you will be issued regular payments (much like a wage) for the time you are out of work or for an agreed period. Other policies pay out a lump sum.

Unlike a straight savings plan, you could be paid out much more than you paid in. However, if you never lose your job you do not have access to the money you paid in.

6) Know Your Employer’s Benefits and Policies

To properly prepare for a potential job loss, you should become familiar with your employer’s severance policies and other benefits.

Do you get severance pay if you’re laid off and if so what is the criteria? Does your health insurance plan continue under COBRA if you lose your job?

7) Be Ready to Downsize your Life

Even if you have an emergency fund and other sources of money that can tide you over until you find a new job, you’re still likely to need to cut back on your expenditure and learn to live frugally. That means no more meals out or impulse buying.

8) Get a Side Gig

One hedge against losing your job is to have another one on the side. For example, you might start freelancing online during the weekends. Of course, if you are in a fulltime job you won’t have time to make a lot of money, but if you lose your job you can dedicate more time and immediately fill that income gap.

9) Maintain Good Credit

If you lose your job and need to borrow money to stay afloat, a good credit score is going to help. It will provide the widest possible range of credit and loan options, with the best interest rates and other terms.

10) Maintain Your Network

The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is still very much applicable. Always keep in contact with your close clients and work colleagues, as you never know who could be offering you a job in the future.

11) Learn New Skills

Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn new skills and get new qualifications. In fact, that’s how a lot of people progress in their career. Some firms might pay for extra training in the hope that you stay with them and move up the ladder.

If there’s not much room to progress in your current job, you should still advance your skills in your own time. If you lose your job, you may end up with a better one!

Even though losing a job can be one of the most stressful times in your life, with good planning it doesn’t need to be.