What to Do if You or Your Spouse Have Been Laid Off:: Make a Plan

Four years ago, my husband called me around 9:00am in a panic, while on the way to a client’s office in Orange, Texas, saying that he made a huge mistake. He was convinced that he would be fired because of it. He had co-workers that were laid off for a lot less, so he believed that any mistake would be a chop to his head. At that point, I panicked. He was our sole source of income and with two kids in Mother’s Day Out, two car payments, a mortgage, student loan debt {Navient gotta get paid, yo}, and a slew of other fiscal responsibilities, I panicked. He told me to go ahead and implement our “plan”.

What to do if You or Your Spouse Have Been Laid Off: Make a Plan. A photograph of a man sitting on a set of stairs next to a box filled with office desk personal items. Logo: Houston moms. Being an O/G wife {that’s Oil and Gas, for those not in the know}, our family is always aware of the economy, oil and gas prices, and how jobs are doing. In Houston, we are all too familiar with these worries. At that time we knew of about 7 families whose world was rocked by lay offs and lack of jobs around town, so to make ourselves feel a tiny bit better, we made a plan of what to do if he got laid off.

He ended up not getting laid off that week, but he was laid off two years later in March 2018 and we were much calmer about it, because we had made a plan.

The First Step:: Finding a Job for Me

My husband had a career and a direction that he knew he wanted to go. I knew that I needed to get a job, knowing that I could work anywhere. Having a career or a specific type of job, wasn’t as important for me during the first step of our plan. The first step in our plan is for me to start applying anywhere and everywhere to keep income coming in. I live near a Chick-Fil-A, a Sam’s Club, a Walmart, a Kohls, and a slew of other places that would be a great place to get some income.

That day in 2016, I updated my resume {Check out these free resume templates from Microsoft Word}, realizing there were some gaping holes in my resume. I had about a year left of school to finish my Master’s Degree and knew that if I ever needed to get back into the workforce full time {specifically if his next job included a pay cut}, I would be a much better looking candidate if I finished my Master’s Degree while being a SAHM.

Pro Resume Tip:: If you don’t have your Master’s or a degree, don’t worry. There are tons of online courses, free or paid, that can help you continue your education in you field. It can also boost your likability for Human Resources and show that you have still been active during your stay-at-home mom time. Also, don’t be afraid to put down your volunteer work on your resume. Have you volunteered at school or been the Secretary of the PTA? All of that helps show HR recruiters that you have skills and can do whatever tasks they are looking for.

Resources to Find a Job::

The State of Texas and Texas Workforce Commission {TWC} has also provided this really great resource for job seekers. While you can’t go into Workforce Solutions offices nowadays, thanks to COVID 19, the online resources are even more important to find jobs. Workforce Solutions has great online resources for finding a job, writing or updating a resume, filing for unemployment, and more. Search jobs here or check out workintexas.com for the current list of jobs. For moms, there are a ton of online work at home jobs that can be found on HireMyMom.com.

The Next Step:: Finding My Husband’s Career

The next step was for Greg to hustle and bustle finding his next job. Knowing that he would probably be getting some sort of severance package helped us. When he was laid off in March 2018, he had been at his company for twelve years. He ended up getting twelve weeks of severance, so that gave us a little bit of wiggle room. We knew that we could use our 401K’s and IRA’s if we had to, but this step was a bit rough for us to think about.

We started applying everywhere to help my husband find a job. I almost made it my full time job helping him find a job. The challenging part became finding out what he actually did and was qualified for. Even though he’s a mechanical engineer in oil and gas, I even applied for mechanical engineer job in aerospace. It could have worked, maybe.

LinkedIn Premium::

The trial for LinkedIn Premium really helped us find Greg jobs and helped us message the actual recruiters looking for the workers versus throwing your resume and application into a black void of a giant company’s website and never hearing from anyone. We highly recommend LinkedIn Premium. Thankfully they offer a 30 day trial, so if you play your cards right, that might be all the time you need to look for a job.


Greg sent messages to his former co-workers, sent his resumes to as many people as he could, while I enlisted the fellow OG wives that I knew could help. Within a week of this, he had 4 interviews lined up, as well as meeting with oil and gas recruiters that could connect him with the right places. Remembering these connections helped us to breathe just a tiny bit.

In fact, Greg went to a concert one night with a buddy and ran into a former co-worker who worked at a new company. The new company was looking for someone with Greg’s skills and ended up hiring Greg, with more pay! Networking saved our butts, showing the importance of keeping up with your co-workers on social media, like Facebook or LinkedIn. It can really help.

The Final Step:: Budget and Savings

We looked at our savings and out budget, trimming and slashing what we could. We cancelled Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime, Sirius XM radio, cable, and called our cell phon providers and internet providers for discounts. Did you know that they offer discounts throughout the year? If you haven’t called in a while to ask for discounts, make a priority to do so today. It might save you 15% or 20% off your bill. We also found other cost cutting strategies here.

I hate that I have to write this post. I hate that families all around the country are dealing with this and might have to implement this plan. With furloughs and layoffs happening all around us, we are thankful to still have a job for right now, knowing that we have a plan for the “just in case” parts of life.

If you have dealt with being laid off or losing a job, what tips do you have? 

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What to do if You or Your Spouse Have Been Laid Off: Make a Plan. A photograph of a man sitting on a set of stairs next to a box filled with office desk personal items. Logo: Houston moms.

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Jennifer is a native outside-the-loop’er growing up and living in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. She has a Bachelors in theology and political science from Texas Lutheran University and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. She and her husband Greg met in 2010 through Match.com and fell in love on their first date. They married exactly one year later and have fought lovingly and constantly since. They have two amazingly brilliant girls, Kaitlyn {June 2013} and Elizabeth {June 2015} who Jen stays home with during the day. When Jen is not curled in a little ball rocking back and forth with Peppa Pig on in the background, she can be found crafting with her Silhouette and/or binge watching The Office for the millionth time. Jen has an uncanny ability to be comfortable in almost any situation put in front of her, thanks to growing up in politics and on the debate team. Before having kids of her own, she had the opportunity to help other kids through teaching, youth ministry, and generally being a helpful, kind soul. You can check out more about Jen on IG @themommymiddle.


  1. Hello Jennifer, I found this article through a Google search. My husband is an Production Petroleum engineer with his Degree from LSU. Unfortunately his career has been hit hard through this pandemic. He was laid off for over a year and finally found a contract job that needed very recently. So we are back to square one and its been very hard. Do you mind me asking what your Husband does in Oil and Gas?


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