Accept that your employer sees you as entirely disposable. Even if you are a stellar salesperson or senior management, no one is entirely safe. In a time when companies are just trying to make it to the next quarter, sometimes the knife cuts through the muscle and into the bone.
When times are good, stock up. Save money when you are making it so that you can cover costs when things are lean.
Develop many streams of income. If you have multiple sources of income, even if one source dries up, you won’t be devastated. Diversification is important in investing and it is also increasingly important in employment. If you are reliant on one source to pay your mortgage you my friend are in a precarious position.
Learn more than one skill. If the axe falls its good to know that you can leave an industry if you have to. Often layoffs sweep through an entire sector of the economy. If you’ve spent a lifetime in manufacturing and your job evaporates with all the other manufacturing jobs you are in real trouble.
Live below your means. However good a car or a house may look, nothing is worth extending yourself financially, with the possible exception of education. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it.
As you get your financial house in order many of your neighbors will continue to lease new cars and put vacations on credit cards. You may feel like you are missing out. Don’t feel that way. Being financially solvent is practically countercultural these days. But it’s still the right thing to do.