There will likely be quickening heartbeats and stressful conversations taking place in the homes of many federal members of parliament in the lead-up to the election (assuming it's ever called) as they anticipate the potential loss of their job. What to do after politics can be a confronting conversation to be had, so after the past couple of weeks spent critiquing government policy and action, this week I'm taking a different approach. Pollies, this one's for you. For ordinary Australians, our identity is often closely tied to our job. When we lose it, we can feel cast adrift - stateless, one might say - seeking refuge in another professional home. Living in the no man's land of unemployment can feel confronting not just financially, but emotionally and psychologically too. Of course, with the annual salary of a federal politician reaching in excess of $200,000 - not including expenses allowances - you should have been able to save a nice little nest egg. If tickets to the Ashes and associated hospitality and accommodation costs have even been allowed to be expensed, your disposable income should provide you a comfortable buffer that will give you some breathing space after the electoral dance of musical chairs - ahem, seats. That said, it might be worthwhile planning ahead. After all, preparation is the winner's key to success. If your polling data suggests your seat is likely to fold, it might be time to consider looking at your household expenses. Like they said in The Replacements, the insurance on a Ferrari is quite high-end, after all, so maybe it's time to look at downsizing to a Beemer. I know budgeting isn't everyone's forte (and if the management of the federal budget is anything to go by, this extends into our leadership camp) but there are financial advisers out there that can help with this stuff. Don't be afraid to ask for help - you might need to drop some of your top-heavy programs and purchases, and cut back to the basics that every family needs. It won't be forever. READ MORE: Make sure you take the time to decompress after the election. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be "the person someone used to know". The stress of experiencing unemployment will likely be compounded by the fact that everyone will know what you are going through. Some will be sympathetic; others will expect you to have a go to get a go, and won't be quiet about sharing their opinions on your spending your days on the sofa watching Netflix all day (even though you aren't). Don't listen to the noise. Delete the Google alert you have for your name. Take a social media hiatus. Spend time with your family and remember that you will always be remembered in the history books for the things you've done in while in government. When you are ready to emerge back out into the real world, there will be opportunities to be had. All the backroom deals, special interest groups you've helped, organisations that you've awarded contracts to, all owe you a favour now, so it's time to cash in. As you know, lobby groups are largely run by ex-pollies and political operatives. You already have the networks, so this is a great option to consider. After all, this is where the real power lies. The big government contractors also benefit from inside knowledge of government processes, so you can pitch your contacts with conviction (not to be confused with being convicted, of course! Be careful!). But while you are preparing for the worst, there's no harm in hoping for the best. Fight the good fight. Battle to the end. And maybe try smiling more. Apparently that's quite important.