COVID-19 has taught us that the unexpected can happen at any time - not only to us, but to our friends, family, and colleagues. Unfortunately, layoffs have been happening more frequently since the pandemic. Getting laid off can leave you feeling scared and unsure of the future. Suddenly, well-laid plans no longer apply. Follow this checklist from Amy Noel, Inc. to get back on track after a layoff:
☐ Get your health insurance plan in place. It can be a challenge to find a replacement for employer insurance that still keeps you covered at affordable rates. Shop for an individual health care plan on the exchange or explore enrolling in COBRA.
☐ Review your final paycheck for accuracy. Take out your employee handbook, and understand how PTO and vacation are paid out. Make sure your paycheck reflects these.
☐ Look into severance options. Your employee handbook should also include information on your severance options.
☐ Apply for unemployment. Soon after your lay off, you should file an unemployment claim with your state. In Colorado, you can file online. Budget to wait 2- 3 weeks to receive your first benefit check.
☐ Consider options for your retirement plan. Don’t forget about your 401(k). You can leave it where it is, roll it over to an IRA, move it to your new employer’s plan once you have a new job, or—and we do not recommend this—you may cash it out.
☐ Ask for references. If you left on good terms, ask your manager for a letter of reference. It may sting a bit now, but this will help you down the road in your job search.
☐ Take a look at your financial picture. If you needed to, where could you tap into to cover yourself while out of work? Take a look at your budget and determine what areas you can spend less on right now. Talk to your financial advisor about a new plan going forward.
☐ Update your resume. The first step in moving past a previous job is to add it to your resume. Make sure you have a different set of eyes proofread it, and consider searching for tips online, as resume conventions have probably changed since the last time you used yours.
☐ Start your job search. With your updated resume, reach out to your network about your new availability. Use resources like Monster.com, alumni networks, Indeed, and LinkedIn. You will find the right fit with time and determination.
Facing unemployment can be extremely stressful. Try to stay optimistic about your future and the opportunities that await you. Have you always wanted to try something new? If so, this may be a great time to transition to a new career.
If you’re concerned about your financial situation and want to ensure you’re prepared for the worst, please reach out. We are here to help.