Okay, you’ve been laid off. Maybe the writing was on the wall and maybe it came out of left field, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are now without a job. Times are tough and the job market isn’t as easy as some analysts like to speculate. Depending on your field and experience, you could be facing months of frustration.
While I wish that I could tell you it will be easy, the truth is that it could be a really hard time in your life. All that I can offer you is some advice on how to lessen the pain.
First of all, get online and find out where out where you need to apply for unemployment insurance. It will vary by state.
If you are lucky, your previous employer will have let you go before 5pm on a Friday and not on a holiday weekend. Many unemployment insurance offices maintain normal business hours from Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.
You will need some information. The most crucial will be if you are getting a severance package. Depending on the state in which you live, this will also impact your unemployment payments.
Example: your previous employer decides to give you severance for all your years of hard work. While it depends on your state’s laws, you may not get unemployment payments for several weeks. Usually, this will consist of them figuring out exactly how many weeks-worth of severance were provided to you by your employer and waiting for that period of time before providing you with unemployment payments.
You could be looking at four to six weeks of no unemployment payments, so this is far from a vacation. Not only that, but you might have to wait an additional week to receive anything as your first week of eligibility may not come with an immediate payment.
Suddenly, those little dreams you had of having severance and unemployment have disappeared. Now you are going to have to start working on your budget.
The biggest thing to impact your budget will often be the debt you are already bringing to the table. Not unlike millions of other Americans, debt is a strong driving force for a person to seek and maintain gainful employment. If you have student loans, make sure to contact the payment department and request a deferment based on unemployment and temporary financial hardships.
This may also be a time to actually look at the interest rates that you are paying. This can turn into a brutal reality check, so don’t be too shocked to see percentage rates well over 20%. Please, take the opportunity to contact your bank and credit card companies to see if they are able to lower your interest rate for a six month trial. While this may be a long shot for some companies, every little bit helps.
With your finances at least mildly taken care of, you need to be proactive.
If you aren’t on social media, make sure to take advantage of them. Networking is one of the least talked about but most successful ways to get employment again. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, get out there and make your presence know.
Unless you are a one-in-a-million candidate, the jobs aren’t going to come to you.
Also make sure to take advantage of the resources provided to you by your unemployment insurance office. There are many classes on resume building, cover letter writing, job searching and several other options that will help put the odds in your favor.
Now, unemployment doesn’t last forever and while you can get extensions, let’s face it, the money isn’t much. The best way to deal with the mental hardships that can come with losing your job is to get out there and make something for yourself.
The longer you sit around and bathe in your own magnificence, the quicker your patience will slip away.
Hopefully, in the time it has taken you to read this article you have gotten at least an idea of how to take the pressure off of your shoulders.
Also, don’t be afraid to look into bankruptcy. I know it is a terrifying word with all sorts of connotations, but it is there to protect you and your home. If you file for chapter 13, you won’t have to worry about losing those things you worked so hard for.
Sometimes life gets in the way, but there is always a way out. Take a deep breath and look for it.