After a job loss, the problems do not go away. Emotionally, you may feel overwhelmed and have feelings of job identity loss. It is common for someone to take a few days to gather their senses and pack up the past. However, the longer this downtime last, the harder it is for someone to rejoin the work force. It also becomes a huge strain on your monetary funds. Prepare for future employment by organizing yourself financially now and planning your next steps.
Reduce your Spending Now – Figure out what you can do in your home and with your spending habits. Most people can save a lot of money just by staying home and cooking your own meals. One trip to the restaurant can end up costing $50 for a single family. Are you paying for extra cable channels? Call up your cable provider and cancel the channels or negotiate better terms if you are not in a contract. The ideas are simple, without your job, you have to spend less.
Get ready to file for unemployment benefits. You can file for unemployment insurance benefits by visiting your state’s unemployment website. This is the same insurance benefits that you put your dollars into and now is your time to reclaim those funds.
Analyze your funds and create a budget. Gather all you assets and weigh them against your debts. Go by a monthly schedule and determine how much you will spend in that month. How long can your liquid assets, like cash, last? How many months before you go completely broke? This will give you a timeline and the urgency in finding a job.
Don’t take money out from your retirement funds. The penalty fees and taxes on your withdrawal will leave you with a very small amount of money. If you are laid off, your 401k has rules that allow 90 days of making a loan to make repayments or else owe income taxes and a 10% withdrawal penalty. Don’t hurt your future retirement by cashing in today.
Keep your health insurance alive. Since most of our health insurances are tied to our work, losing your job can also mean losing your health insurance. The federal government has a program called COBRA that helps provide coverage for 18 months after a job loss but you need to sign up while you are still employed. Get more information at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html
Talk to someone who’s in the same situation. If there are others in your work or friends who have been recently laid off, work together on your finances and finding new work. In rough times, it’s better to have support than try to handle it all on your own. Friends and families are always there.
Make sure your resume is perfect, updated and ready for submitting. When you have been working in a job for a long time, it is easy to get complacent and let your job skills slack. Write down all your job responsibilities and duties and get those references before you lose contact.
Use the resources at your job. Find out if your employer has any job placement services available. These services usually offer resume writing or training. Best of all, they can be free. If your company lacks these services, then go to a library or college to seek these resources.