You’ve been laid off, now what?

A chart showing the unemployment rate.

Tips to help you get through being laid off at your company and knowing your benefits.

Before Coronavirus, approximately 1.7 million workers were being laid off per month. Experts say that number will double or triple in the coming months. The Wall Street Journal estimates “14.4 million jobs will be lost in the coming months, and the unemployment rate will rise to a record 13% in June, from a 50-year low of 3.5% in February.” The COVID-19 outbreak has left so many people feeling scared, worried, and unsure how they are going to pay their bills.

Like so many others, if you have been laid off, here are some next steps you can take to ensure that you are staying productive and goal-oriented in 2020.

Obtain a Layoff Letter

This will create a paper trail for you to use when you are job searching. Have your employer be specific in wording the circumstances surrounding your unemployment and include a recommendation for future employers.

Figure Out What Your Benefits Are

Health insurance, your final paycheck, or even severance pay may be negotiable in your layoff. You also want to check-in to review your retirement or investment plan. A balance of $5,000 or more should be kept with the company, although you can cash out for funding if it is crucial. Lastly, eligibility for reemployment is a benefit if employers are anticipating rehiring staff.

File for Unemployment

Applying as soon as possible is key, due to the high number of applicants. The typical time for financial assistance is 26 weeks. You’ll want to visit the federal government’s websites to find out if you qualify for unemployment and health insurance due to unemployment.

Update your LinkedIn Profile and Your Résumé

This is a good way to begin your job search, even if you plan to reapply to your former employer. Chances are, you will have more options for employment as time goes by. It may feel like you need to replace your old job immediately, but if you can afford to do so, it is best to find the right job, not the first job.

Virtual Networking

There are virtual networking events, job fairs, and social media outlets that are available. Eventbrite and Meetup are great resources for weekly business and professional events.

Handshake is another great resource for current and past students, as well as employers. Handshake is a website SPC students can connect with employers, upload a full profile, and see current job postings. To get started, create a Handshake account.

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