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9 Crucial Things You Need to Do When You Get Laid Off

9 Crucial Things You Need to Do When You Get Laid Off

9 Crucial Things You Need to Do When You Get Laid Off

The U.S. economy, battered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, has been gradually recovering since late 2020. Encouraging indicators suggest that there will be an increase in growth and a decrease in unemployment for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, According to a by CNBC report, Job cuts have soared to 270,416, an increase of 396% from the same period a year ago.

We understand that losing a job can be unexpected and disruptive. It can have a great impact on both your plans and mental well-being. It may make you doubt your capabilities and undermine your financial stability. However, it is important to recognize that there are ample job opportunities if you have confidence in your skills and potential.

So, if you find yourself affected by recent layoffs, there are specific measures you can take to recover and move forward. 

What is the Meaning of Being Laid Off?

Being laid off refers to losing your job due to reasons such as your employer’s financial constraints or the no longer needing your services. Most importantly, this action is not taken because of any wrongdoing on your part. This is in contrast to being fired, typically due to performance issues or more significant problems like insubordination or consistent absenteeism.

Companies might opt to lay off employees when undergoing restructuring, adapting to market shifts, or responding to economic challenges like a recession. Irrespective of the specific reasons for your layoff, you might have rights to compensation, including unemployment benefits, healthcare assistance, and a severance package.

In some cases, your previous employer might extend an offer to rehire you if circumstances change, but they are not legally obligated to do so.

What To Do After You Get Laid Off: Tips to Follow

After being laid off, the actions you take subsequently dictate the speed at which you recover and embrace a new position. The following are the subsequent measures you should consider:

  1. Understand Your Entitlements:

The initial point to keep in mind is that you possess certain entitlements as an employee when faced with a layoff situation. Take the time to examine your employment agreement or handbook to determine whether it outlines provisions regarding a severance package and benefits during layoffs.

Moreover, refrain from endorsing any documents, such as a termination agreement or layoff notification, until you have had the opportunity to assess to conditions of your separation. If anything appears questionable, it is advisable to seek advice from an employment attorney to verify the legality of the situation.

  1. Ask for a “Laid-Off Confirmation” from HR:

Assuming your departure is not due to misconduct but rather stems from external factors beyond your control like company restructuring, economic downturns, mergers, buyouts, or relocations, it is likely that a layoff confirmation letter detailing these circumstances will be included in your departure package. This letter serves to inform you and potential future employers of the situation.

Examine the letter carefully for inaccuracies or omissions. If there is a notable error regarding your department or an essential contribution from you or your team, do not hesitate to politely bring it to their attention and request a revision.

If you do not receive a layoff confirmation letter yet, don’t hesitate to request one. While explaining to potential employers that you were part of a downsizing is one thing, having tangible proof that you were not simply fired holds more weight.

In this regard, the HR department does not need to start from scratch. Various well-regard layoff confirmation letter templates are available online to assist them.

  1. Inquire About a Compensation Package Upon Departure:

Although companies are not obligated by law to furnish severance, they might still propose compensation to you in the form of a payout or additional advantages, which might involve remuneration for accrued vacation days or unused sick leave. 

The extent of benefits you receive often correlates with your tenure at the company. Whether you find the proposed package insufficient, you have the option to engage in negotiations to secure more favorable terms.

  1. Assess Your Retirement Scheme:

Whether you joined your company’s 401(k) program or another retirement plan, carefully examine the plan’s conditions to understand the available choices. You could potentially retain these funds as they are for a specific duration or swiftly transfer them to an individual retirement account.

For expert guidance on the optimal course of action, consider seeking advice from a financial consultant.

  1. Ensure Medical Insurance: 

In the event that your employer-provided health insurance as an aspect of your benefits package, you have the option to sustain your coverage temporarily through COBRA continuation benefits. 

Alternatively, if this is not applicable, you can apply for coverage from either a private insurance company or a government healthcare provider.

Experiencing a loss of coverage due to a layoff qualifies as a significant life event, allowing you to enroll in health insurance beyond the usual enrolment timeframe. This also opens up the possibility of joining your spouse's insurance coverage.

  1. Verify and Collect Your Final Pay Check:

Depending on the specifics of your layoff, you might receive your final paycheck on the same day your association with the company ends. It is imperative to confirm that the amount is accurate and that all deductions have been appropriately accounted for.

While addressing this matter, refer to the employee handbook to understand how the company handles unused vacation, sick days, or paid time off (PTO). Laws in various states differ concerning compensation for unused vacation days; nevertheless, many organizations do compensate for accumulated vacation/PTO, as they initially accounted for it as a liability on their financial records.

In the case of a widespread layoff, certain regulations come into play. If this applies, you may not receive your final paycheck until a few months later. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) mandates employers to provide a 60-day notice period, during which all wages and benefits continue as usual. This gives those affected by the layoff some time to prepare for unemployment or actively seek a new job opportunity.

  1. Enrol for Unemployment Assistance:

As a former employee with a positive track record, you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Enrolling in these benefits can alleviate some of the financial strain on your emergency fund, so it is advisable to sign up as soon as possible. Determine whether you qualify for the weekly $300 federal supplement, which is available until September under the provisions of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

Bear in mind that your eligibility, the monetary amount you'll receive, and the duration of coverage are contingent on your geographical location. So, it is recommended to reach out to the local division of your state's Department of Labor and the unemployment office for accurate information.

Chances are, you can complete the application process online.

  1. Polish Your Resume:

While you are wondering how to bounce back after getting laid off, check this out!

If you are not accustomed to regularly reviewing and enhancing your resume, this is an opportune moment to start. Are you contemplating a change in your career path? 

Well, you are part of a significant group; the pandemic prompted countless individuals in the US to reevaluate their professional trajectories. If you are among one of them, you might consider altering the aspects you highlight.

Unsure where to begin? Simply enter "resume builder" in your preferred search engine, and you will definitely find helpful resources.

Not sure about your strengths? Seek input from colleagues, friends, and other connections for an honest evaluation. They might identify qualities that you have overlooked.

  1. Start Further Job Search Process:

It is an essential step in seeking new employment opportunities after experiencing a job loss due to a layoff. When you are laid off, you no longer have a position with your previous employer, and it's necessary to find a new job to ensure your financial stability and career progression.

Starting the job search involves researching job openings, applying to positions that align with your skills and career goals, and engaging in the interview process. This step is crucial to finding a new source of income and re-entering the workforce. It allows you to explore new avenues, industries, and companies that might be a better fit for your aspirations and qualifications.

The job search can be time-consuming and competitive, but with determination, preparation, and persistence, you can increase your chances of finding a new job that suits your professional aspirations and fulfills your financial needs.


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How to Be Productive After Being Laid Off?

Being productive after being laid off can be challenging, but it's essential for maintaining a sense of purpose, progressing in your career, and improving your overall well-being. Here are some steps to help you stay productive during this period:

Create a Routine: Establish a daily routine to provide structure and maintain a sense of normalcy. Wake up and go to bed at consistent times, and allocate specific hours for job searching, skill development, networking, and personal activities.

Set Goals: Define clear short-term and long-term goals for yourself. These could include sending out a certain number of job applications each week, acquiring new skills, or connecting with a certain number of professional contacts.

Job Search: Dedicate a significant portion of your time to searching for new job opportunities. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application, research companies, and use online job boards, professional networks, and company websites to identify suitable openings.

Skill Enhancement: Take advantage of your free time to learn new skills that could enhance your qualifications and boost your employability. Online courses, webinars, and tutorials are readily available for a wide range of topics.

Networking: Stay connected with your professional contacts and expand your network. Attend virtual networking events, reach out to former colleagues and mentors, and engage on professional platforms like LinkedIn.

Volunteer or Freelance: Consider taking on freelance work or volunteering opportunities related to your field. This not only keeps your skills sharp but also adds valuable experience to your resume.

Personal Projects: Pursue personal projects or hobbies that you've always wanted to explore. This can provide a creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment.

Stay Positive: A positive attitude is essential during this challenging time. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and mentors who can offer encouragement and advice.

Let’s Continue…

Remember that the process of finding a new job might take time, but staying productive and focused will ultimately contribute to your success. Use this period as an opportunity for growth, prepare yourself for the job interview and self-improvement, and find a new path that aligns with your ambitions.

Hope you liked reading this article on “Things You Need to Do When You Get Laid Off”

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