June 21, 2024

Focus on Finances

Stretch Your Savings: Once you’ve taken a beat to process your emotions, you’ll need to determine how long you can sustain a job search before you need additional income.

  • Unemployment Benefits: Applying for benefits can take time, so apply immediately. You should be able to file online but contact your state unemployment office if you’re having trouble.
  • Severance: If you were offered severance, review the terms with a human resources representative. Be clear on how much will you receive and any conditions attached to the payout.
  • Health Insurance: Your employer coverage often continues through the end of the month and some severance packages include extended insurance. COBRA allows you to extend company coverage for a time but it can be pricey. Explore your options: a spouse’s plan, a parent’s plan (if you’re under age 26), or marketplace plans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Savings and Emergency Fund: Determine how long your emergency fund and other savings can sustain your lifestyle. If you don’t have an emergency fund, this is your wake-up call to build one once you can afford it. Get clear on what you’re spending by creating a budget. Find expenses you can reduce or eliminate to stretch your savings. Consider eating out less or pausing subscription services. Remember, every little bit helps.

Manage Debt

Be Proactive: Don’t wait until you miss a payment to reach out to providers and lenders.

  • Prioritize Payments: Pay essential expenses first (rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries). If you’re short on cash, you may need to prioritize payments.
  • Negotiate Bills: Call providers (phone, cable, internet) and explain your situation. Some have programs to help during tough times. Being proactive might save on late fees and help avoid damage to your credit score.
  • Contact Lenders: You may be eligible for deferment or forbearance, which can temporarily pause payments or decrease the amount you owe. Ask your loan servicer about these possibilities.
  • Avoid Additional Debt: You may not have many options in this regard, but try not to depend on credit cards or loans that could lead you to deeper debt.

Explore Income Options

Spread the Word: Don’t be shy about broadcasting your job search.

  • Tap Your Network: Use social media. Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, industry contacts, friends, and family for leads.
  • Explore Temp Work: Consider freelance or gig work like tutoring, consulting, freelance writing or sign up with Uber. Reach out to a staffing agency for connections to open positions.
  • Update Job Search Tools: Update your LinkedIn profile and your resume with any new positions, skills, or certifications. Practice interview skills by researching common questions and planning your answers, or role-play with a friend.
  • Consider a Pivot: Being laid off rarely feels positive in the moment, but this could be an opportunity to shift focus, pursue a dream, or even relocate. Look for online courses or certification programs in a new or adjacent field. Expand your search to new locations. You may find this bend in the road leads you somewhere better.

Remember, you’re not alone in figuring this out. Reach out if you’re struggling with job loss and the financial implications.
We’re here to help you create a plan for recovery and success.