While everyone’s unemployment and financial situations are different, when one loses a job there are some helpful tips to consider in responding to the change:
Tip 1 – Don’t panic---while losing your job is surely a major life event, the emotional and financial implications can usually be overcome. You may be emotionally hurt but you must react to the situation to minimize the long-term financial burden related to being unemployed. While you may want to take a few weeks or so to sit back and appraise your situation -- in reality—you now have a new full-time job…that is to find another job. Join a job loss support group and start networking.
Tip 2 – Understand the conditions of your severance package (if you are offered one). Do you get a lump sum or salary over a fixed period and are there benefits of one option versus the other? When does your health insurance move to COBRA, what are the deadlines for signing the agreement or signing up for various benefits? Will your employer negotiate any additional benefits such as a longer severance package, or paying for outplacement or career services? Was your termination integrated into an early retirement package and what are the implications of that?