Losing your job is a whole job in itself – not to mention dealing with the panic and anxiety that goes along with it. When you lose your job you suddenly have all these major adjustments to make in your life.
After I was let go from my job due to Covid-19, I had to re-evaluate my income, healthcare and whether I could stay in my apartment in very short order.
It can feel overwhelming as you go through this change and you want to make sure you cover all your bases.
Here are the 6 career tips and steps you need to follow as you navigate losing your job during a recession:
1. File For Unemployment
Due to the pandemic and the new CARES Bill that was passed you can file for unemployment and the ability to file has been expanded. To qualify for unemployment, you must be out of work through no fault of your own.
You can file for unemployment if you have been laid off or furloughed. If you quit your job voluntarily, without good cause, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits.
People who may not be eligible for benefits under normal conditions can receive aid thanks to the CARES Act relaxing the standard requirements.
Some of the expanded coronavirus-related reasons to apply for unemployment include:
- Your employer permanently or temporarily lays you off
- Are working reduced hours
- Cannot work due to quarantine or risk of exposure
- Caring for a family member due to the novel coronavirus
- Are self-employed and lost income
The CARES Act temporarily waives the minimum one-week waiting period to apply for benefits. Anyone can apply as soon as they lose their job. Make sure you file in your State or the State where the business you worked resides.
2. Rework your Budget
After I lost my job and my stable paycheck I went through my expenses and reviewed auto-payments across my credit cards. I cut out everything that was non-essential or that I really didn’t need. I also reached out to my apartment management about rent relief and lease options.
Items to cut:
- Delivery & Takeout (Postmates, Uber Eats etc)
- Memberships or Subscriptions
- Monthly Autopay deducts (Epidemic Sound for Youtube, Tailwind etc)
- Pinterest Service for the blog
- Shopping/Amazon Hauls
3. Check & Maintain Your Healthcare Coverage
If your healthcare coverage was connected to your employer, you will want to make sure you continue to have coverage. All medical plans have COBRA built into them. COBRA is a federal law and stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It gives employees in certain situations the right to pay premiums for and keep the group health insurance that they would otherwise lose after being let go.
If you prefer a different healthcare option – then you can sign up for a new healthcare plan at Healthcare.gov or your state’s insurance marketplace. Don’t worry if you are outside the enrollment period. Losing your employer-provided insurance coverage entitles you to a special enrollment period. That means that within 60 days of losing your policy, you can sign up for a new one at Healthcare.gov or your state’s insurance marketplace.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Your healthcare coverage is VERY important. It’s especially important in the middle of a pandemic. It is an added expense but a necessary one.
4. Reach Out To Your Network
Announce your layoff and take charge of the messaging around your termination to your network. Get in touch with hiring managers, and reach out to recruiters who are experienced in your field, human resources personnel, and other decision-makers. I shared an update on my LinkedIn profile and reached out to a few colleagues for reviews and recommendations. It can feel embarrassing to admit that you have been laid off, but when I shared my news I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from my peers and colleagues.
5. Revamp Your Resume
Take time to update your resume so it reflects your current work experience. Make sure you address and add language about being let go due to Covid-19. I also recommend adding similar language to your cover letter. Take time when applying to each job to tailor your approach and submission. It will help you stand-out.
Hiring Tip: Don’t get discouraged if you do not hear back when applying for jobs. Quite a few companies are on hiring freezes as they struggle through the pandemic and loss of revenue.
6. Take Time For Yourself
Take a deep breath! This is a very stressful time and you are currently juggling a lot. Make sure you get a handle on #1-5, but that you are also taking time to adjust and reflect. You are in a transition period and transitions are always hard, and even harder during a pandemic. Make sure you are taking care of yourself!
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