6 moves to make after you lose your job
The unemployment rate here in the United States is hovering just under 10% and most of us are thankful that it is not worse. This is in contrast to the past thirty years or so when an unemployment rate of more than six or seven percent was almost never heard of. For those of you in my generation, it was rare that we ever knew anyone who was out of job for more than a month or two. The closest incident involving long-term unemployment that I remember was a 17 month Caterpillar strike that affect quite a few families in a church that I once attending in Illinois – and most of the men that I knew found temporary employment while the strike was in effect.
Today, things are different. I personally know dozens of people who are without employment – fellow church members, friends, even family.
I am thankful for my current job – the pay is not all that good and there are days when I come home wishing that I could find something new, but the reality is that given the number of people who I know who are out of work, I am blessed. However, none of us can assume that our jobs are secure indefinitely. Here are a few ideas about what to do if you lose your job:
Ask for letters of recommendation
If you are being let go because for financial reasons and not because you failed in performance of your duties, request a letter of recommendation right away. If you can get copies of your performance reviews, that will also benefit you in your coming job search. A good work history is going to be valuable in a competitive job market.
Do not burn bridges
When your company decides to let you go, there is a temptation to blow up and unload all of your grievances that you might be carrying against your employer. This will do you no good, yelling at your boss will not solve any problems. Furthermore, it might hurt you in the future if that company decides to start hiring again. It can be a difficult tax, but your best bet is to keep your mouth shut and hope that when you are gone, they miss you.
Schedule routine medical check-ups
You need to strive to practice preventive maintenance. If your insurance is expiring at the end of the month or at the end of next month, met in to see the doctor as soon as possible. Some insurance plans or state laws require an insurance company to provide benefits after a diagnosis is made, even when you are no longer employed. Many of us also put off dental procedures, get them taken care of right away or you might find yourself in pain and unable to pay after two or three months of joblessness.
This is the time to spend as little money as possible. Taking a machete to your budget and living as frugally as possible will extend the amount of time that you can exist while unemployed and also give you more flexibility when choosing future employment.
Educate yourself on your rights
Make sure you understand what kind of health coverage for which you and your family qualify. COBRA is an acronym that you will want to understand. it stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which means nothing to most of us, but COBRA provides you with ways to keep your health coverage if you lose your job through know fault of your own. The specific rules and coverages that apply to you will vary by state so you need to look up the answers as soon after losing your job as possible.
Restructure your finances
Debt is another area where you need to educate yourself. Most mortgage, HELOC and even credit card companies have resources to delay or reduce your require payments when unemployed. Government college loan payment can be easily deferred or reduced due to hardship.
The most important thing to remember is to not give up hope. Stay busy, spend time in prayer and trust that God will meet your needs according to his plan. On Wednesday, I will give six more moves to make after you lose your job.
Article by Stew
Photo by madnzany