Would You Know What To Do If You Lost Your Job? Tips to help you prepare for an unexpected career crisis

looking for job business man

By Ted Donnelly, Agent New York Life Insurance

We all know how important it is to be prepared for a fire, flood, or other type of emergency. What about something that seems less dramatic, but can be equally devastating, like unemployment? You can’t dial 911 or stop, drop, and roll, but you can take steps to help minimize some of the fallout from losing your job.

1. STAY POSITIVE. It’s important to remember that the decision was probably based on the economy or other external factors.

2. BE PROFESSIONAL. If you handle yourself with decorum, your employer may be willing to serve as a reference, recommend you to vendors, and even provide assistance with interviewing and résumé building. Plus, as the economic situation continues to improve, who’s to say they won’t hire you back?

3. ACCOUNT FOR EVERY PENNY. Review your terms of employment and claim any money owed to you from bonuses, commissions—even unused vacation. Also, find out if you are entitled to a severance package. If not, file for unemployment benefits right away since it may take weeks to process.

4. REPLACE LOST BENEFITS. If your spouse works, see if you can add yourself to his or her health care plan. If not, you can apply for COBRA coverage within 60 days of termination and extend your health care benefits for 18 months. Similarly, you may want to purchase an affordable term life insurance policy to help replace your workplace coverage.

5. EVALUATE YOUR RETIREMENT PLANS. While some employers allow you to leave your 401(k) in place, it may not always be the right move. Have a financial expert look the plan over and see if you are better off rolling over the funds into a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

6. NETWORK-NETWORK-NETWORK. You never know where your next job will come from, so take advantage of every networking opportunity. Also, be sure to use social media platforms like LinkedIn to help connect with people online and let them know you’re looking.

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

previous arrow
next arrow