The odds of a recession, if we are not already in one, are likely as the COVID-19 pandemic puts a major stress on our economy. It is already bad news for American workers, with millions of jobs already lost. More jobs will probably be lost before we see a turnaround and reopening of the country.
Most workers will not receive severance pay but will get some money from the government programs currently being offered. And, unemployment benefits will assist millions. But these programs do not stop the negative financial impact that most people will feel.
Our American life has come to a screeching halt in most parts of the country, with a few states trying to begin the “restart” in the coming weeks. Major cities like New York may be shut down for many more weeks.
So, if you are still working, you should prepare for a layoff, anyone can be laid off even in a good economy, but in these times, most people are vulnerable.
Here are a few things to consider doing NOW if you have not already:
- Add to your savings account as much as possible. Many people did not have sufficient savings to handle this corona crisis. So if you can set money aside, do it now.
- Reduce your spending in all areas that are not critical. Again, most people did not do so at the outbreak of the virus. There are many things we can cut that are inconvenient but not necessities. Examine every expense!
- Prepare a budget if you do not have one. You cannot reduce expenses if you do not know where your money is going. Contact your creditors if you are laid off, it’s one of the first things you should do. Many landlords, mortgage companies, etc. are deferring payments with no penalties. For most people, rent or mortgage is 25–30% of their monthly expenses, so it can be a huge help to not have that bill for a few months.
- Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you are laid off. Many people do not realize that there is a delay from application to receiving checks… often about 10 days. So, apply day one after a layoff. Do not wait.
- Ask your business if there are any benefits they will be offering while you are off. Also, ask them to contact you for any work possible or if remote working is possible. Make sure you request and read all contracts and employee documents or company policies that may affect what you are paid - especially things like unused vacation days. Check to see if you can apply for COBRA health benefits.
- Make sure your resume is up to date. When you are working, you often forget about it. If you think there is even a remote possibility you will be laid off, dust off the old one and update it right away. Other opportunities may become available, and you need to be ready to jump on them or someone else will.
- Network like crazy. Contact old employers or contacts that may know of opportunities, or that can at least provide assistance or guidance when things begin to recover. Networking has always been the #1 source of jobs and is even more critical in today’s world. If you stopped, restart and never stop again.
- Do not panic; even though a layoff can be traumatic, there are ways to ease the stress. Set a schedule for each day, so you don’t feel you are just lying around waiting for something to happen. Keep networking and looking for opportunities and remind yourself that things will change for the better.
A layoff is a great chance to take stock of your choices and even reassess your career. If you have been thinking of a career change, then this might be a great chance to make the switch. Now is the time to review where you are and what you truly want to do. More than 2/3 of people are not in a career they love.
The bottom line is that getting laid off is often incredibly stressful, but taking some steps noted above can make the transition a little easier. Think outside the box, and you may find a gem of an opportunity that was not there before the layoff. Remember, this is a time to review your life and go after the career you are passionate about.
Note: CashOne, a trusted payday loan online company provides referral source for those in need of immediate cash, even if already laid off.