This is the start of a three-part series on what to do if you get laid off. On the show today, we discuss what to do today before you leave the building. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll discuss Part 2 – what to do in the next couple of days and then move to Part 3: moving on – going for your next job. So please check back in!
Getting laid off is one of the most stressful events anyone goes through. So before we get into details, take a deep breath. You can expect to feel a whole range of emotions, even if you weren’t completely surprised. It’s a grieving process. Psychologists have identified five stages that we go through when we lose something or someone:
These stages don’t necessarily happen in sequence. You may feel more than one at the same time. You may jump around. You will feel it how you feel it. What’s important is to understand what’s going on within you. It’s only natural.
Your job may have been taken from you, but your talents haven’t been
Your unique skills are still yours. You still have that great personality. You’re still an incredible person. And you know it!
With that mindset, and knowing that you will bounce back, here are some things to do, and things not to do, before you leave the building today.
Don’t burn bridges
Life is funny. Things change quickly. If you show class, it will be remembered. So filter what you say.
There may be a temptation to lash out. Resist that urge, because nothing good can come from it. Sure, you may feel better at the moment, but that feeling will quickly fade into regret. It’s much better to conduct yourself very professionally.
You will have to decide whether or not to extend your health insurance with the company. But you have 60 days to make this decision so don’t make it today. Talk to two or three insurance brokers who sell individual insurance. In almost all cases, you will find that you can get similar coverage for less money.
If you have one or more pre-existing conditions, it might make sense to sign up through COBRA. But first, check out comparable policies with several insurance brokers and get their advice.
Here’s another decision you don’t have to make today. In fact, there really isn’t much of a time limit on making this decision. A lot of people still have money in an account through an employer they haven’t worked for in seven years!
Resist the urge to cash out. You may feel stressed about money. We’ll talk about that more in an upcoming show. The Wall Street Journal reported that 40% of workers in their 20s and 30s cashed out their 401(k) when they changed jobs. As we discussed this on a previous Bigg Success Show, this may be a costly decision.
Before you decide what to do with your 401(k), you’ll want to investigate your options. Find a plan that offers the right combination of options and low fees. One thing you should find out, when the subject of your 401(k) comes up, is if there are any exit fees. This will be useful in your decision making process.
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Your final paycheck
If you get your final check today, be sure to verify everything. For example:
- Were you paid the correct amount for the time you’ve worked since your last check?
- Did you get the severance pay that you should have?
- Were you paid for the vacation days you haven’t used?
- Is everything in accordance with your agreement with your employer?
You may be asked to sign releases and other documents. You don’t have to sign anything right away. Read the documents carefully. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, seek professional guidance from an attorney if need be.
Finally, if you can muster the emotional strength, reach out to the people you worked with. Make sure you have their contact information. You never know when it might come in handy.
Thanks for reading our post today. We hope you’ll check in again tomorrow. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
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(Image in today's post by hisks)