Would you know what to do if you lost your job?
We all know how important it is to be prepared for a fire, flood, or other type of emergency. What about something less dramatic, but can be equally devastating, like unemployment? You can take steps to help minimize some of the fallout from losing your job.
1. Stay positive. It's important to remember the decision was probably based on economy or other external factors. It's not always because of something that you have done wrong.
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 resume building. Plus, as the economic situation continues to improve, who's to say they won't hire you back?
3. Account for ever 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 professional look the plan over and see if you are better off rolling over the funds into a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.
6. 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.
Career transitions are never easy, but there are steps you can take to make them more manageable. If you would like to receive a free “Managing Your Career Transition” informational packet by mail, please contact my office.
This information is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
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