Lindsay Olson is a partner and recruiter with Paradigm Staffing (and PRNewser guest columnist). She specializes in helping companies and agencies find public relations and communications professionals throughout the United States. She has over ten years experience recruiting in the PR industry and also writes a career-related blog at LindsayOlson.com. You can find her on Twitter via @prjobs.
Her latest column is a two part series on how to prepare yourself for a layoff and the immediate steps to take if you are directly affected. This second part discusses the eight steps to take once you’ve been affected by a layoff in the first week. Read part one here.
1. Leave on good terms. Expect your company will walk you out with an escort upon receiving the news. You may not have time to say your goodbyes. This is normal practice. Try not to take it personally and do not react. Now is when you must stay cool and collected, no matter how hard it is to bear.
2 Don’t sign anything just yet. Don’t be pushed into signing anything immediately. Once you sign away your rights, it’s difficult to get them back.
3. File for unemployment in the first week. It takes a bit to process the claims and you won’t be paid for the weeks prior to which you filed a claim, so do it right away.
4. Evaluate your health insurance plan. You won’t be covered by your employer’s plan after layoff, but in most cases you are entitled for COBRA. It means you can choose to keep your plan, but pay for it yourselfklo98. It can be very expensive though. You’ll have 60 days to elect the COBRA option. Use those 60 days to shop around for more affordable coverage. Ehealthinsurance could be a good place to start.
5. Give yourself time to mourn. It’s normal to feel a loss after a layoff. Once you have given yourself a bit of time to process what has just happened, it’s time to pick up and get moving again.
6. Stay active and take care of your health. Exercise is a good way to keep your spirits up, relieve stress, feel productive and allow you some time to think about your future steps.
7. Think of your job search as your new full-time job. Finding new employment should take up a majority of your time during the day. Between customized cover letters and resumes, research, online and in-person networking events, you should be feeling like this is your day job.
8. Save your receipts. Many of the expenses you incur during your job search can be taken as a deduction on your taxes.