What Happens When You’re Laid Off from Work?

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Being laid off from work can be just as upsetting as being fired. You have essentially no control over what happened, and knowing that you were let go for reasons having nothing to do with your performance can feel unfair, to say the least. Nonetheless, if you’ve been laid off, you’re in very good company. Especially in the wake of the pandemic, layoffs are incredibly common. 

Fortunately, an effective game plan for coping is absolutely attainable. If you’re in the behavioral health field, try a few simple searches like “behavioral health jobs near me” just to get the ball rolling in a positive direction. Valuable job boards like Behavioral Health Jobs are waiting to help you find your next great opportunity. Call [Direct] or send a message to us online if you’d like further assistance using our resources. 

What To Do Right After Being Laid Off From Work

Here are a few simple steps for dealing with the immediate aftermath of a layoff: 

  • Check with HR to ensure your employer recognizes that this layoff qualifies you for unemployment. Unemployment payouts can be a lifeline in the days ahead, so being absolutely sure everything is in order, here is a great place to start. 
  • Protect the paper trail: Don’t sign anything you don’t fully understand, and make sure you receive a detailed letter from your employer explaining why you were laid off. This document will function as your proof to future employers that you were terminated for reasons having nothing to do with performance. 
  • Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily, but get the facts: Examine the layoff for possible illegalities. For instance, if you suspect discrimination against a protected class, you might have legal grounds to contest the layoff. Also, the WARN Act states that certain mass layoffs must include 60 days’ notice. If that wasn’t given, you also have grounds. Barring circumstances like these, make the best of a difficult time. Ask for a letter of recommendation, ensure positive recommendations for future jobs, and even inquire about other openings at the company if you’re interested. 
  • Find out the nitty gritty about your final payment: Research your company’s severance pay arrangements and look into whether any unused holiday or paid-time-off days you may have accrued will be factored into your last check. This varies state by state, so don’t make any assumptions. 

Now it is time to start thinking about the longer-term financial implications of having been laid off from your job.

Next: Attend to the Longer-Term Financial Implications

After doing initial damage control, attend to the farther-reaching aspects of the layoff: 

  • Check out your insurance situation: COBRA states that layoffs from companies with 20 or more employees must include ongoing coverage for you and your family for up to 18 months. Do note, however, that you might now have to pay the full premium, which could make the plan too costly to be worth keeping. Another insurance option is to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provision for layoffs and apply for a marketplace plan regardless of whether it’s open enrollment season or not. 
  • Get your retirement funds sorted out: If you held a 4001(k) through your employer, you might be able to leave it temporarily in their plan after termination. When you’ve been hired elsewhere, you may be able to consolidate your old plan with a new one. Alternatively, you may open a rollover IRA (individual retirement account) and place your existing 401(k) funds in it. 

When you finally have everything sorted out as best it can be, the job search process begins. 

Beginning the Process of Finding Work After Layoffs

Once you’ve taken care of the details of your layoff and put in place stop-gap measures such as unemployment benefits, you’re ready for the next step. Looking for your new job might feel overwhelming during what’s undoubtedly already a stressful time. Nonetheless, try to view your situation as an opportunity rather than a setback. This transition is a chance to reevaluate what you really want in your work life. If possible, consider taking a few days to yourself, even leaving town for a short retreat, to allow yourself to sit with the questions and emotions that may arise.

Next, take a look at your resume and start crafting a general cover letter for your first rounds of job applications. Make any necessary updates and review best practices for these key deliverables. Utilize job search boards and reach out to your network. It’s as true as ever that “it’s who you know” when it comes to many hiring decisions. Therefore, be sure to let your contacts, both close and distant, know that you’re looking for a new opportunity. 

If you, like many in the post-Covid world, are considering a career change or even a smaller pivot within the same industry, invest in your education. You may not need a whole new degree to make yourself a great candidate. Free or affordable courses and certifications abound online, and many can be completed in days or weeks rather than years. Remember, the more skills you can add to your resume and online professional profiles, the more appealing you may be to prospective employers. 

Search Behavioral Health Jobs to Find Opportunities Near You Today

If you’re looking for a new career in the behavioral health industry, rest assured that opportunities are out there. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or relatively new to the field, Behavioral Health Jobs is a great resource to help you post-layoff and beyond. Check out our jobs postings board today, and call [Direct] or reach out electronically for assistance. 

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