One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has been soaring unemployment rates. While the workforce is slowly getting back to its feet, knowing how to handle unexpected unemployment can be useful should you suffer a job loss in the future. With so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, anticipating the worst situation can help you be prepared.
Build Your Emergency Fund
One of the most effective ways to mitigate the impact of unexpected unemployment is to ensure your emergency fund is sufficient. If you do not have an emergency fund, now is the time to start contributing to one. Having 3-6 months of future expenses in a reserve account will help you be better prepared for any potential hardship.
Consult a Financial Advisor
Whether you wish to plan ahead or you have recently received bad news about your employment status, consulting a financial advisor could be a good course of action. With a professional, you can more accurately identify your budgetary needs and restrictions and how to allocate your saving and investment dollars. If you have a retirement plan through your employer, the advisor can assist with a plan for a rollover to another qualified account.
Learn About Benefits and Support Programs
If you learn that you are losing your job, before leaving your place of employment, be sure to ask about the company’s severance benefits. These should also be covered in your employee handbook. You may be eligible to be paid for unused sick and vacation time as well as health benefit continuation under COBRA. Applying for unemployment benefits immediately will be a critical task. During the ongoing pandemic, the demand for unemployment benefits is high, so submitting your application as early as possible improves your chances of receiving your benefits on time.
Support Your Mental Health
Losing your job can take a toll on your mental health. Try to stick to a daily routine and keep your life structured. During this time, you may also consider tackling a new exercise regime or hobby to occupy yourself and keep yourself healthy. Spend time with family and friends in a safe capacity and talk to a professional if the stress and anxiety starts to impair your day-to-day functionality.
Begin the Job Hunt
Updating your resume, scanning job listings, and building your online presence will be productive steps toward obtaining new employment. Reach out to connections to see if they know of any opportunities. The more people who know you are seeking new employment the better. You might also consider re-evaluating your career options in the same or different line of business. Whichever path you choose, be deliberate and diligent in your job search.
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