Unemployment rates continue to frighten most anyone who is watching. People are losing jobs, and it can be horribly difficult to find a new one, especially one that approaches the salary and benefits of an earlier one. Times are different and they are difficult.
One of my favorite legal self-help publishers has an article I’m running in a series, on Tuesday 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, and 2/9.
Ways to keep a job loss from becoming a financial disaster, Part 1.
1.Tie up loose ends and collect all compensation due from your job. Before you sever ties with your former employer, make sure to turn in all of your expense reports and to receive a paycheck for all your work, through your very last day. (For information on how soon you can expect your check, see Chart: Final Paychecks for Departing Employees.) If your state’s law or employer’s policies give you the right to be paid for unused vacation time, make sure that’s included in your final paycheck. A few employers pay out unused sick or personal leave, too.
2. Explore freelance or part-time work options before you leave. If you and your employer parted ways on good terms, ask your supervisor (or anyone you know at the organization) whether you might be hired to do freelance or part-time work. Sometimes a downsizing company might rehire you in another capacity, or a sympathetic supervisor (or manager of another department) may be helpful in providing you with leads.
3. Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. State rules for unemployment compensation vary, but in general, if you are not at fault for losing your job, you are probably eligible for unemployment benefits. Laid-off workers are typically eligible for benefits, while fired employees will be eligible unless they were fired for misconduct. (For more information, see When You Are Entitled to Unemployment Compensation.)
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Nolo, Copyright 2009, Nolo