In recent years, redundancy is becoming more and more common. Industries are changing: Automation and new technologies are replacing swathes of American jobs. And if COVID is any indication, businesses will always struggle to keep staff on the payroll in uncertain times. This means job training programs after getting laid off are a staple of the modern workforce.
While it’s a stressful time, there are a lot of resources out there to get you back on your feet. It’s not the end. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find job opportunities in your current industry or even to switch up your career completely. You could train as a lawyer, a marketing expert, an electrician, a programmer – the choice is yours.
So what should you do after you’re laid off?
Apply for unemployment benefits
Every state has its own scheme for helping those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. In fact, it’s often better to be made redundant than to leave your role when you see the writing on the wall, as you’re more likely to be eligible. Quitting off your own back might actually disqualify you.
Usually, employment benefits last for around six months. How much you get will vary between $235 a week in Mississippi to $783 in Massachusetts. In times of crisis, like we’re going through now, this is often extended. Currently, there are federal plans to add $600 a week to all the schemes, and an extra month.
Head to the CareerOneStop site to find your state’s contact details and apply.
Visit CareerOneStop for new work and training
Once you’ve got your unemployment benefits, hopefully you won’t be as stressed about paying the rent. And six months is plenty of time to find a new role or to retrain in a different industry.
Depending on what you’re looking for, CareerOneStop has a range of tools that’ll help you find your way to a new job. You can search for training, jobs, benefits and career advice.
If you don’t know where to start, it’s best to take their career aptitude test. It’s only a few questions, and it’ll narrow down the kinds of roles you might want to consider.
You can also find funding for training. The government has a Dislocated Worker program which aims to help workers get retrained. On the site, you’ll be able to search for your local job center and find out exactly how it works in your area. Bear in mind, while a lot of centers are closed at the moment, you can still email them to find out how they’re offering their services online.
You might even be able to use these training schemes to apply for our bootcamp and train up as a programmer in just 14 weeks. If you’d like to find out more, drop us an email.
Check your severance, health insurance and 401k
Companies quite often offer a payout to those they make redundant. They’ll pay a certain amount of your salary based on how long you’ve worked for them. So dust off your contract and see whether your company offers a severance package.
If you have one, the amount you get will depend on your specific contract. But make sure that you speak with your HR department if you’re entitled to one. In large layoffs, you don’t want your pay to fall under the radar and be forgotten.
Should your employer fail to pay, you can get in touch with the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
Meanwhile, you’ll also want to see whether they’ll continue to cover your health insurance. It might be that you can continue to be enrolled, but that you’ll need to pay more. If they don’t cover the cost, you should visit your state’s health insurance marketplace.
Likewise, you’ll want to see how long they’ll pay into your 401k. If they aren’t, you might want to consider enrolling in another if you can afford it.
Find your next job
Whether it’s in the same industry, or you planning to retrain, there are plenty of ways to get back on your feet. Start off by making sure you’ve got everything you’re entitled for, then you can search for that next job.
If you need training, remember: it doesn’t need to be formal. Sure, you can get funding through a government plan or get a certification, but you can also teach yourself or apply for an internship to learn on the job. In fact, some industries, like programming, have many resources to get yourself up to speed quickly.
If you’re interested in getting into a new field, you can read our article on how to switch career at 40. Or read our post about careers you can train up for in just 14 weeks.