Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Lockdown Lay Offs: Life After Redundancy

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently causing chaos across the globe, the US has seen record levels of job losses and redundancies. In one month alone, more than 20.5 million jobs were lost, bringing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. This is the highest level since the Great Depression. That’s pretty scary, huh?

If you are one of the unlucky ones who have been affected by this or will be affected by it as the crisis continues to roll on, there are several important steps that you need to take. This will ensure that you receive the correct amount of severance pay if you are entitled to it, other unemployment benefits and get you on the right path for a new job.

Here, we look at a few of these so that you can start making moves to get yourself back to work.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels CC0 License

Talk to the right people

If you have been furloughed, laid off or fear that one of these may happen to you soon, you need to make sure you know how to get in touch with the HR department. They should be able to answer any questions and give you all of the relevant documentation that you will need. 

Gather your documents

The next step is to gather all of your documents and make sure you have them to hand for when you need them. What you will need varies from state to state, but generally speaking, you will need the following documents:

  • Social security number

  • Driving license number, if you have one

  • Mailing address

  • Phone number

  • Your employer's name, address, and Federal Employer Identification (FEIN number)

  • Bank account and routing number

File for unemployment 

Anyone who has been laid off should file for unemployment as soon as they can through their state. It is important not to hang about too long - there are additional and extended benefits available at the moment to help those affected by coronavirus related job losses.

Look at your finances

You might be in for a lean few months, even with severance pay and unemployment benefits, so it is wise to look at your finances now and see where you can cut back.


If you have an expensive gym or cable subscription, it might be time to look at cancelling it or at least reducing your package, for the time being, until you are back in work and on your feet. You never know, you may find that you can manage perfectly well without it and not need to reinstate it!

Take care of your mental health

Losing your job can be one of the most stressful things you can go through. One minute you’re in a great routine, surrounded hopefully by colleagues that you get on with and have a regular income coming into the house and then suddenly, all of that is whipped out from under your feet.


If this happens to you, you need to make sure that you take great care of your mental and physical health and wellbeing.


Unemployment can be lonely. Reach out to your family and friends - you have nothing to be ashamed of. As well as supporting your mental health and giving you a much needed social connection, they may be able to help you with looking for a new job.


You also need to change your narrative and realize that your job does not define you. One of the first things that people ask each other when they first meet is what they do for a living. This can be pretty tough going if you don’t have a job, but remember, you work to live, not live to work. You are not your job.


Look for a new job

Once you have got your head around everything, it is time to start to look for a new job. Maybe you are hoping to go back into the same field or industry that you have just come out of, or perhaps you see your job loss as a good opportunity to try your hand at something new, maybe something like open truck driving jobs at Knight Transportation. Perhaps you will even use the time to launch your own business doing something that you have always wanted to do. If you have a stimulus check and can afford to, why not look at using that to start something off?


Being laid off is not fun for anyone. It is a worrying time - losing your routine, some of your social connections and of course, the lack of income. However, remember you are never alone. There are lots of people in the same boat as you and no one is going to judge you, particularly at a time such as this.

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