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Help, I've just been laid from off my job!

An unexpected job loss is never an easy experience to endure, but is survivable with a great deal of effort on your part. Your mind may be racing with worst case scenarios that end with you living in a van down by the river, but that's not likely to happen.

Take some time to calm yourself down and review your options. Whatever course of action on which you embark, you will need all your wits about you on your new path. Below are some suggestions for those facing this life challenge.

Is there a golden parachute?

That's increasingly a rarity in today's unsettling economic times, but there may be at least a basic severance package available to you on your separation from employment.

Your company's human resources director is the one to whom to address these questions. At the least, you might be able to negotiate for access to health care benefits until you are able to get other coverage.

Apply for unemployment benefits

There typically is a short waiting period before you can apply for unemployment benefits. But as soon as that time is up, make your application. Do this even if you have a solid lead on another position, as there may be considerable lag time between the last paycheck at your old company and the first one from your new job. Even a single unemployment check can cushion you during this period of uncertainty.

If you don't immediately secure other employment, determine whether you and your family members may be eligible for certain types of public assistance like Medicaid benefits or food stamps. While this might cause your pride to take a solid hit, that's preferable to sending the kids to bed hungry.

Trim the fat

Cable TV is a luxury. So are eating out and taking vacations. All extraneous expenses must be eliminated from your family's budget. In many ways, this might not be such a bad thing, as it can force family members to unplug and interact with one another playing board games or cards or just reading library books together in the evenings and on weekends.

Discover all the different ways you can save money. Grocery receipts often have promo codes and cents- and dollars-off coupons attached. Use them. If you do spend money on take-out, check those receipts as well. Simply by filling out a short online survey, many fast food customers can receive a free sandwich, meal or cold drink on their next visit.

Tweak your resume

If you want to land a plum job, you must stand head and shoulders above the pack. It's a worthwhile investment to seek professional guidance on drafting a new resume and cover letter that showcases your career skills and best qualities.

Network, network, network

Jobs can arise from the unlikeliest of circumstances, so make sure that you reach out to all potential sources of new employment. Let people of all walks of life know that you're actively seeking a job. Your parents' doctor or your child's pediatrician could be the genesis of a lead that lands your next position.

Consider a side gig

From restaurant deliveries to Uber rides to mystery shopping in your area, there are many different opportunities to get a paycheck. Just make sure that any independent contractor positions don't nullify your unemployment benefits.

When the situation is dire

Long-term unemployment brings a host of problems, including potential repossessions and foreclosures. In the event that you don't quickly get rehired, filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 might be a wise course of action.

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Law Office of Ginger C. Cord, PSC
155 E. Main Street
Suite 330
Lexington, KY 40507

Toll Free: 800-762-6916
Phone: 859-963-2073
Fax: 859-254-2192
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