I Was Laid Off. What Do I Do?

Getting laid off can be a real punch in the gut. It's a tough pill to swallow, no doubt about it. Here are some practical steps to take when you find yourself in this not-so-pleasant situation:

1. Take a Moment for Yourself

Okay, first things first. It's totally normal to feel a rollercoaster of emotions after getting the boot - anger, sadness, anxiety - you name it. Give yourself permission to process these feelings and talk it out with your loved ones. Remember, being laid off doesn't define you. It's not personal; it's just the way the corporate cookie crumbles sometimes.

2. Handle Your Immediate Bills

Once you’ve taken a breather, now it’s time to assess who you owe and what you need to pay for.

Write down every single one of your monthly expenses, including rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, debt payments, and any other bills.

Do you have an emergency fund prepped already for this scenario? Now is the time to dip into it to pay for these expenses.

If you don’t have enough in the fund to cover these (or don’t have an emergency fund at all), you have four options which you can mix and match:

  1. Cut down your expenses significantly - here’s a list of 60 ways to save money fast.
  2. Look for hustles you can start in the meantime while you look for a full-time job (or just make these your full-time job) - here’s a list of our top 10 side hustles.
  3. Call your lenders and ask to reduce your payments or get more flexible payment terms.
  4. Lean on government benefits or charity programs. Here’s a few ideas below.

By the way, once you do find that job - go start your emergency fund once and for all! Here’s how.


3. Check Your Benefits

Listen up, because this is important. Losing your job doesn't mean you're left high and dry. There might be some support waiting for you, such as state unemployment benefits.

In your preferred search engine, search “Apply for Unemployment Benefits” and your state’s website should pop up.

Other potential benefits include:

  • COBRA health insurance coverage through your former employer
  • Medicaid health insurance
  • Social security - for those who are long-term unemployed
  • SNAP benefits (food stamps) - for low income folks
  • TANF program (Temporary Aid to Needy Families)
  • WIC Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

4. Plot Your Next Move

Being laid off can be an opportunity to reassess your career goals and consider a new path. Think about what you'd like to do next and what steps you need to take to get there. Start by reaching out to your professional network and letting them know you're on the lookout for fresh opportunities. Attend networking events and job fairs to expand your connections.

Remember, being laid off can be a difficult and emotional experience, but it's important to stay positive and focused on your goals. Take the time to assess your finances, explore your options, and create a plan that will help you move forward. With the right mindset and support, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and success.

Article written by
The app that upgrades your money mindset and debt, for free

Debbie is an app that uses behavioral psychology and prizes to help you pay off debt for good. The app rewards you for paying off debt with lower interest rates on your current credit, as well as cash. Start our free money psychology course today to get qualified. Start Now →

Related articles

Ready to crush debt?

Join here. Terms apply.

Start now