Being fired is something no hard-working employee expects to go through, but it’s a reality millions of people are hit with every year. Roughly eight million Americans are currently unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you suddenly find yourself included in this statistic, here are four things you must immediately do after getting fired.
Review Your Severance Agreement
Your manager may be in a hurry to get you to sign a severance agreement but take your time. Look for red flags like non-compete clauses that could limit your ability to work for similar companies. Accepting a severance deal could also delay or prevent you from collecting unemployment. Remember, this is a legal document and, if possible, it is best to have a lawyer review it. A lawyer can help you negotiate a better deal that will keep your family financially secure for as long as possible.
Evaluate Your Finances
The average person stays unemployed for more than 28 weeks, according to the latest unemployment report, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Assume you will not find work for a few months and map out what you can and cannot live without. You may still enjoy the luxury of watching television every night, but this does not mean you have to continue paying for premium packages. During this financially tight time, you should avoid borrowing large sums of money with high-interest rates and making major purchases.
Go To The Doctor
If your company has at least 20 employees, you can continue your health insurance for up to 18 months under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA. At the bare minimum, you should visit your dentist and general practitioner while you are still covered. The preventive care you receive while still under your company’s insurance could help you avoid costly treatments later.
Know You Are Not Alone
Companies grow and shrink every day; it is not a reflection of your character nor work ethic. Being unemployed may be one of the most difficult times you will ever go through, but it can also be a testament to your perseverance and desire to succeed. At one point or another, Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, Walt Disney, and Oprah Winfrey were all fired from their jobs, but today they are respected for their triumphs and not their terminations. Find inspiration from others who have overcome obstacles like yours, and remember this time in your life is only temporary.