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How to Deal With Sudden Unemployment

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Unemployment Benefits claim form
Nigel Carse / E+ / Getty Images
If you just became unemployed, you are probably dealing with a lot of different feelings right now, one of them being fear. Unemployment makes you wonder how you are going to make ends meet, what you will do if you become ill and what you are going to do next. Find out how to answer all these questions and perhaps ease your fear.
Difficulty: Hard
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Here's How:

  1. Find out if you are eligible for government unemployment benefits. If you live in the U.S. see How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits.
  2. Determine how long your financial resources will last.
  3. If your health benefits are paid by your employer, find out how to maintain those benefits. Most likely, you will be able to purchase benefits through COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also protects your right to health insurance coverage if you lose your job. If you don't find a job before your group policy with your former employer expires, your new employer doesn't provide health insurance benefits for employees or doesn't provide it for your family members, HIPAA guarantees your right to purchase insurance on your own.
  4. Determine whether a career change is in order. If layoffs are rampant in your field, you may want to consider making a change to a field that is growing, or at least stable.
  5. If you would like to change careers, find out what occupation you want to go into. You may need professional help with making this decision.
  6. Take this time to spruce up your skills. Find out what skills are most valuable to employers.
  7. Now you can begin your job search. Write your resume, review your job interviewing skills and tell your network contacts about your current status in case they have leads.

Tips:

  1. Realize you are in a very stressful situation, and being upset, or even angry, is normal.
  2. Take a little break to evaluate your situation, but try not to wallow in self-pity.
  3. Learn from this experience.

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