How to survive if you were part of a tech layoff

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Google, Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce, countless crypto startups, Microsoft: By 2023, tech companies big and small are still firing people in droves. And not only are marketing and middle management roles being discontinued, but so are analyst and engineer roles. As many of us have learned from experience, no job is 100 percent safe.

Getting fired is stressful, and it can leave you feeling insecure and insecure. Whether it’s your first layoff (and possibly more difficult), or if you’ve been down this road before, finding work and figuring out how to make ends meet without steady income can be scary. There are many creative solutions to help you find your next big vacation.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

Whether you’re entering a job search out of necessity or you’re overwhelmed with residual guilt and worried that you might be on the next cut, update your resume and look for other opportunities. The likes of LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and of course are great places to start your search, but think about the companies you want to work for and also scroll through their job pages.

If you’re hitting a roadblock, look for tech-savvy recruiters and reach out directly. If the economists are right and we’re staring down the barrel of a recession, it’s likely these layoffs won’t be the last.

Whether you get the long or the short end of the discount, protect your information. I’ve definitely made the mistake of creating files on my work Google Drive that should have been in my personal drive, but luckily I shared them with myself. Make copies to make sure you don’t get locked out, and if there are important contacts or emails you want to save, it might be difficult to try to access them after you’re fired, so make those copies. Impossible.

Check your benefits

It may seem obvious to some, but when I was laid off earlier this year, the last thing that came to my mind was unemployment insurance. Each state in the US has its own criteria for determining how much and for how long an individual can claim benefits. For example, in New York, you must work for 2 quarters to qualify for unemployment. The maximum allowed is $504 per week, and the term lasts up to 26 weeks. In Florida, you may get less, and the state has up to 12 weeks to claim unemployment insurance.

This is definitely a lot less than what many of us in tech are used to doing, but something is better than nothing. Additionally, many programs allow you to continue freelancing between jobs, and that income doesn’t affect your weekly benefits, meaning you can look at building unemployment as a starting point.

In the US, you can use this unemployment benefits finder to check your state’s policy and apply online or by phone. You can apply for benefits on your release date, but keep in mind that if you receive a severance package, you may not be eligible until your severance ends.

Check your insurance

In the United States, health insurance is often tied to your job, which adds another layer of stress to layoffs, especially if your plan covers dependents. Legally, your employer must cover your wages until the end of the month you are employed, but time goes by quickly, especially if you are allowed to go to the end of the month.

If your benefits include health insurance, check COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) to see how long your group rate applies to you. About a week after release, you should receive a packet in the mail, which will include the full cost of your premium (usually double what you paid before) and the length of time you can be covered under it. Plan. Some employers will cover your premiums for a longer period of time after your job ends, but be sure to fill out the proper paperwork to make sure your coverage doesn’t end before you get a new job or a new plan.

You can also check the government-sponsored insurance plans available to you using this plan finder. The plans vary from state to state and largely depend on your income. For example, when I was an assistant professor making less than $30,000 a year, I qualified for a $40 a month plan with a $0 deductible and a great network of doctors. However, I now need a family plan that takes into account my and my domestic partner’s income, our plan’s sacrifices are higher than my COBRA insurance, worse rates, and a weaker network of doctors. Definitely check to see which plans you qualify for, but don’t be surprised if it’s cheaper and better to keep your current group rate.

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