Laid Off And Time For A Career Change
By Cixx Admin Date Posted.. 2009-10-08 20:01:27
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 If you're forced into a career change because of a layoff, don't panic. While it may seem the end of the world it could end up being a blessing in disguise. In fact many, especially those in middle age who've been stuck in jobs they don't enjoy because they've built up seniority, find they ultimately welcome the forced career change. Here are some things you must do to help yourself survive the career change.

First, take stock of what you are due by your former employer and make sure you get all of it. If you are laid off unemployment compensation is your right. It may not be a lot of money – many states pay $1000 a month or less but it's your right and it's tax free. Take it. You'll generally only have to wait one week before you start getting your checks. You also have a right to the same medical coverage as you had when you were working, as long as you pay into it the sum total of what you had been paying and what your employer had been paying for you. While this might seem a hefty price you'll generally find that the coverage will be a much better buy than anything you can find on your own. Don't be tempted to go without health insurance. It's far too great a risk.

The plan that allows you this coverage is called COBRA, which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It's regulated by the U.S. federal government and you can take advantage of the coverage for up to 18 months after you leave your job. Your employer is required by law to provide the coverage. It doesn't require any medical exam and you have up to 60 days from the expiration of the insurance coverage period you were paying into when you were last employed. In other words, if you paid for the month of April and were laid off April 9th, you would have until the end of June to pick up COBRA.

Many companies offer laid off employees a severance package. If you are not offered this, do ask. Your career change may involve further education and this money might be the difference between being able to go back to school or not. It may also be that your former employer will pay for an outplacement counselor to help you with your career change.

You must strategize your career change. Take full stock of your finances and devise a plan to manage and pay your household expenses. Reduce and even eliminate any luxury items. Make smart budget decisions. Digital cable TV is far less important to your career change plans than your high speed Internet connection, for example.

Plan your job hunt and your career change wisely. It may be that an immediate job hunt is not going to be the same as your ultimate career change. You may need to take a job at least part time, or second shift, or temporarily to get by while you pursue your career dreams, expand your training and so forth. It may be that you'll have to take a lower-paying job in your new field to get your foot in the door. Accept that if it's necessary, and budget accordingly. Keep in mind the ultimate career change goal and look at it as the first step in the very right direction.

About the Author

James Copper is a writer for where you can find out about a career change

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