For twenty-seven years I worked for a company.
In the span of these last five months I have had two meetings with my manager(s) and HR to let me know that due to market conditions, among other thing things, my position was being eliminated.
The first conversation was a choice between an early retirement package or working in another state. The second gave no options.
This is how I joined the ranks of the recently unemployed. It may or may not differ from yours, but that is not the point. I will lay out some guidelines to point you in the right direction, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do.
“What next?” is the question you may be asking yourself. The first thing you should do is understand that this situation is not a reflection on you. This is not an indication of your self-worth. Especially at this time, thousands of people are being laid off.
Take a breather, relax, or, if possible, a mini-vacation. Let your mind recuperate from the stress.
Stay the Course or Change Direction?
The next step is to decide if you want to continue doing what you have been doing. Some of you have knowledge, skills, and talents that easily transfer to other industries while others may need to adapt their skills to new areas.
If needed, don’t be afraid to train for something new. We will discuss training in more detail below.
The point is, from my perspective, the oil and gas industry will not be booming soon, so don’t wait around for it to pick back up.
How Much Do I REALLY Need to Spend?
At this point, it is a good idea to review your finances. If you have not done so already, put together a personal balance sheet. This totals all of your assets and all of your liabilities. This will help you to visualize what resources you have and what debt you owe.
Then tally up all of your expenses. Look at this long and hard to decide what is essential and what can be cut or reduced. Examples can be premium movie channels, cable TV, any type of subscription that is not essential.
See posts on spending and saving money in the Personal Finance section.
What About Income?
File for unemployment benefits if you are able. The weekly payment amount varies from state to state and also depending on other factors like recent salary. In my case, I am eligible for $247 per week in unemployment benefits.
There should also be an additional federal benefit of $600 per week on top of the state benefit due to the pandemic. Your state employment website should allow you to indicate that the pandemic was partially or wholly the cause for your being released.
At this point, you should have a thorough understanding of where you are financially, what assets you have, what bills you owe, and a good idea on whether or not you will continue doing what you were doing or establish a career in a new industry.
If you are an IT Professional, it’s easy to transfer your capabilities to a different industry because the requirements are relatively similar, no matter what industry.
If your career was more specialized, say Drilling Fluids Technical Professional, that job description won’t show up in other industries.
Start to look at training opportunities for your new career choice. Your state employment website should have a section on training to prepare you for a different job. Pretty much every major job search engine provides you with a list of free training resources. Use them. Take advantage of the opportunity to add to your skill set.
You will get through this. You have the choice to be better for this. Seize control and be the best you can be!
If any of you readers need to talk, have questions, or need advice, please reach out to me here. (Link will take you to a contact form. Your information will not be shared or used to sell you anything.)
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