Is your job or sudden lack of job causing you to feel powerless, loss and grief? It makes sense, as the unemployed ranks are growing, anxiety about job loss rises as well. Here are 7 questions to ask to help you prepare for your next best move.
- When will I receive my last paycheck? Will I get paid for my unused vacation time?
Laid off? Get all the specifics. Date of last paycheck and what it will include. Check on your other benefits like your unused vacation time.
- Will I receive severance pay?
There is no uniform standard for severance packages. This includes whether you’ll get one or not. If you do, make a plan for what is likely a lump sum payment or you might blow through the cash before you realize it.
- How long will I have to exercise my stock options?
Got stock option? Find out how long you can hold them. Given the rollercoaster ride of the today’s stock market, you may want to stay on the ride in hopes of regaining value.
- Is the company offering healthcare coverage after my last day of work, and for how long?
The specifics of your employer health plan will determine if they are offering healthcare coverage at no cost to you. If not, COBRA should be available for you.
COBRA is an acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This health insurance program allows eligible employees and their dependents the continued benefits of health insurance coverage that was offered by your employer. Sounds great at first blush. The employee is responsible for 102% of the cost. The great insurance you had while working may suddenly be way too pricey. You have 60 days to decide.
During those 60 days, you should evaluate all of your options. Becoming unemployed is a change in status that makes “Obamacare” available. 12 states that maintain their own healthcare exchanges and most have reopened enrollment for those without healthcare. No matter where you live you can start at https://www.healthcare.gov/
- Will you provide a reference for me?
You may need to get out of your feelings to ask the person letting you go for a positive reference, but you should. You’ll probably need it later and it’s better to be prepared.
I think you need to ask the question if they are willing to give a “positive reference” while you’re face to face. If you’re not having a love fest with your boss, you need to make sure this person has positive things to say. You should be able tell by the reaction. Your boss will probably not say anything directly negative. However, lack of enthusiasm or silence can be a job killer. If you’re not feeling the response, find someone else with great things to say. Get the contact information to be prepared when your future employer wants to reach out for a conversation.
- How can I get copies of my performance reviews and by when?
Performance reviews can provide you with great details to include in your resume and LinkedIn profile. Specifics of your accomplishments that you may have forgotten can bring new life to your career story.
- What will happen to my 401(k)?
Your options depend on what type of plan you have. In order to make the best decision, you may need to contact a financial advisor in addition to getting information from your company.
If you’re fortunate enough to be a high-income earner and can afford it, you make want to max out your 401(K) plan contributions from your last check. The maximum amount an individual can contribute in 2020 is $19,500 for people under 50 years old and $26,000 for those 50 and older.
These are trying times that we’ve never seen before. These steps can help you give you greater peace of mind and some sense of control.
Source: Harvard Business Review