What To Do When You are Suddenly Laid-Off

You’ve suddenly lost your job—been laid off, given a “pink slip” which is just our cultural way of saying, “Thanks but we can’t keep you on anymore.” There really is nothing pink and happy about it. Instead of freaking out, instead of laying down and bawling your eyes out, instead of treating yourself to a therapeutic shopping spree with no doubt your credit card smoking behind you, take a few moments to plan a strategy and move forward confidently. Here are some ideas to get you started in the right direction.

6 Immediate Ways to Manage Your Job Lay-off:

  • File ASAP for unemployment benefits. Everything you need to know about claiming your weekly unemployment checks is in this handbook. You’ll find information on how to file, where to file, how you can apply, how to collect your weekly benefits, recognize a scam or rip-off when you see one, and links to your state’s official government unemployment website. 


Find Out If You Are Eligible For Unemployment 

Click this link to find out if you are eligible to file for unemployment: 

Am I Eligible To Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Have Your Benefits Run Out? 

Click this link to find out how to get an unemployment extension: 

Unemployment Extension

  • Update your work resume with current information. If you don’t have a resume—make one. You’ll find free resume samples and templates all over the Internet, so use them as a guide. Post your polished or brand new resume online with free job search services like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. 
  • Actively look for a job. Job search options include online job search sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com; temporary employment agencies like Manpower that place you into good jobs that fit your skills many of which may lead to long-term, permanent positions; job listing sources like Craigslist.org; local workforce and career development offices. If you have a service that you can freelance out—web design, software programming, even data entry and typing skills—consider posting your services on Craigslist.org, eLance.com, or Guru.com. 
  • Review your monthly bills. Pay what’s necessary to keep your head above water. 
  • Cut frivolous/luxury expenses and be honest with yourself: eliminate from your monthly spending such common luxuries like expanded cable television services, extra cellphone services, and trips to the nail salon. Buy groceries and necessities in bulk and don’t shop hungry, eat at home, cut out video and DVD rentals, don’t use your credit cards, cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions, cancel online subscriptions, cancel gym memberships and go running, walking or biking instead, keep your vehicle use to a minimum to save on gas money, turn off lights and lower your thermostat to save money on utility bills. 
  • Consider looking for a group of people who meet regularly with whom you share similar interests. In fact some groups have sprung up in areas that bring together unemployed adults that share the same fears and concerns. Use this as an opportunity for support as well as a vehicle for career collaboration. 

When you’re laid-off from work, it’s not personal, it’s a more and more regular part of our economic turbulence. Make every effort to move forward in the job market.


To find your state's website, use our comprehensive list of all of the state unemployment websites, click here:  State Unemployment Websites
For our state unemployment directory, which includes eligibility information and instructions on how to file for unemployment, click here:  


# NotSureFL 2011-02-07 14:39
I'm frustrated by the fact that job opportunities for the position I have the most experience in, are hard to come by this time of year. However, I'd like to work in a 2nd career where I'd be very happy & also have the skills for, but you need to have an EXACT resume for every position advertised it seems.

How realistic is it to create a unique resume for EVERY job you apply to? I'm burnt out by trying to keep up. Has the day of bulk resume sending passed us by? Any suggestions or comments would be great.
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# George 2011-04-02 07:41
Simple Question here,,new jersey

What effect do back taxes(state) play in determining if you are eligible for Unemployment Benefits,, can you be denied if you didnt not file the previous year state taxes
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# suxeyfa 2011-05-03 16:54
i have been working 3 year than i quite that compny, i claim unemplyment they told me that im not eligible, last week i start working other compny i just worked 3 days and paid me almost 300 than i get laid off, so im i eligibe unemplyment
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# jeremy 2011-06-27 23:04
i have a $20 dollar an hour fulltime job that i have been at for three years, and have a part time minimum wage job for 19hrs a week also, if i were to get layed off from my primary job would the partime one keep me from getting unemployment?
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# MC 2011-09-29 17:37
How many months do I need to have worked "on the books" to qualify for unemployment? (Or is there a dollar amount I need to have earned in a certain time period?). I worked for the past 5 months atan established company...before that it was childcare "off the books" (and mostly bartering for a place to live). Thank you!!
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# Diana 2011-12-06 17:57
I was told today that my job will be starting lay-offs on friday of this week. I only started my job on October 13 of this year. Would I still qaulify?
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# Sandi 2011-12-21 15:55
Just recently part of a "downsizing" effort and was provided two weeks notice. I live in Florida and know that it's a right to work state, so they legitimately can terminate at any time for any reason. My mother however mentioned that there is a required period of time for layoff of over 100 employees, does anyone know what that time requirement is? And also where is the line drawn for the 100 employees (national, state, city, specific office)?
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# Kirk Edwards 2011-12-29 22:17
My regular Louisiana 26 week UI ended today and I wasn't automatically moved to the tier 1 EUC. (Don't know if it works like that here) I just started research and found this site. I did reopen the claim online and I was instructed to start filing again this upcoming Sunday. Is there a chance I may be ineligible for the extension? Also, I may have a 4 month oil job in Puerto Rico that is also tax-free...can I reopen my UI after I get back? Thanks for all your help!
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# Jay 2012-01-14 14:22
I broke my leg and am going to have to get surgery. When i called my boss and told him he said he would be pulling me off the schedule....obviously. As of now i have no idea how long ill be out of work, but im assuming it will be a few months. Im wondering if i am eligible for unemployment over the duration i am out of work? Appreciate a response back.....
Thanks, Gimpy
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# matt 2012-02-02 09:22
I have been told by my employer that my current position will be terminated in 60 days. With my current experience and education it will be difficut to find a comparable job to support my family. I have concerns about unemployment, insurance, and possible advanced schooling/trainning. What should be my immediate focus in this situation? What are the best resouces avaliable for me in this situation? Thanks
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# Walgreens demotion 2012-02-07 18:19
I work for Walgreens and there is a lot of talk about the company eliminating three current positions. First a managers position (this is the current one i have, $18 an hour). And a second called EXA which is salary position, and lastly another position which makes $13. I have no reason to accepted the new job position because they want to pay me less. The new position only gets paid $13 an hour and I can't live on that amount. It's $10,000 less a year. I would like to know how to protect myself and if i can file for unemployment. I know walgreens doesn't want to pay for it so they will find any possible loop-hole to not pay it. I am a resident of the state of N.J. If anyone can help me with this is it would be deeply appreciated.
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# Lenny 2012-07-26 14:27
Can I attend college part time and still collect benefits?
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