Author Topic: Laid Off During a Rough Week  (Read 1046 times)

jmwagner5

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Laid Off During a Rough Week
« on: June 30, 2020, 03:25:16 PM »
Brief outline before getting to the main question behind the post. 

Joined aerospace company back in November 2019 to take on a Continuous Improvement role.  Was a major step in the right direction in my career and long term goals of developing as a subject matter expert in CI.  Obviously the coronavirus pandemic changed the economic situation and the company had to do a reduction in force that included me this last week.  As part of the lay-off, they are offering professional career services to former employees to help get them back on their feet. 

Summary of the week:

Found out on Monday that my Mother has cancer and there is a 50/50 chance that the genes behind it were passed down to me - something I was advised to test for but now lost health insurance to test for in the short term. 

Learned on Wednesday that my long term SO had some fidelity issues while I was gone on a trip 7 months ago. 

Laid off as part of a reduction in force on Friday.

 
It was the toughest week of my life since my Father passed away and something I'm still trying to process a couple days later. 

As far as finances to prep for the question; I have the liquid cash reserves to sustain myself through November before I would have to tap into my Roth IRA contributions.  I could use the Roth IRA to survive for another 12-15 months before really feeling the pain but I am extremely reluctant to touch that money unless it becomes absolutely dire.  I am able to move out of my apartment in January 2021 into something with a cheaper price range and have 12 payments remaining on a 0% interest car loan. 

With the professional career services being provided, is it better to focus entirely on applying for new jobs and gaining new skill sets in the near term while using the cash reserves or should I be doing a hybrid approach where I apply for new positions during spare time and work anything I can find to stretch out my cash reserves as long as possible? 

I'm initially thinking I want to spend two months making my current 'job' applying to new jobs every day and working with the career services while focusing on maintaining my physical health and seeing family but I also fear it's fairly presumptuous to assume that new corporate jobs will be quick or easy during the current economic situation.  I do have the benefit of being 30 yo with no children or dependents and flexibility to move anywhere a job is provided.  But the news about my Mother makes me nervous about moving away just when time is most precious. 

I never expected to be in a situation like this and my head is all over the place so I'm hoping the Mustachian community has some advice to ground me when my emotions are running a little high.  Thanks and sorry for any extra rambling. 


tweezers

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 03:45:38 PM »
I'm really sorry that all of this has happened to you.  Any one of those things would up-end a life.  All of them occurring concurrently would be enough to break many people; especially at a time when simple things like going to the grocery or seeing friends for support is potentially life threatening. 

As a first step, I would apply for unemployment benefits and evaluate non-essential expenses.  This will provide some context to the draw you might need to make on your cash reserves (and perhaps alleviate some of the anxiety of needing to do so if you find that you can drag out your liquid cash before needing to use the Roth).  Personally, I would take a hybrid approach given the current unemployment rate, but I'm not familiar enough with the aerospace industry to gauge the likelihood of finding employment without skill development.  If your old health insurance covered this test, would it be worth extending coverage through COBRA to obtain one?  Alternatively, job loss is a life event that would allow you to apply for coverage through the ACA marketplace.

Again, I'm sorry that you're going through all of this.  Good luck.

mistymoney

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 03:53:46 PM »
apply for unemployment?

former player

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 04:10:34 PM »
I'm sorry you have had so many shitty things to deal with in one week.  Bad news comes in threes, right? So here's hoping that's the end of the bad news for the time being.

Is COBRA a possibility for continued health care?  Alternatively I think being laid off is a qualifying event for ACA.  There's a bit of research for you to do to work out which is better/cheaper/would cover genetic testing if that's the route you want to go down - you need to think carefully about the implications before doing it, and taking up offers of pre-test counselling if available.

Certainly take advantage of all the services on offer to you from your former employer.  It sounds to me as though before this lay-off you had a plan for training/experience/job advancement in a career you are interested in, so I think it's worth carrying on with pursuing that hard in the immediate future and maybe reassess if it looks like it will take longer than you would like to make it happen.

MoolahLula

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 04:18:38 PM »
Sorry you're having such a crappy time of it.  Definitely pursue unemployment and don't feel bad about it if you've paid into it! 

Without knowing the specifics, there is a lot of genetic testing possible through cheek swabs by internet-based companies.  I have had good luck with one called Genome It All, so you might be able to do some genetic testing without a doctor or a blood test, possibly.  So health insurance may not be an obstacle for genetic testing, possibly. 


LWYRUP

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 04:34:50 PM »
Oh no!

Please make sure to take time for your mental health.  Nice walks, conversations with friends, etc.

You'll get through this.  Make sure to spend some quality time with your mom.

Freedomin5

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 05:04:50 PM »
I would definitely apply for unemployment to reduce the financial pressures. I would also work with career services to find a new job that matches your experience and skill set, though I probably wouldn’t be too extremely picky with regard to job duties and salary. I’d be willing to do “experience-adjacent” jobs — positions that are related to my experience and training but may not be a 100% direct match, as that would broaden my experience and skills. I’d be willing to take a small pay cut if that was what was required to have a job. I wouldn’t apply for random “whatever I can find” jobs that are completely unrelated to my career field.

In terms of genetic testing, you lived for 30 years without knowing...you can live for a few more weeks because whether you know or not won’t have an immediate impact on your life. If you have the gene, then you know you may get cancer later in life. If you don’t have the gene, then you know that you may still get cancer later in life but maybe not that particular type of cancer. It doesn’t immediately benefit you to know.

Prioritize the important stuff in your life which is finding ways to meet your immediate financial obligations and spending time with loved ones so that you can support them and be supported by them.


jmwagner5

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 09:53:01 PM »
apply for unemployment?

As amazingly dumb as this may sound, this never even occurred to me. 

I'm really sorry that all of this has happened to you.  Any one of those things would up-end a life.  All of them occurring concurrently would be enough to break many people; especially at a time when simple things like going to the grocery or seeing friends for support is potentially life threatening. 

Just want to say thank you for acknowledging this. 

I'm sorry you have had so many shitty things to deal with in one week.  Bad news comes in threes, right? So here's hoping that's the end of the bad news for the time being.

Is COBRA a possibility for continued health care?  Alternatively I think being laid off is a qualifying event for ACA.  There's a bit of research for you to do to work out which is better/cheaper/would cover genetic testing if that's the route you want to go down - you need to think carefully about the implications before doing it, and taking up offers of pre-test counselling if available.

Certainly take advantage of all the services on offer to you from your former employer.  It sounds to me as though before this lay-off you had a plan for training/experience/job advancement in a career you are interested in, so I think it's worth carrying on with pursuing that hard in the immediate future and maybe reassess if it looks like it will take longer than you would like to make it happen.

I don't know the full details for COBRA yet since the packet has a 7-10 business day delay but it will be a good thing to check out how that compares to the ACA marketplace.  Thank you for that insight!

As for your second point, I was halfway through an advanced education program that would have certified me at a level similar to a Master Black Belt when this reduction in force occurred.  I only needed two more months to finish the program but now my former employer is seeking a refund and I can't afford to make up the difference to finish it (~20K in cost).  The phrase about 'the best laid plans' keeps coming to mind right now.

LifeHappens

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 08:47:25 AM »
apply for unemployment?

As amazingly dumb as this may sound, this never even occurred to me. 
No need to feel dumb. You're under a tremendous amount of stress right now. Stress brain isn't the best brain.

Definitely apply for unemployment as your #1 priority. There is still some time left on the extra $600 per week pandemic pay.

For health insurance, depending on where you live you may qualify for Medicaid on your reduced income.

I would also encourage you to look into some type of counseling. You've been through a lot! There are some online resources like BetterHelp offering video/phone counseling for a fairly low monthly fee. A couple months of sessions may get you through the worst of these shocks and help you move on.

Best wishes, OP. Please let us know how you're faring as you work through this.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 09:13:58 AM »
apply for unemployment?

As amazingly dumb as this may sound, this never even occurred to me. 
No need to feel dumb. You're under a tremendous amount of stress right now. Stress brain isn't the best brain.


Being laid off is a huge shock to anyone's system. Add a pandemic and the week you've had and you're under an enormous amount of stress right now. I'm sorry this is happening to you. Please be kind to yourself. Take a deep breath, take a walk, take advantage of counseling options, and take time to read through the paperwork provided to you. Read through career advice blogs like AskAManager that have advice on resumes and job hunting, companies are still hiring even in today's environment.

You did a great job in building a cash reserve that will last you through November. You have time to assess the local job market for the type of work you do and determine what the best options may be. That is good.

MetalCap

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Re: Laid Off During a Rough Week
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 12:52:31 PM »
As a positive note, I've actually seen a ton of hiring in Aerospace in the past month (I'm tangential to Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, etc)

I think/hope you'll be back in a job in no time.

Hang in there!