Laid-off, now what? Illinois can help

August 11, 2009

Recently laid-off Chicagoans, this is for you: Julie Sullivan at the Chicago Work-Life Balance Examiner writes about what to do as soon as lose your job. The article is hyper local so you can find all the resources right here in Chicago. First things first: file for unemployment. Sullivan suggests filing for unemployment benefits the first business day after you're laid off.
    For those who might see shame in filing for unemployment - are you aware that this is NOT a handout, and that this is a benefit that you have earned by your hard work?
With updated technology, it's easy to apply for unemployment online at the Illinois Department of Employment Security. 2. Take a look at Illinois Skills Match. You can make a profile and see what jobs match your skills. 3. Update your resume. This can be done any time, but if yours has been collecting dust for a while, update it immediately. Tips for perfecting your resume can be found in our previous posts. 4. Reevaluate your health care options. If your employer provided medical insurance, check out continuing coverage choices with COBRA. Also find more information at the Illinois Department of Insurance. 5. Sullivan suggests taking it easy. Now we don't mean lounging by the pool all day, but take a deep breath and just breathe.
    This probably had nothing to do with you and was a business decision that you are not supposed to take personally (though you probably did). Hopefully, you did not cry in the office - but feel free to do it now. A lot of our identity, good or bad, tends to get caught up in what we do on a daily basis or where we are in our careers. There are potentially a lot of emotions going on inside you, and they may change rapidly. It's OK. Don't get upset with yourself too badly if you aren't in the greatest of moods or feel like retreating. It's awful and not at all fun to go through this stuff. Luckily, time moves on and this too shall pass. If you can try and adopt the "door shuts another great one opens" philosophy, it may make that time even shorter.