Many companies have been struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this means mass layoffs and extended furloughs have become all too common.

If you’ve been laid off or furloughed, you’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Kentucky reached 10.6%  in May 2020.

You’re probably feeling a bit more secure if you’ve been furloughed, as you’re likely to be called back to work at some point. However, you’re still not currently earning a paycheck, and no doubt, that’s very stressful.

Here’s some advice to help you stay on your feet during this trying time.

4 Actions to Take If You’ve Been Laid Off or Furloughed

Ask If You’ll Receive Any Benefits

It’s only natural to panic when you find out you’ve lost your job — at least temporarily. However, your employer might send you out the door with some very helpful benefits. For example, if you’re furloughed, you might still get to keep your health insurance coverage. Or, if you’ve been laid off, you could be eligible to cash in your accrued vacation time.

Anything helps right now, so make sure you’re able to take advantage of all the benefits. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your company’s HR department with any questions.

Apply for Unemployment

Whether you’re laid off or furloughed, you’re not getting a paycheck. Therefore, immediately signing up for unemployment benefits is a must. Traditionally, furloughed employees are not eligible for this assistance, but the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act does include workers who have been furloughed. This economic aid can make all the difference, so check to make sure you’re eligible and use it.

Reach Out to Your Network

Not all companies are struggling through the pandemic. Some businesses are thriving, so if you were laid off, reach out to your network to inform them of your current job status. In times of crisis, people want to help one another, so if a contact knows of a company hiring, they’ll be eager to pass your information along.

Boost Your Skills

Don’t use being out of work as an excuse to do nothing. Instead, use your newfound free time to enhance your resume. Take a free online course or start a passion project that will allow you to gain new skills. Potential employers — or your current employer, if you’re furloughed — will be impressed that you used your time away from the workforce to learn and grow.

Looking for work in Boone, Kenton or Campbell County? PrideStaff Northern Kentucky is here to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us today to get started!

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