Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills.
Post Reply
Topic Author
mceagle555
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:41 pm

Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by mceagle555 »

I was talking with two friends the other day who both were recently laid off. Each of their companies HR departments followed things to the letter-of-the-law, almost to the point of being a little TOO rigid, which came across as screwing the departing employee.

Here are a few things I made mental note of whenever I leave my current role, to be conscious of when accepting future roles:

1. If you are starting a job at the beginning of the year in January, fight for your start date to be 1/1, opposed to 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 (depending on where 1/1 calls on the calendar). A friend missed out on accruing an extra week of vacation in his 5th year because his start date was 1/4 opposed to 1/1.

2. If your company allows you to carry-over any vacation days from a previous year, know (a) when those carry-over vacation days expire and (b) if you'll be paid out for carry-over vacation days. A friend missed out on payout of 5 carry-over vacation days because they expired in Q1 and he was laid off in Q2. (They still showed in his available Workday balance).

3. If you are offered a severance and the option of getting lump sum or salary continuation, know the impact on your health insurance. Typically salary continuation will extend health insurance.

4. Don't be afraid to negotiate severance. Even the simple phrase "after consulting with an employment attorney...." can help get certain things unstuck.

5. Save EVERY positive award received, positive emails from leadership, company-wide emails recognizing your team, etc... A friend was being screwed out of a 5-figure bonus because she was being terminated 1 calendar day (zero business days) before being eligible for the bonus. A polite email to the HR representative outlining both the qualitative and quantitative impact of her performance being noted company-wide by senior leadership over the last Fiscal Year resulted in her getting the bonus.

6. Spend 30 mins becoming an expert on how to take screenshots. The number of things shared on Teams, Slack, & Zoom will greatly benefit you.

7. Always have an advocate(s) who is NOT in your direct chain of command. If things go sideways with your boss or your boss's boss, having multiple people who are your advocates will benefit you. One of my friends had not built any relationships outside his vertical, which left him feeling on an island during his transition time.

8. Multiple streams of income greatly can reduce stress during times of transition. A friend has a side-hustle that makes 20% of his normal salary; even something that small helps take the edge off total loss.

9. Live-Below-Your-Means - I know many of us Bogleheads already do this, but it is a prime example of how LBYM allows you to make the best decisions for your family opposed to making a less favorable decision, simply because you need a paycheck. One employer came back to the friend they let go 5 days before her termination date offering to extend her end date "if that would be helpful to the employee." Turns out she was a critical part of more business processes than they realized and the company had shot themselves in the foot. Because she had LBYM, she was able to politely decline.
Last edited by mceagle555 on Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
techrover
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by techrover »

Very good tips.
If I were to generalize all I have learnt over the years - Do not hold back on asking for a favor even if you know there is no chance of it going through. Ask for it nicely though.
oilrig
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by oilrig »

techrover wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 1:26 am Very good tips.
If I were to generalize all I have learnt over the years - Do not hold back on asking for a favor even if you know there is no chance of it going through. Ask for it nicely though.
+1. I always try and help friends and former coworkers who are unemployed and looking for work, because they will try and help when Im unemployed and looking for work.
User avatar
soccerrules
Posts: 1435
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by soccerrules »

a couple more regarding lay-offs or departures (generally speaking, yes there might be exceptions)

1) HR is not there to help you but to protect the company. They work FOR the company, any perceived help you might feel happens to align with what is required by law or consistent with how they have treated others.
2) Its a Business not family or a community group-- they likely care about you as a person (not mean spirited) but they make decisions that are best for the business.
3) You are replaceable
4) Read the fine print, know your benefits and vesting timeframes
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.
User avatar
ichee_marone
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2022 11:20 am
Location: NC

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by ichee_marone »

1. Don't burn bridges as you leave your employer. Sometimes, it's a revolving door.
2. Don't bad-mouth your old employer at your new job. It makes you sound unprofessional.
Topic Author
mceagle555
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:41 pm

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by mceagle555 »

10. If your company has floating holidays, comp days, floating religious holidays, etc... use those FIRST before using official vacation days. If you leave your job mid-year, you'll likely be paid out for official vacation days, but not the others.

11. Pay attention to what your senior leadership shares/likes on LinkedIn or other public forums. It gives you tremendous insight into where alliances may be and/or what things they care about.

12. Consider front-loading your 401k, if you think you'll be leaving at some point during the year and not immediately jumping into another gig. Re: viewtopic.php?t=400468

13. If your company has apps/programs you have access to (Employee Purchase Discount sites with rewards, apps that give $$ for tracking fitness, etc...), ensure you redeem any "points" prior to departure. One friend was able to cash out $500 in Home Depot gift cards from rewards earned.
Colorado14
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by Colorado14 »

Here's a book recommendation with tips for success when starting a new position: "The First 90 Days" By Michael Watkins.
User avatar
vnatale
Posts: 3936
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: Montague, MA

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by vnatale »

mceagle555 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:11 pm 10. If your company has floating holidays, comp days, floating religious holidays, etc... use those FIRST before using official vacation days. If you leave your job mid-year, you'll likely be paid out for official vacation days, but not the others.

11. Pay attention to what your senior leadership shares/likes on LinkedIn or other public forums. It gives you tremendous insight into where alliances may be and/or what things they care about.

12. Consider front-loading your 401k, if you think you'll be leaving at some point during the year and not immediately jumping into another gig. Re: viewtopic.php?t=400468

13. If your company has apps/programs you have access to (Employee Purchase Discount sites with rewards, apps that give $$ for tracking fitness, etc...), ensure you redeem any "points" prior to departure. One friend was able to cash out $500 in Home Depot gift cards from rewards earned.
#10 - In Massachusetts you are entitled to all awarded and unused vacation pay no matter how your employment was terminated - firing or voluntary.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
User avatar
Beensabu
Posts: 5929
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by Beensabu »

mceagle555 wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:16 pm Always have an advocate(s) who is NOT in your direct chain of command.
If you don't have these people in your life, are you even really working?
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
davy88
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:10 am

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by davy88 »

One thing to add is if you have a charitable giving match, use it early in the year. We get $30k matched to charities we support anyway and it’s absolutely my favorite benefit the company gives
dcabler
Posts: 4975
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:30 am
Location: TX

Re: Helpful Reminders for New Jobs (Fresh in Mind after Layoff)

Post by dcabler »

mceagle555 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:11 pm 10. If your company has floating holidays, comp days, floating religious holidays, etc... use those FIRST before using official vacation days. If you leave your job mid-year, you'll likely be paid out for official vacation days, but not the others.

11. Pay attention to what your senior leadership shares/likes on LinkedIn or other public forums. It gives you tremendous insight into where alliances may be and/or what things they care about.

12. Consider front-loading your 401k, if you think you'll be leaving at some point during the year and not immediately jumping into another gig. Re: viewtopic.php?t=400468

13. If your company has apps/programs you have access to (Employee Purchase Discount sites with rewards, apps that give $$ for tracking fitness, etc...), ensure you redeem any "points" prior to departure. One friend was able to cash out $500 in Home Depot gift cards from rewards earned.
+1 on number 12. I did that for years before I finally retired. I did this because in my industry layoffs tended to happen in the second half of the year and I didn't want to miss out on maximizing my 401K contributions. Do note your 401K plan rules, however. When you front load like that, you likely will not have received the entire corporate match you would have been entitled to had you spread your contributions out over the entire year. In some plans, like the one from my last employer before I retired, your 401K will receive a "true-up", often in the following year, to make your corporate match whole. Still, other plans require you to still be employed in order to receive the true-up. etc.

Later in my career, I also began to front load my HSA as well because I knew that it was likely that when I retired, I'd stay on COBRA till the end of the year I retired. I wasn't able to do that my last year of employment because my employer decided to outsource their benefits management for such things and the company they chose had software that simply did not contemplate that anyone would ever want to frontload an HSA. I topped manually off my HSA for the year a couple of months after retirement, which happened mid-year.

Cheers. 
Post Reply