Steps to Consider After You’re Off AT&T’s Payroll

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Your once 60-day or now 14 day surplus period is winding down, you have rolled off the payroll, and you still haven’t found a job. Your mind is scrambling with items to consider — new job, retirement, pension, 401K, start a business, whatever.  Here’s are a few tasks that are a easy to accomplish so you can feel like you’ve accomplished something while containing some benefits.

  1. Make sure you are informed on how to get your W2 at the conclusion of the year.
  2. Non-employees and retirees who retain AT&T services now have the luxury to pay via credit card.  So if you’ve been paying via bank draft, you can now switch to credit card payments if you prefer.
  3. If you left the company with retiree benefits (medical, dental, life insurance, etc.) [this does not include folks who are not retirees and getting COBRA coverage] if you possess supplemental life insurance through AT&T you may have an option to retain that coverage.  However, it is advised you compare prices. Through AT&T, 8 times my pay was going to cost $422/month, and I am now proudly paying just $178/month for more coverage than I had before.  Be weary that group rates does not simply translate to “discounted” rates. There’s a great chance that you may get a much better deal on your own. Inmail me on Linkedin or email me for a referral at
  4. Examine and take note of the recent notice (April, 2018) on AT&T’s auto-pay policy.  Effective June 2018, they will be taking your money sooner. You don’t have to permit them to take it a week sooner, but they’d like you to – this way THEY can make money on the float of all the money acquired from customers prematurely.
  5. If you were management and it applies and you were laid off or surplussed, you have two years to come back to AT&T and bridge service. See AT&T SPD page 30 and 31.
  6. Review your finances and speak with a Retirement Specialist. Run the cash flow first to determine what you need to make on your new job. The cash flow will assist you in determining how to take severance. If you receive a pension a cash flow will determine how much more you need to make to supplement the monthly retirement annuity. Remember some of the biggest mistakes is not relocating or traveling to a remote position to hit the Rule of 75. Knowing how much time your resources will allow you for job hunting can help you to keep stress and anxiety in check. After all, having time can be the difference between rushing to take the first mediocre job you can find, and finding a satisfying job that you’ll love.

Actions to Avoid

We understand losing your job is more than just losing your regular salary.  You can also lose the ability to collect pension and retirement benefits,  status,  routine and your social network.  These all can quickly go away, along with less tangible assets like confidence, self-esteem, purpose and identity making it extremely frustrating.

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Loss of a job, especially for those with over 20 years of service,  affects the same receptors in the brain as loss of a loved one.  The same  five stages of grief apply for the employee going through job loss , denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to get through the loss of a job.

As realizations settle in, it can be exceedingly hard to control your emotions. Here are some actions to avoid doing:

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Criticizing Others

After leaving a company, never criticize your manager, your colleagues, or the company behind their backs, as they may hear about your comments. Talking trash in the office or on social media platforms about them can make you look unprofessional, and you do not want to ruin your reputation for a ten seconds of relief.

In addition, this could also sabotage your replacement’s chances of making a success of his or her new role , it is unsettling when the person in his/her position before is talking badly about everything. It’ll leave him questioning if this is the right decision or not.

Taking It Personally

Getting laid off is in no way easy. Many people view it as a personal stab, when in reality, chances are that your departure really wasn’t because of you. If you were laid off, you might run over possibilities such as you weren’t qualified enough, you did something wrong, or you “didn’t look the part.” Don’t take it personally.

Cutbacks and restructures are a common part of business, circumstances change forcing them to do layoffs.  AT&T laid off 10,000 people last year and Verizon offered an early retirement package to 44,000 employees in 2018.  Job loss for the most part isn’t personal, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if this is the case.

You should try to guard against self-pity. Even the best people get fired.

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