7 Items to Consider Before Leaving AT&T

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As a recruiter, I interact with many people who experience a retirement or job loss. I’ve seen first hand how losing your job can be a grandiose moment. Your mind is racing and you simply don’t know how to operate. For this reason, the actions you take before leaving AT&T’s payroll can be crucial to successfully transitioning away from AT&T. I recommend speaking with a financial advisor during your 14-day window at AT&T. Waiting until after you’re off payroll could cost you in the long run. The emotional toll of being out of work may be overwhelming, which is why planning now is very important. You have been connected with AT&T for 20 years and now the relationship is over.

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Retirement or 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 people whose employment ends. They will experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance as a part of the framework that makes up our learning to get through the lack of employment. Please see Losing a Job at AT&T for a more in depth discussion of this topic.

As the reality of the situation settles, your emotions will be a mess. You might feel upset one minute and annoyed the next, and it can be tempting to vent your frustrations. Remember, acting upon impulse almost never turns out well and can make a difficult situation ever worse.

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Here are 10 tips To Get You Through A Job Loss from the article Losing a Job at AT&T:

1. Find out Where You Stand — Make sure that you know your employee rights before you walk away from your organization. Find out what you’re entitled to from your employer and from the government – benefits, severance packages, and pension schemes should all be looked into. It would also be wise to run a cash flow projection and budget before you leave the company to determine if you need to work.

2. Review Your Finances and speak with a Retirement Specialist —  Run the cash flow projection first to determine if you’ll need to work part-time or full-time and how much money you’ll need to make on your new job. 

3. Rally Your Supporters –Get on Linkedin and connect with your fan base. You may feel upset or embarrassed, and your instinctive reaction may be to run away and hide. Confiding in positive-minded family, friends, former colleagues , and even career counselors and support groups can make a huge difference in helping you gain an alternative perspective on your situation.

4. Be Kind to Yourself –It’s very important to deal with the emotional disruption of losing your job. It’s equally important to look after your physical health by exercising, eating right, and getting lots of sleep .

5. Restructure Your Situation — In order to move forward, you need to restructure your situation, so that you don’t see yourself as a victim or think of losing your job as “the end of the world.” Switch your focus from the job that you just lost to the job that you want, and move forward with a confident mindset. Confidence will be important to your success in making a new start.

6. Assess Your Goals — Now is a great time to think about what you want to do next. Understand the opportunity to reassess your career goals, discover your values, and figure out your passions and interests. You have the chance to reaffirm what matters to you or to go in a different direction .

7. Create a Plan--Knowing where you want to be is one thing, figuring out how you’ll get there is another. You should find a job search strategy.

8. Magnify Your Job Hunting Skills –It’s always a good idea to break down and revise your cover letter and resumé, so that they’re in perfect shape as soon as you need them. Make sure that your resumé is up to date, concise, written clearly, and accurate – because you’ll need it to work very hard for you.

9. Search the Job Ads–   Widening your search beyond your target profession may open up opportunities in related fields that you may not have considered initially. For example, if your previous job was being a news anchor, it’s possible you could find a new job as a radio host,

10. Keep Being Positive — Once you’ve dealt with the initial shock, you have get yourself back on your feet, and make a plan to move forward. You’re making a come back!

Now that we’ve discussed the 10 tips to get through a job loss, here are a few items to checkoff before leaving AT&T:

  1. Sit down and analyze your finances with your spouse (if you have one) or alone if you are single.  This may be the perfect time to reach out to a financial planner that knows the AT&T Plan in detail. Avoid doing financial business with friends or family. Money and friendships do not mix. Inmail me on Linkedin or Email me if you need a referral.
  2. Call your Credit Union or Bank and consider opening a line of credit against your home equity. Consider opening any additional credit cards to create an emergency money fund.  As many of you have been employed your whole life, you won’t think of doing this… but once you are unemployed, it becomes exceedingly difficult to get credit making it very important you take this line of action.
  3. Go over your 401K contributions, if you were making them. We recommend seeking the guidance of a financial planner to go over whether or not you should increase your contributions for your remaining time on payroll, or cease them entirely (to build up more immediate cash).  How you proceed may have big tax implications. On one hand, depending on how you stop contributing, you may end up in a much higher tax bracket due to your severance payment, unemployment, etc. For more information on your 401K, check out this article.
  4. One item that many people are unaware of is that you do NOT have to file for unemployment immediately. Depending on the time of year you are laid off paired with your financial situation, it could be beneficial to wait to file your claim so that your unemployment payments fall in the next tax year, when your overall income is lower due to the fact you’re unemployed.  There are any overwhelming number of situations that you want to consider before making a move on this.  We recommend speaking with a retirement specialist to go over your options and for additional information on timing, click here.
  5. Unless you believe your layoff was deserved, speak to a lawyer to go over your options. Venting your anger at managers and colleagues may feel amazing temporarily, but it will damage your career in the long run. You spent all this time building up your relations, why burn them now?
  6. Have a plan for how to fill the void on your LinkedIn profile and your resume.  If you are pursuing a new job, having a job makes it much easier when finding your next adventure. In the mean time, take time to consider becoming a consultant until you find a permanent gig?
  7. Figure out what you will tell people, create your go-to statement and practice it, so you can say it without crying.  It will be normal for friends and acquaintances to ask, and we assume you won’t want to burst into tears or lash out every time the question is popped.  However horrible you feel, it’s crucial to remain calm and act professional, and try to avoid doing anything that might hinder your reputation or integrity.

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