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Professor Provides Advice on Next Steps for Those Who Are Unemployed

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dr Parks-Yancy

Due to COVID-19, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or been furloughed. The National Bureau of Economic Research stated the United States entered a recession in February 2020. Many citizens do not know how to take their next steps to gain (or re-gain) employment.

Full Professor of Management in the Jesse H. Jones School of Business and author of Be Your Best Career Architect: Here are the Blueprints, Dr. Rochelle Parks-Yancy, has provided answers to questions that many unemployed workers face.

I've lost my job, now what do I do next?

  • File for unemployment with the Texas Workforce Commission. Due to COVID-19, unemployment compensation has been increased from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation fund. The unemployment pay is equal to individuals' regular unemployment pay, plus an additional $600. The additional $600 ends in July 2020. However, the regular unemployment compensation time period extends 13 weeks afterwards.
  • Update your resume and LinkedIn page. If you don't already have a LinkedIn page, create one. It's a significant source of job leads and employment-related activities.
  • Decide what kind of job(s) you want next. This will help with targeting desired role(s).

What does the process of getting a new job look like? What resources are available?

The people who know you and think well of you are the best sources of job leads. While jobs are posted on Indeed, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter and other job sites, many times those positions are not actually available. Instead, referrals are far more likely to help you get hired.

  • Contact people who know you about your desired roles and give them your resume.
  • Get active in your field's professional organization online. Get to know people in your field and develop relationships. This will broaden your access to contacts who can potentially help with your job search.
  • Be active on LinkedIn. This helps with promoting your talents and building relationships with people who can help you get hired.

We are in challenging times. People have sympathy and empathy. If you're overwhelmed:

  • Contact TSU's Counseling Services, which provides emotional and mental support;
  • Reach out to friends or close networks and share your frustrations;
  • and Take breaks (a few hours a day) from job searching. Do other things that you enjoy. That can be refreshing and helps to temporarily take your mind off of your job hunt.

What rights are put in place for those who have lost their job?

Not many. Texas is a Right to Work State. There are federal laws in place regarding why people can't legally lose their job (e.g. disability, age, race, religion, pregnancy, gender). Excluding those sorts of violations, private Texas employers can terminate individuals' employment without much notice. That said, if you are terminated, be sure that you know your organization's rules regarding payouts for accrued vacation days/other kinds of accrued leave, as well how much you're owed in your final paycheck. If you believe that you've been terminated unlawfully, consult with an employment attorney to review the merits of your complaint.

 

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Last updated: 06/18/2020