Severance Package and Unemployment Benefits

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Late last year, my employer announced that my department was one of the "chosen" departments to close out. We were given a good four months advance notice that we were going to be laid off. During those four months, my employer offered many workshops such as interviewing techniques and resume development. We were also updated on internal job opportunities. As we approached our last month, which was March of this year, one of the Human Resource's managers came and talked to us about our severance packages, 401k and pensions, and many, many other topics. A local unemployment representative was also invited to talk to us about our unemployment benefits and the filing process. I was fortunate to be laid off in this manner. I could not imagine how chaotic and traumatizing it would be to come to work one day and then being told you no longer have a job. My employer did everything they could to ease the transition from "employed" to "unemployed". Yes, the best they could have done was NOT to laid us off but the manner in which they did was very professional and caring.

I've been laid out for six months now. I worked full time for the past 15 years. Juggling three kids and working eight hours equal to zero time to do much of anything. I didn't have time to volunteer in my kids' schools, to unpack all of my boxes completely ever since moving into my house four years ago, complete home projects, and the list goes on and on. After losing my job, I realized that I have gained time. That is something that took a while for me to get a hang of because I'm so used to being on the go all the time. I slowly unpacked all of my boxes, put pictures in photo albums, landscaped my garden, went on all of my daughters remaining school field trips, and cooked healthy (slow cook) meals. I know my family is eating a lot healthier now rather ordering out (budgeting ourselves), working out by myself or taking walks with my kids after school and weekends, and most importantly, I'm there for my kids - physically and emotionally.

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