Key Steps To Take If You’ve Been Displaced

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Mike Frost (00:01):

Hello, and welcome to the Mach 1 market moment where we provide financial information on topics, such as investing, insurance, financial planning, and everything related to your money. This is Mike Frost and today we’ll be discussing a topic that is near and dear to hearts of many here in Northwest Arkansas. We’ll be talking about some key steps to take. If you’ve been displaced, you’ve been laid off, you’ve lost your job, or like I have a couple of times in my career – been fired. So today on the podcast, we’ve got Matt, our senior VP. How are you doing Matt?

Matt Walters (00:31):

I am great. Thanks, Mike.

Mike Frost (00:33):

I’m glad you’re here. And of course, Natalie, our wonderful producer and marketing director. How’s it going, Natalie?

Natalie Wilson (00:38):

Going good. Always a pleasure to be here.

Mike Frost (00:40):

All right. Okay, folks – so here we are. A lot of the news recently about one of the big employers in town have laid off quite a number of folks, and there’s a lot of angst, a lot of concern. People are worried about what’s going to happen next. So we’re going to go over things today. If that has happened to you, what should you do? And these are kind of a list of things that you should be considering about if this has happened to you. All right, first and foremost, don’t take it personal. This is just business. And I know it’s like, “well, it’s my income, Mike. I mean, this is how I make a living & provide for my family” – it’s a business decision. Not against you. There’s no reason for you to get upset with them. There is a reason, but it won’t do you any good to get upset. So your first thing you should do is just understand it is business. All right?

Mike Frost (01:30):

Second point – whatever you can do while you’re still employed – most times they give you some time before you exit the building or your home is to gather any information you can, that’s legal, that will help you build your resume. Any kind of projects you’ve been working on, key contacts – again, make sure it’s okay with the company – but anything you can use to put on your resume, you want to make sure you get that and take that with you.

Mike Frost (02:03):

Along with that, you want to get letters of recommendation. Again, this is a business decision. Your manager may not even have known that this was coming. If you can get a letter of recommendation from them, a previous manager or someone that is still there and get it on the company letterhead – that will really bode well for you when you’re getting ready to go apply for a new position. Then ask your former managers, your current manager or other managers you’ve had if you can use them as a reference. If you can – make sure you get their contact information, a phone number & email address so new perspective, employers can contact your former managers and just talk to them about what type of employee you were – that is critical to have. Now, just know this – former employers are limited to what they can say, but you want to have that. You want to make it available to a new employer.

Mike Frost (02:57):

Next thing is – do you have a noncompete clause? That means whatever industry you’re in, if you are a buyer and you’re buying kids’ toys, does it prevent you from going to work with a kid toy manufacturer? If you have a noncompete clause, then you need to know that, uh, otherwise you could have some issues later on. Okay. Now what benefits are you going to have? Uh, will you still have health insurance?

Mike Frost (03:27):

How about your life insurance? Is it convertible? Is it portable? You’ll need to know that. Will they provide you out placement services? And that would mean they’re going to help you build your resume. They’re going to put you in contact with potential new employers. What about your severance package? How long is it? When does it start? When does it in, uh, are you going to be able to contribute to your 401k during the severance? Are they going to match during the severance? Most likely they will not, but you need to ask those questions and then ask about your 401k. What are your options? How about rolling it over? We would, as financial advisors, we would always 100% of the time recommend you roll over your 401k. And what that simply means is as you take it from the employer and you roll it out to a traditional IRA, or if you have Roth 401k, you roll that out to a Roth IRA.

Mike Frost (04:20):

The reason you would do that is you have so many more options out in the open market. Then there’d be no reason to leave it inside the employer. When you have just limited amount of investment options, what about sick days? You have built up sick days and you need to take PTO days, any contact information you get. Who’s the HR person you need to contact in the future. If you have questions, if you’ve got stock options, who do you go to? How do I get to those? Get all of that before you leave. Cause once you’re an ex-employee, uh, you’re you drop way down on the totem pole, as far as a priority. When you want to contact the company. Now you personally, if you’re on social media, now be a great time to clean up your social media. So if you got some things out there that maybe you don’t want a new employee to see now’s the time to get it cleaned up.

Mike Frost (05:09):

And by all means all means never, ever, ever bash your former employer. That does nothing but send bad vibes to a potential new employer. So always be positive. Hey, this is a business decision. You’re looking for a new opportunity. And you know, looking on LinkedIn this morning, I saw several folks out there and they are absolutely following these steps. Everything’s positive. They’re looking forward to the next phase in their life. And that’s exactly what you want to do. And that leads us to the LinkedIn. That’s where business people go and look so make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. Now’s a great time to do it. You’ve got to change in your life. So now you need to update that LinkedIn, if you wait a year from now and updated, it looks kind of shady. So do it now as you’re making this change in life.

Matt Walters (05:58):

Yeah, one of the first places that I’ll, that I’ll go looking for opportunities, recruits, perspective employees, or, um, jobs at one of the first places I go to is LinkedIn. And I know a lot of people are in the same boat. So I think a LinkedIn profile is a great place to present yourself as, as you know, in the, in the best light and the best way possible for basically the world to see, right.

Mike Frost (06:21):

And again, always be positive, be positive. All right. So now you’ve done all that and got all that set up. Now you need to apply for unemployment. Well, Mike, I’m getting a severance. Doesn’t matter, go apply. If they’re going to deny you, they’ll let you know, but you know what? If you don’t apply for unemployment, you won’t get it. Go ahead and apply for unemployment. And that may be new to some folks that never have done that, but still go apply. Then in your field of expertise, contact a recruiter or a head Hunter, Natalie, Natalie, you know what a head Hunter is, right?

Natalie Wilson (06:56):

I learned the other day.

Mike Frost (06:58):

A head Hunter basically as a person that is, is employed by a company to find a prospective employee. And the head Hunter is someone that an employee perspective employee goes to provisor information. And then they connect the company with that prospective employee.

Mike Frost (07:18):

And if they can do a good match, the company usually pays them a fee for finding that these folks are invaluable. We have several here in Northwest Arkansas, many of you know them. So go ahead and contact them now know that they’re going to be busy. There’s a lot of people who have been affected recently. So if they don’t get back to you right away, that’s okay. Just be persistent, stay with it, but always be pleasant. Again. You’ve heard that common theme be positive. Okay. Now what can you do now? You’ve lost your job. You may or may not have a severance. What should you do financially? First and foremost, you need to do a budget. If you’ve not done a budget that that’s the first step. You gotta know where your money’s going. So if you haven’t done one, sit down and do one. If you need help, give us a call. We’ll be happy to sit down and work through that with you.

Matt Walters (08:10):

Yeah, I would, I would say first step for a lot of people needs to be what where’s. Um, where are there expenses that you can immediately cut, you know, for the next handful of months as you’re going through this transition period, maybe some of the extra cash you’ve been spending on just, um, things that you enjoy doing. You know, maybe those can be immediately stopped so that you can try to build up as much cash or save as much money as possible, have as little outflow as possible until you have that steady income coming back in.

Mike Frost (08:39):

And the only way to do that, what Matt is suggesting is as you got to know where it’s going to start with, and that’s why you do a budget, sit down and look where every dollar is leaving your household. Now think about a few things that you won’t be doing. You won’t be driving to work. You might not have been doing that recently for this COVID and you’re not going to be contributing to a 401k. So what are you actually are spending money on? And then how’s that gonna work going forward? I call it the hunker down mode. I mean, we’re not going on vacation. We’re not eating out. We’re not buying new anything we’re going to make, do with what we have and protect what you have. And now’s a great time to protect that emergency fund. So unless you absolutely have to have something, you need to be protecting that cash because you’re not sure how long it’s going to be before you get that next job. So key, get a budget, get it done. And if you don’t know how to start a budget, please give us a call here. We have a beautiful piece of software we can help you with.

Natalie Wilson (09:36):

You can also go to our website and start our mach one retirement flight plan. We have a nine to know analysis and it does briefly touch on budget. And like Mike said, you can always come in and get a more detailed look at it, but that’s a great place to start.

Mike Frost (09:52):

Thank you. Now that’s a great point because we do have our mach one flight plan there and it does have this thing called nine to know. You can answer nine questions and it gives you an idea of how your retirement assets are going to do so that’s a great start. And from there, if you want to, you can share that with us and that’ll get the process started. If you’re not in the area, you’re not close around here to mach one, find a fiduciary financial advisor. Fiduciary means they have to, they’re required to do what’s in your best interest. So what that means is you sit down with them, okay, here’s what I’ve got. They’re going to ask you for a budget by the way. So make sure you have your budget done. Here’s what I got. Here’s my budget. Here’s what my 401k is.

Mike Frost (10:33):

Here’s my stock options and blah, blah, blah. And they will help you figure out a game plan going forward. As a matter of fact, we just met with a client this week that has been affected by this. And actually this has turned out to be positive because they had planned on retiring actually before their severance is going in. So this has been a, basically a windfall for him. So that could be your situation, but if you’re not at that age, it may be something different for you, but everybody’s different. And the only way you’re going to know how it affects you is if you go and meet with a fiduciary financial advisor, and of course, mach one is one of those. And all you have to do is give us a call and we’ll be happy to set an appointment. And again, there’s no fee for any of this.

Mike Frost (11:15):

We do all this as complimentary. So you can come in, you can get an idea of where your assets are, where are you going to be in the future. Now, So you’ve done all this, your new job, your next new job is finding a job. That’s an eight hour day at least. That means get up each day, like you’re going to the workplace, you get up, you shower, you get dressed and then you get to work looking for that next position. I’ve heard some people say that, you know, I want to take a month or two off. I’m going to relax and do that. It’s hard to relax when you don’t have a job. Some people can do that. Not many of us can. So go ahead and get that new job. And once you got it landed, then say, okay, I’m going to start in two weeks and take two weeks off.

Mike Frost (11:59):

But right now, hunker down, get out there and get your resume done and find that new job. So a couple of steps you can do. There’s a thing on line called glass door. Glass door kind of gives you a preview into the different companies. It gives you what their salaries are. It gives you comments on what other employees are saying about it. So go on glass door and check out companies that you’d like to work for. So now what you can do is check job boards. I mean, there’s monster there’s indeed. There’s all these other job boards get out there and get your resume out. Okay. And apply for positions. Now make sure you’re qualified. Don’t just go out there and apply for the first hundred jobs you see, but make sure that’s something that you want to do and you would be qualified for it.

Matt Walters (12:47):

Yeah, I know. I mean, when it comes down to it, I think most of us, our experience has been you, your jobs and opportunities come from the personal connections that you have. So just start calling people, start talking to people and stuff, get out, start networking, reach out to the people that you already know, let them know, Hey, I’ve been laid off. I’m looking for my next opportunity. You know, encourage them to start talking to the more, the more that you you’re open about that, the more people that you talk to, you know, the more opportunity you give yourself.

Mike Frost (13:16):

I had some wise person tell me once not long ago, that said, when you go ask him for a job, people will give you advice. But if you go ask people for advice, you may end up with a job. So take someone out to eat that, you know, that’s influential that could possibly provide, uh, contacts, uh, combined a reference and just ask them for their advice. This is where I’m at. And you’d be surprised what they may be able to do for you. So go ask for advice. Don’t ask for a job when you’re talking to people in the field, uh, but great thing. Communicate, you’ll get more jobs through people than you will through just sending out resumes. It’s the context that really make the difference. Research. Those companies. Don’t just go flying into a company. If you go in for a interview and you’ve done no research, and you walk in and you don’t know anything about the company and they ask you something about the company, you can’t answer it.

Mike Frost (14:11):

That interview is going to be over before it starts. So know who you’re going to talk to know more about that company. Then potentially that person interview you does lots of information online. And one side note for the guys. Guys, when you walk into an interview, one of the first things an employer looks at, and I had a job recently that I was in charge of about 650 people across the country. When I interviewed folks, the first thing I looked at when they walked in the door was their shoes. Make sure your shoes are shined. It sounds like a little thing, but it really tells a lot about the person. And usually it meant the 1st, 30, 45 seconds. Maybe a minute of the interview decisions are made. So you got to make a good first impression. So one of the things to do that is dress nice, dress nicer than you think the person interviewing you will be.

Mike Frost (15:06):

Now I’m a little bit old school mats, a lot younger. And so as Natalie, uh, we got a more laid back dress style now. But when you leave that interview, what are the three things you want, that person that interviewed you to say about you? One of them should be, wow. They really dressed up for this. It must be really important to them. And then whatever you said during the interview, it should stick in their mind and hopefully it’s all positive, but you can make a huge difference just by how you are prepared and dressed for that interview. Uh, can’t tell you how important that is, especially if you’re doing it virtually. You want to make sure you’re making a positive impression. So guys shave, get that coat and tie on. If it’s in person, shine, those shoes up, ladies wear that dress, uh, make a good first impression.

Mike Frost (15:57):

What are those three things? You want them to walk away from that interview because it will stick. It absolutely sticks in their minds and folks, this is a lost art. When you’re done before you hang up the zoom or whatever, if you’re in person, get the contact information of the people that you’re interviewing with. You need to know their names, their positions, an email address, the physical address, and make sure you have their title because you know what you want to do again, to set yourself apart. You want to hand write a thank you note and send it to them. The day of your interview. Don’t wait two weeks, three weeks later that loses its appeal. But you do all these things. You look the part, you send them a thank you note at the end. I mean, you stand out. I had a conversation here recently with someone that was hiring folks.

Mike Frost (16:46):

And he said, you know, Mike, it’s sad. He says, I interviewed like five, 10 people for this position. And only one, one wrote a thank you note. And again, I know that we’re a little bit older, old school, but that’s mainly the folks that are hiring these days. They’ve got a little more experienced. They’ve been around a while and they know this. They expect this. So do that. Okay. Quick recap, not personal folks. It’s not about you. It’s a business decision. There’s a lot of people involved. It can’t be personal with everybody. It’s a business decision. It’s dollars and cents. You get all the information. You can be ready to build that resume, do all that you can to get your resume up to snuff. Especially if you get a outplacement service, please use it. Let them help you dress up your resume. You want it to stand out.

Mike Frost (17:33):

And one thing, if you’re going to mail the resume, I mean physically mail it, snail mail. Hey, put it on a different color paper. Imagine employer sitting there looking through resumes and they’re all on white sheets of paper and yours comes in colored. It’s going to stand out. That’s what you want. You want to stand out in the crowd, clean up your social media accounts, all of them, including LinkedIn, contact a recruiter, be ready, talk to them, let them get you interviews. And when you get that interview, be ready for it. Be prepared, dress the part and do your research. Matt, Natalie, last thoughts?

Matt Walters (18:09):

One thing I always, I think a lot of us lose out on is that we feel like when we’re in these situations, we’ve all been a lot of us have been in one way or the other, between jobs. And you kind of get the, you can get this feeling that we’re owed something right, and that we’re owed. And I think keeping the perspective that you’re selling yourself, there are hundreds, if not thousands of other people out there that would love that same opportunity that you’re trying to go get. And so walking into an interview with the mindset that you’re your do that job, that you’re owed that position, that, that, you know, um, you’re irreplaceable and kind of having that mindset. I think a lot of people have that mindset today and you need to go into it. Like I’m going to sell myself. I’m going to prove that I’m the best person for this opportunity. Um, and just have, you know, be a little bit more competitive or aggressive with how you sell yourself.

Mike Frost (19:02):

And Matt that comes across loud and clear in an interview. The interviewer can absolutely pick up on that. And again, a lot of decisions are made in the first minute or two of the interview. So you got to come in there, like Matt says, selling yourself. Why, why you are going to solve the problem for that company. That company is not there to solve your problem. You’re there to solve their problem. That’s why they would pay you. So keep that in mind. All right, well folks, I think we’ve wrapped it up here. We were, we’re very sorry for those that have lost their jobs, but if you know what, as someone has been there, I’ll tell you it’s no fun going through it, but once you get past it and look back on it, it could be the very best thing that could happen in your career. Sounds crazy, but I’m living proof of that. All right. So, uh, please submit any questions you have, uh, here at the podcast, or you can email them here at podcast at Mach one, Mach dash one financial.com. Uh, we actually have a submission date and not quite a question, Matt, you had it.

Matt Walters (20:01):

Yeah. We just wanted to give Brent from Bellavista a shout out. He was on the website saying he was checking out the podcast. I’m just trying to learn and gain some insight into what we had going on here. So he didn’t have a question for us, but he did post something and just was on the website, checking out the podcast. So wanted to give Brent a shout out.

Natalie Wilson (20:18):

Yes. Thank you, Brent. We love that.

Mike Frost (20:20):

And Brent’s I know Brent personally, very intelligent man. So there’s no, no wonder he’s listening to the podcast. Just a smart guy. Alright folks. On the upcoming podcast, we’re going to have some special guests. If you have a suggestion for a special guests, please let us know. On our last podcast, we had an attorney here and I think we got a lot of good comments on that. So thank you for that. Alright. So here we are. We come to the end of another podcast. So Natalie, thank you for producing this show. She does wonders. She makes Matt and I and David look good all the time. So thank you, Natalie.

Natalie Wilson (20:54):

It takes a lot to make you look good on a podcast. So I appreciate that mike.

Mike Frost (20:59):

Okay. Thought of the day, this is appropriate for our topic for today. And this is from Paul Bear Bryant. And some of you may remember that he was a legendary football coach at the university of Alabama. And he says, “It’s not the will to win that matters. Everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters”.

Mike Frost (21:21):

So you’re out there & all of you want to get this new job, but it’s the planning and the preparation for that interview, getting that job is what’s gonna make the difference. So we wish you all the very best. If we can help you here with your budget, your 401k rollovers, or anything, financial, please give us a call. We want to help. So that’s it for today. We appreciate you all listen to the podcast and we look forward to you joining us next time on the Mach 1 Market moment.