Welcome to Your NYC Dollar, found at www.yourNYCdollar.com. Moving beyond bagels, boozy brunch, beer and shot combos, and dollar pizza. Personal finance for Gotham! Practical information aimed at improving financial literacy. Getting more from your New York dollars placing you on a path towards financial freedom and independence.
Episode 3: Instacart: Definitive Grocery Delivery Guide & Cost Comparison
Instacart grocery delivery service fees, taxes, & tips add 20% to groceries that may be higher vs. in-store. Costco, Aldi, Wegmans & BJ's offers the best value.
Episode 2: How to Prepare for a Layoff, 15 Pieces of Advice Ahead of Your Last Day
How to prepare for a layoff? This is a question that nags me well after it happened in my life.
Layoffs happen, that’s life, unfortunately (see my other article, Employer at the Gates… An Essay on Exiting the Workforce). Yes, it sucks! More so during the current coronavirus than in recent history, but one should prepare and remain focused on the next steps.
Layoff preparation is key to minimizing the stress and adverse health effects associated with unemployment and maintaining some semblance of normalcy within your life while unemployed.
Reflecting on my discharge that occurred around two months ago, I wish I had prepared better, and it had gone somewhat differently. The primary question I think about, how should I prepare for a layoff? Had I spent more time preparing for this event, perhaps inevitable in today’s economy, I would be on better footing when pursuing my next steps.
We’ll cover fifteen pieces of advice I wish I had taken into consideration ahead of my cutback as I entered unemployment. We will cover mental and physical health preparedness to a greater degree than others may touch on because I feel it is crucial and often overlooked. First, let’s touch on some terminology.
Picture of a dictionary with the definition of focus
Layoff is when the employer discharges the employee. Often this action is the result of restructuring or cost-cutting and is synonymous with headcount reductions.
Furlough, like a layoff, is a dismissal of an employee but differs as the individual usually returns at a later time to the position.
Fire is when an employer terminates an employee due to poor performance or other causes. Usually, there is a greater negative connotation associated with being fired as opposed to furloughs and layoffs. Don’t fret; you can recover from this too!
It is essential to understand the distinctions between the types of employment dismissals as this could impact your insurance benefits, like unemployment payments, as well as future references.
With that understood, let’s move on to the fifteen pieces of advice, helping you prepare for a layoff. For brevity and those with limited attention spans, a summary table is provided below.
Layoff Preparation Checklist
* Initial Shock May Overwhelm: Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster and shock associated with layoffs.* Seek Help if Necessary: Utilize benefits while still employed to prepare and address both physical and mental health.* Everyone is Expendable, Leave Arrogance at the Door: No employee is invaluable, stay humble in your career, or your ego may be crushed. * Get Your Office in Order: Literally, clear out excess personal items at work, including updating professional contacts via LinkedIn.* It’s Not Personal, Usually: Employee reductions aren’t personal, although it will feel that way. It’s business focusing on the bottom line. * Capital Preservation is Not Market Timing: If unemployment is imminent, consider selling riskier assets like stocks and accumulating cash. * Understand Unemployment Benefits: Review unemployment benefits to see if you qualify, how much income it might provide, and for how long. * Never Stop Learning: Always continue your professional development via certifications or licensing while employed. It helps when looking for your next job.* Ask for More Severance: Strategize with a lawyer well ahead of layoffs and get them involved immediately to help negotiate a better severance. * Budget,
Episode 1: Employer at the Gates… An Essay on Exiting the Workforce
The Pandemic Should Mark a Turning Point in Employer-Employee Relations
Author William Craig’s Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, details the German invasion of Stalingrad in 1942 during World War II. Invading forces believed overtaking the city post bombings could be done with relative ease; however, it lasted over five months, and almost two million lives were lost. Historians view it as a turning point of the war, a view I hope prevails after the pandemic regarding employer-employee relations.
"The government and institutions will rain praise on first responders and everyday people for diligently fighting the virus."
An article on Medium titled Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting by Julio Vincent Gambuto more eloquently detailed the gaslighting that likely ensues once the government and corporate America deem it essential the economy restart.
Millions under stay at home orders, furloughed or outright laid off will be encouraged to go back to work. It is for the greater good as well as your wellbeing to reengage the workforce and stimulate an economic recovery. The government and institutions will rain praise on first responders and everyday people for diligently fighting the virus. Now is the time to put your best foot forward and bring back some normalcy to daily life. Right?
Like many others across the country and globally, I was not immune to the pandemic and found myself unemployed. The more time that passes has led to self-reflection about what my life was before and where an idealistic version saw it as well as a more pragmatic assessment looking ahead.
"Take some time to assess your life and the employer-employee relationship."
I hope others reflect on their situations during this time, and something more comes of it, specifically the employer-employee relationship. For those of us out of work or remote, employers will be keen to have us back once the green light is given. Back to what?
Did the employers care about my livelihood and work in my best interest during the pandemic? Before that, did they have my best interest in mind and provide livable wages while sufficiently saving for retirement? Were their actions before, during, and after the pandemic merely lip service to paint themselves in a better light?
Take some time to assess your life and the employer-employee relationship. This situation is painful to many of us for various reasons, including the deaths of loved ones and those around us. I feel fortunate those around me have remained healthy or overcome the virus, but my circumstance of being let go still aches.
The Invisible Hand Hurts
Adam Smith wrote on the concept of the invisible hand in The Wealth of Nations in 1776, a metaphor on unseen forces that drive free-market economies.
Enjoyed #3 Episode, Timely!
Enjoyed listing to the 3rd episode of Your NYC Dollar podcast. This one was timely on grocery delivery given the virus. Well thought out cost analysis of grocery stores in Instacart. Looking forward to the next episode.