Unemployment has spiked in recent weeks and will continue to for some time. If you’ve been laid off or furloughed, or if you’re worried that you might be, make sure to get the information you need from your employer. This means asking your boss and HR the right questions, such as: When will I receive my last paycheck, and what will it include? What exactly happens to my benefits? Will I get paid for unused vacation time? It’s crucial to ask about severance and health care packages — and don’t assume you can’t negotiate the terms. And while it may be tough to think about the future, do what you can to make getting the next job easier. This means asking your boss if they’ll be a reference for you later, and asking HR for copies of your performance reviews, which will help you update your resume. While they may seem small, these steps will help you clarify the future and regain control.

This tip is adapted from “7 Questions to Raise Immediately After You’re Laid Off,” by Susan Peppercorn

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