• Ryan Moore

Life After a Layoff in Colorado - Next Steps

You’ve just been laid off….

While it may be tough to see right now, in the midst of a pretty messed up day, you have options and this isn’t the end of the world.

Ultimately you have two options here:

  1. Panic and sink into a deep, self-loathing depression.

  2. Get your arse in gear and do something about it.

Hint: The second option is probably the one you want.

I am not a tax or unemployment expert but I can give you a glimpse into how I approached this process. Due to a series of events and a dose of bad luck, I have survived several layoffs throughout my working life, and have been through this process in Colorado. I will guide you through what has worked for me.

Next Steps

Mind Frame

The first step is to get your head in the right space. Not only is this layoff not your fault, but you are also about to join the nearly 20% of unemployed people in the US right now. You are not alone, and there are resources to make sure you get through this. Again, this scenario sucks but it is not the end of life as you know it.

You don’t need to be in a positive mind frame yet, and expecting that of yourself right away is a bit unrealistic. Allow yourself a couple of days for you to mope around the house and process this change, and after 3 days get back at it.

Check out my article on how to remain calm during this chaotic transition, here.

How to file for unemployment

This is something you will want to do immediately following your layoff. If you really need the time to process first, go for it. Take the weekend off and tackle it first thing. The bottom line is that the sooner it is done, the sooner you get paid.

Here is a handy 9-step checklist to help you get started. The process of filing for unemployment only takes about 20 minutes and it is really quite easy.

1 - Go to

2 - Click the option “Claimant” - This will be your main site for any information relevant to your claim. Most of the questions you may have are well-addressed on this site.

3 - Go to and file your unemployment claim. 4 - Choose your payment method. You will need to set up a debit card, or direct deposit.

5 - After all required documents are completed it will take roughly 1-2 weeks until you are approved, so keep checking your profile on the first website (

6 - When you are approved, you will see APPROVED in the top left-hand box.

7 - When you are approved, you will have to file for a payment every two weeks.

8 - Set a reminder in Google calendar to automatically remind you. If you do not file every 2 weeks, you will lose your “Active” status and you will need to start the process over again.

9 - Make sure you are actively searching for positions and keeping track of the applications you are putting out there. Keep a journal of the date, and positions you applied for.


  • Getting your first payment may take longer during these turbulent times. There have been a lot of people filing in recent weeks.

  • Be honest when answering your questions. If you embellish, you may have a serious discussion with the Department of Labor down the road.

  • Keeping a log of job applications is necessary since the Department of Labor might audit you to make sure you are actively seeking new work.


The Life of the Unemployed

The entire world is facing this suddenly common reality of unemployment. The fact is that unemployment pays pretty well. This is an opportunity for you to reassess your goals and priorities. Here are a few friendly tips from someone who has been professionally unemployed:

  • Use this time productively. Ask yourself “how do I want to remember how I utilized my time during this, 5 years from now?”

  • Get things done around the house.

  • Reconnect with loved ones. (Checking in on friends who are also being affected by COVID is a great way to reach out.)

  • Learn a new hobby.

  • Take some extra time to yourself.

  • While you do not have a job to hold you to a schedule, the days can blur together a bit and it gets easy to be lazy. Make yourself a schedule, and set yourself some goals.

  • When talking to future employers, let them know you were laid-off due to factors out of your control, not fired. There is a huge difference.

Reach out

If you have questions or feel overwhelmed, give me a call or shoot me a text. I am happy to chat if you feel stuck. All of my consultations are 100% free, and talking to someone can’t hurt in this process. I have been through this a couple of times and know first hand that while it may feel like you hit a brick wall, you can get through it and thrive.



(609) 731-8684

I am a life coach in the Boulder/Denver area and offer phone/zoom coaching sessions. I also offer free consultations, so if you want to learn more, click HERE to get in touch or reach me at:

Cell: (609) 731-8684


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