If you have fallen victim to a layoff, I’m sorry. Take a moment, take a breath, and then consider these resources.

Some of us have seen this before. And yet for many of you, this is a whole new experience. An incident occurs. The markets tumble. The economy starts to tank. The bubble pops. And then come the layoffs. It’s sudden, shocking, and paralyzing for folks affected. And it can be hard to figure out where to turn. So given the already escalating number of jobs eliminated in Portland, I thought it would be wise to provide a few resources that may be helpful in this time of need.

First and foremost, if this applies to you, I’m incredibly sorry. This sucks. And you’re more than justified in mourning this loss. And taking some time. Please know that you will get through this.

But when you’re ready, here are some resources that might help you with that next phase of your professional life.

Given that I’m a huge proponent of folks doing their own thing, starting businesses, and changing the world for the better, I always immediately recommend a unique unemployment benefit that Oregon offers, Self Employment Assistance (SEA).

Long story short, SEA means that instead of pretending that you’re searching for a job while you’re building your new startup—just so you can get your weekly unemployment check—you can just work on building that new company—and still get your unemployment benefits.

It’s such an underutilized program.

Best part? Usually unemployment benefits end as soon as you start taking a paycheck. With this program, you can still garner benefits even as your business starts generating revenue. Or as the state says, “If you make money from your private enterprise, you keep the proceeds and still get your full weekly benefit payment.”

So if you’re feeling entrepreneurial and want to try your own startup, please start with Oregon unemployment SEA.

But not everyone is looking to start their own thing. Some folks just need a job. I get it. Trust me.

Hang in there. You got this. And I can’t wait to see what you do next.

[Updated on April 6, 2021 to remove old resources and add new ones.]