If you were recently laid off,
- Leave your old job on good terms with management and staff. You may want a reference from them for your next position, or they may know someone that can offer you a job. Even though you are probably feeling angry, find ways to express your anger in ways that you won’t regret.
- Look at your financial situation. Check your past payments on bank statements or online banking. How much do you spend on things you need (rent/mortgage, groceries, bills)? How much do you spend on things you like to buy (restaurants, clothes, coffee, alcohol, new items for the house)? How long can you be without work before you can’t make payments? Is there anything you are willing to decrease your spending on while you are not working?
- Do you qualify for Employment Insurance? If you do, ask your employer for an ROE (record of employment), and apply for EI right away. It takes several weeks for them to process your claim, so the sooner you start the process, the sooner you will receive money. While you are in the office, ask about free programs paid for by the government that are available to unemployed people. You may be able to get help with improving your resume, or qualify for the government to pay for retraining to a different field.
- If you can afford to not work for awhile, take some time to de-stress. What did you used to say you would do if you had more time? Now you have the time. Do it! When I was laid off (a voluntary lay-off), I chose to put pictures of my daughter in photo albums, read through old magazines I had been keeping, and de-clutter my house. I read books, visited with friends, went to the gym, and made healthier meals. I gave myself some time-off before I started the process of finding employment. That time can help you be in a healthier place emotionally, and make better decisions, so that you don’t jump into a job that you will regret taking.
- When you are ready, see if you can find a positive aspect to being laid off. Did you love that job or were you just staying there because it was easier than looking for something better? This is your opportunity to find something better.
- Don’t let yourself fall into an emotional abyss. Keep your spirits up by doing things everyday. Sitting in front of the tv or computer all day is not going to make you feel good. Get outside and go for a walk. Draw something. Go to the library. Go on a vacation. Clean something. Listen to music and dance. Fix something. Employers don’t want to hire depressed people. They want to hire people who are happy and confident. What can you do to make yourself feel happier?
- When you are ready, start the process of finding a new job or a new career.
Would you like some help sorting through the confusion of what to do next? Try a sample coaching session.