Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two million Canadians lost their jobs either on a temporary or permanent basis. The massive national economic downturn made it incredibly difficult for the country to recuperate, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
According to a CBC report, “Canada added 419,000 jobs in July” 2020. However, we’re still 1.3 million jobs short compared to pre-COVID employment rates. This unprecedented economic disparity has left many Canadians wondering what comes next. Relying on unemployment insurance (EI) payments in the long-term isn’t a feasible solution.
If you’re one of the many Canadians who’s still scrambling to recuperate your losses and find new employment in these hard economic times, here are a few steps to take after losing your job.
1. Stay Calm and Positive
Sudden job loss with no prospects in sight can be an extreme anxiety-inducing position to find yourself in, especially if you have dependents to provide for. The stress of losing your job can be even more overwhelming if you’re the sole provider for a single income household. However, panicking doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
Take a deep breath, try to stay grounded, and work towards finding a solution that works for you. This is the time to explore your personal interests and get creative. Try to see if you can make a little extra money freelancing on the side or by putting your energy towards monetizing your favourite pastimes. Keeping a clear mind is the key to improvising and making difficult situations better.
2. Secure Your Finances
Now is not the time to overspend on luxury items such as cars, eating out, or expensive clothing. Concentrate on securing your finances and creating a strict weekly or monthly budget, so that you can ensure you’re not spending more than you need to. This will help you cover all of your basic necessities such as bill payments, groceries, clothes, etc. Cutting back on a few extra expenditures such as opting for a lower insurance package or taking advantage of mortgage payment deferrals can help you save a lot of money.
3. File for Unemployment
While you search for a new job, you should file for unemployment. This will help you supplement your lost income until you find a new job. A lot of people are hesitant to take this route because they feel as if they’re taking free money from the government, but there’s absolutely no shame in asking for and accepting a little financial assistance when you need it—especially if it can help you put food on the table and keep a roof over your head in hard times.
The point of unemployment payments isn’t to replace your former income permanently. It’s to help provide some financial relief until you can secure permanent part-time or full-time employment.
4. Create an Unemployment Budget
A detailed weekly or monthly budget will help you keep track of your spending habits and ensure that you have more than enough to survive on. Everything from groceries to clothing and household expenses and bills should be included in your budget. The best way to keep track of your expenditures is to create an Excel file and update it at least a few times a week. That way, you’ll always know exactly how much money you have in the bank and can even set some aside for future rainy days in case you need it.
Budgets give us an accurate overview of our current finances and make us more aware of our spending habits, including where money is being used resourcefully and where it’s being wasted.
5. Revamp Your Resume
You should always be updating your resume, even when you do have a job. The purpose of having a resume is to advertise your professional experience and acquired skills. Unemployment is the perfect time to review your current resume and make necessary or relevant changes. Whether it’s removing job experience that’s more than two years old or adding any special differentiating skills that you’ve acquired over the years, updating your resume makes it easier for the right employers to find you on job search sites and through renowned recruitment agencies.
Figuring out how to deal with job loss isn’t always easy, but looking over your resume and seeing how much experience you have in your given field or across a multitude of industries might just be all the motivation you need to get back in the saddle.
6. Update and Connect with Professional Networks
Maintaining relevant professional networks is the key to staying relevant in any industry. Take the time to stay in touch with your old professional contacts. Update them on everything you’ve been doing to improve your professional skills since becoming unemployed and check in with them to see if any new opportunities have come up. This proactive networking approach will not only prove that you haven’t lost your touch, but that you’re just as motivated as ever (if not, more so) to build your career and take it to the next level. How you respond to your job loss and what you accomplish in the meantime matters.
7. Fine-Tune Your Job Search Efforts
Given the massive economic setbacks and unemployment rates caused by COVID-19, the job market is more competitive than ever. Conventional job search tactics simply aren’t enough to help you secure reliable permanent employment anymore. You need to take matters into your own hands and inhabit more aggressive job search efforts to get noticed and differentiate yourself from other candidates in your field.
8. Work with a Renowned Employment Recruitment Agency in Toronto and the GTA
Even though many businesses are slowly reopening with stringent health and safety protocols in place, many of them are still on thin economic ice. If you find yourself wondering what to do if you lose your job during these uncertain times, Resolve Recruit Inc. is here to help.
We have over 20 years of experience matching qualified candidates to their desired employers and jobs. Through our network of top-notch employers, we can help you find your dream job. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our experienced recruiters.