Whether you’ve been at your current job for many years or a few months, there is always a chance that you can get laid off, fired, or decide to quit for pressing reasons. When you work for someone else, you are never 100% protected from a job loss, regardless of your seniority, work ethic, or a number of employee awards you won there.
Whatever the reason behind your job loss, it doesn’t mean your life has to become an unmanageable chaos, followed by financial ruin. Also, losing a job does not mean you should feel ashamed, guilty or inadequate! Even if you love your job, your job is not your whole life. Jobs come and go. The experience of losing a job happens to ALL people, ALL the time, ALL around the world!
No one likes to lose stable income and other securities that come with employment. At the same time, it is the unspoken price we all have to pay when we choose to be employed by someone else. While there are specific laws and labour standards created to protect workers, in reality, a company can let anyone go if they really want to.
Thankfully, you don’t have to feel isolated and afraid if sudden job loss happens. Having been through a job loss myself, I have found a few good resources that are available to single mothers to get back on their feet. So if you loose your job, here are some helpful steps you can take to begin a new (and better) career chapter in your life!
1. Start Your Employment Insurance Claim
As soon as you are no longer employed, you need to make a Employment Insurance claim on this government website where you can also learn how much you can get, for how long, and register your claim online.
Did you know that in Canada there is a 1-week waiting period for which your income loss will not be covered? It means that for the 1st month, you will receive EI benefits for 3 weeks, and not a full month. Also, EI covers only a certain percentage of your lost income, up to a maximum of $650 per week, minus the taxes. If you had a higher salary, it will mean you will have a much smaller income while on EI. This is important for you to budget.
2. Connect With Your Local Employment Service
Each municipality has its own Employment Service agencies and offices that are operate as non-profits helping people find work, improve their resumes, enhance their work skills, and get coached on their career path. If you have a local YMCA or YWCA you can start there, but there are also many others.
Having used the services of an Employment Service office a while back, I found it quite helpful. Also, there are additional benefits that are available to single mothers who need childcare while searching for work. You will need to inquire about what is available.
3. Slash Your Costs
Another step that is important to take right away is to review all your ingoing monthly costs. If you already have a budget, review it through a new lens. You can save quite a bit by cutting non essential services while you are figuring out your next career move.
4. Consider a Career Change
While it is not true for everyone, many people are either forced to leave their job or are laid off because of the toxic or burnout culture in their field of work. If this is true for you, it might be a good time to consider a career change. You can start by taking this quiz to help you match your interests with a potentially satisfying career.
If you already have an idea about what you want to do, you can also enroll into additional training, or taking a new training altogether. There are specific student grants and tuition programs that can help you do this. There are additional programs for single parents with dependents and disability.
5. Spend Time Outside
Going through a sudden job loss is a stressful experience and often leaves us overwhelmed. It can produce feelings of grief, anger, depression, anxiety, and many others that you will need to process in a way that is healthy for you and your children. Whatever your feelings might be, don’t clam up!
Spend time outside daily, go for walks, even just go outside to breathe some fresh air. Being outside helps us gain perspective that we are not alone, there is a while world of people and opportunities around us. It might take some time to figure things out, but being outside with people and in nature will be good for your soul.
7. Be Your Own Hero
Remind yourself again that you are a capable individual and that your job loss does not define you. Again, remember that being employed does not equal to permanent stability or guarantee of long-term work. If you are able to establish yourself as an independent contractor or a business owner, it might be a good time to consider it.
While starting your own business take a lot of work, research, and discipline, the pay off can be very well worth it. It will be a slower start financially, as businesses take a couple of years to start seeing profits, but you can start investing some time into thinking about it while looking for work.
If you know that independent business route is not for you, there is nothing wrong with that! There are careers that allow you make great income and benefits, and where you can make a good impact with your skills. Perhaps your can upgrade your skills to boost your resume and get a better paying job in the same field as before. Consider all your options and goals to make the choice that is right for you.