There is a high probability you’ve been impacted by Covid-19. Whether you caught it, had to stay home to take care of children or lost your job, this virus definitely has had a huge impact on our lives and routines. In Canada, it may be weeks before we can go back to some semblance of normality.
Today, I want to broach the topic of job loss and the pitfalls associated with it. The truth is that, when you lost your job, you need to be as prepared as you possibly can.
Mistake # 1- Not applying for benefits
Unless you were fired for gross misconduct or just cause, chances are you received severance pay. You probably think you can live off the severance until it’s exhausted, then apply for unemployment benefits. Wrong!
In Canada, you need to apply for EI within 30 days of loosing your job. After that, Service Canada could deny your claim. Same goes if you are sick or hospitalized. You need to apply for health benefits in a timely manner, whether it’s via Service Canada or a disability claim through a private insurer.
The only benefit giving you a bit more leeway is CERB. You don’t have to apply right away. However, you do need to apply if you want to receive the money. Benefits aren’t automatically granted.
Mistake # 2- Not cutting your spending
When your income has been eliminated or reduced, you can’t spend the same way than when you received a full paycheck, unless you have the adequate amount of savings. I previously wrote about this subject here.
Mistake # 3- Assuming you’ll be re-hired
You actually have no idea if you will be rehired or not, despite what your employer might tell you. You don’t know if your role will change or if your employer will undergo reorganization or restructuring in response to whatever the new normal is. You also don’t know if you’ll receive the same salary and benefits.
Be proactive instead
It’s okay to take some time to process everything and readjust to being out of work. But being unemployed isn’t an extended vacation. Benefits and emergency funds will only take you to a certain point.
There are a lot of things that you can be doing right now to make yourself a stronger candidate and prepared for reemployment, whether your plan is to go back to your old job or if you’ll be applying for a new position.
To name a few: update your resume, get in touch with your network, learn a new skill, and yes, look for a job, even if things are slow right now.
Do what you need to do to improve yourself and your situation, so that you will be better set up for whatever comes next for you.
Being laid off from work sucks, no matter what the circumstances. By focusing on the things that are within your control, you can survive this challenging time – and maybe even thrive. Don’t give up!