If you were one of the more than three million Canadians who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, you know life right now is a roller coaster of emotions. That’s because losing your job is a loss like any other, and you have to allow yourself time to grieve – your lifestyle and livelihood – before you can move on.
Here are five ways to help you cope with job loss during COVID-19:
Give yourself time
The average person spends more time at work than at home, so when a job is lost, the upheaval is immediate. Give yourself a set amount of time to mourn the loss of your situation and let go of any bitterness. You can’t move on to the next opportunity if past grudges are holding you back.
Reduce your stress
You are not alone. There are millions of other Canadians who have also lost their job. Let go of things you can’t control and focus on things you can. Take one day at a time. Maintain a routine. Breath. Exercise.
Get your finances in order
Losing your job also means losing your financial safety net. While most financial advisors suggest that people have three months of salary saved, more than half of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. Avoid using credit cards to make ends meet. Instead, the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada suggests people tap into their tax-free savings accounts or line of credits first, followed by their registered retirement savings plans. Cancel subscriptions and eliminate bills such as music or TV streaming. Please take advantage of relief efforts from telecommunications companies and utilities and contact your bank to see what they offer.
Finally, people should apply for financial aid from their provincial and federal governments.
Dust off your resume
While it’s essential to mourn the loss of your job, it’s also important not to wait too long before starting your new job search. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile, set up alerts for job boards, and connect with your network. If you are financially secure enough, you can take this time to update skills or go back to school, look into volunteer work, or turn your passion into your new career. But remember, job searching is a full-time job, so it’s essential to set limits on how much you do each day.
Ask for help
Losing your job can isolation, which is made worse by the need for social distancing. Make sure you reach out to family and friends to stay connected and avoid social isolation. If you are still struggling, reach out for professional help. Many psychologists and counselors are offering online support. Contact your local Canadian Mental Health Association office for information.
Losing a job and finding a new one is challenging at any time, but COVID-19 has made it more difficult as the competition is fierce. Take things one day at a time, reach out for support, build your network, and remember things always better.
Lisa Day | Contributing Writer