Today was an incredibly emotional today --
First, I'm incredibly saddened today as several hundred of my former colleagues, coworkers and friends found out they will lose their jobs when eBay closes it's Vancouver center over the summer.
Second, this week I also celebrated the 15 year anniversary of 2 of my very close high school friends passing away. Third, I met some wonderful clients at work who reminded me how to do "much" with so little - and finally, with the upcoming Mother's Day weekend, my dad finally said, "It's been almost 5 years since your mom died, can you please go through her clothes..."
As I was going through my mother's clothes, I found a gorgeous shirt that my grandfather, her father, had given her when she was pregnant with me... and it occurs to me that in our lives, we have so much loss. Loss of jobs, loss of life, loss of support -
The Canadian Mental Health Association considers Job Loss to be one of the most traumatic life changing moments, a crisis equal to death of a family member or divorce. Job Loss can lead to senses of isolation, feelings of shame and an overwhelming challenge to your 'identity' - I should know, I lost mine in November. That loss can lead to a challenge filling your social circle, financial and family stress and even depression. It's ok during this time to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do.
For those of you that don't know, my 9-5 these days is as an Employment Counsellor - so I can honestly offer you some practical advice.
1) The most important next step is to make a plan. What do you know about the current situtation? Peter Drucker once said that "the most effective [people] are the ones who draw strength from their network, their friends, colleagues, superiors, subordinates and the situation..."
2) Fill out your EI as soon as you're legally able - draw out the important dates on a calendar, not to remind you of your loss, but to keep you on track.
3) Don't wait, and start looking. Use the outplacement services if you're
lucky enough to get them. Use this time to consider retraining and
complete career exploration. There are programs through Services
Canada that are free of cost to Canadian Citizens and Permanent
Residents. Look into and research these, and ask for help.
4) Renovate your resume. There are a lot of unemployed people out there, it's critical that you stand out amongst the candidates.
5) Talk to your network. You never know who may know of a job coming up
6) Breathe. Feel. Take care of yourself. We're fortunate to live in a country where we have social services. Lean on your friends and family, know that it WILL be ok.
From my world to yours...