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10 Tips for Coping with Job Loss

by Jessica McQuistin

Our jobs play an important part in our lives; they are part of our identity, our sense of purpose and our social circle, not to mention they provide financial security. It’s no wonder that being laid off, fired or even quitting a job brings about feelings of loss.

Here are ten tips to help you cope with the physical, emotional and psychological side effects of job loss:

1. Tell friends and former coworkers. Telling people that you lost your job allows them to wish you well, exchange contact information to stay in touch, and gets your network working for you. It also gives you a sense of relief to get the word out and control in delivering the message.

2. Ask for reference letters. It’s a good idea to get these references as soon as possible, while you are still fresh in your former employer’s mind.

3. Create a budget. Take stock of your household’s monthly income and expenses, and make a financial plan for the next few months. This might involve trimming some expenses or seeking temporary financial assistance. Apply for EI right away; either online or at your local Service Canada centre.

4. Take some time to reflect. “What’s next” for you? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? What do you want from your next job? Explore the possibilities.

5. Establish a routine. This creates a sense of normalcy and leads to greater productivity. Waking up at the same time every day also helps you to sleep better at night and wake feeling refreshed.

6. Stay mentally and physically active. Read the newspaper, research local companies and labour market trends, go for a walk or jog. Physical exercise is a natural stress-buster, so work up a sweat!

7. Stay social. Beat the feeling of isolation by planning social activities with friends, family or past co-workers.

8. Help others. Volunteering is a great way to take your mind off of your own problems and feel good about helping others. It can even lead to job opportunities.

9. Count your blessings. Even during tough times, finding little things to be thankful for can greatly boost your mood and help you move on.

10. Start job searching. It can be tempting to put off the job search and enjoy some “time off”. However, the longer you are unemployed, the harder it can be to find work. It can take longer than you expect to find a job so it’s important to get started as soon as possible.

For free assistance with your job search, contact a local Employment Ontario agency such as Lutherwood and get started.