The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. aloud. - Coco Chanel.

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Hello Everyone, I hope 2017 is treating you well and good. Going forward, I have decided to add a career column to the blog in order to inspire young professionals, especially those in the corporate world. Thanks to everyone who continually follows my journey and growth. I hope my lessons and experiences have inspired you to want and do better for yourself and others.

Getting laid off is not a pleasant experience and getting laid off in a bad economy is like adding salt to the wounds - absolutely unpleasant. However, life happens and if you're not fully prepared, it could literally sweep you off your feet and slam you to the ground.

From experience, I would advise every person - corporate worker or not - to plan for those days when things don't work according to plan. My experience is based on my career in Canada but I'm sure my readers from other parts of the world can relate in some way. Here are five steps you should take once you get laid off:

Step 0: Save! This is step 0 because it's not something you do once you're laid off. This is a preparation for when life happens. It is important that you have emergency funds for situations such as this. Remember to keep a lifestyle that is sustainable regardless of your economic situation. For example, don't buy a luxury vehicle that the bank would have to repossess when you lose your job.

Another option that we are fortunate to have in Canada is the Employment Insurance (EI) benefit. In case you live in Canada and you are not aware of this plan, as a permanent employee, you contribute a certain amount monthly to the government. This amount is taken from your bi-weekly paycheque and disbursed to you in the event whereby you get laid off. The condition here is that the lay-off is not your fault, meaning you are not entitled to EI if you quit or you get fired.

The case is different for the contractors, contract workers or anyone who gets paid a gross salary, meaning there are no deductions from your monthly salary. Usually, in this case, you get paid a much higher salary because the company you work for is not responsible for your taxes, health and pension benefits or EI contributions. However, you can always arrange for a third party company to manage these contributions on your behalf. That way, you are better prepared for unpleasant life events such as this.

Step 1: Breathe! It's not as bad as it may seem. You are allowed to feel any way you want to feel. Some people break down, some lose their morale while others get even more motivated to push their career to the next level. Personally, I would suggest you take a day or two to clear your mind and decide what your next step will be.

Step 2: Visit Service Canada online as soon as possible and create an account. You would have to submit a bi-weekly report of your employment status. This report contains a few questions that help assess if you qualify for a deposit. To qualify bi-weekly, you have to be actively searching for a job.

Step 3: Re-adjust! You are now in a new phase of life and with a new phase comes some re-adjustment. Now is not the time to spoil yourself with a new pair of luxury shoe or bag. If you have a family member living in the same city, now would be the time to cut back on rent and move in with them. You can also cut back in little ways by choosing a simpler lifestyle - not eating out as much and choosing a budget friendly option when you do go out.

Step 4: Keep in touch with your co-workers and manager. This might be difficult for some people but this is not the moment to play the victim or become overly emotional. You still need to get a job so get in touch with your manager and request a letter of recommendation. Make use of the employment facilities available to you within your city and online. Update your linkedIn profile and network with people in your field of work and have them look at your resume and give you their first impression and tips that would help you land your next job.

Step 5: Find a hobby! Personally, I volunteered with a local organization, focused more on the blog and traveled within Canada. I also joined the gym and that was a stress reliever for me. The gym became my happy place and gave me the motivation I needed to keep applying to jobs. Ultimately, it's best to work with your budget. I'm a single female who moved back home with her parents so I could afford to travel and join the gym. If you have a family to take care of and you don't have access to funds, you could do something as simple as exploring your own city and attending free events. Basically, enjoy more of the things the corporate life prevented you from doing.

To those who are still in this predicament, I honestly hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. Remember that you will have moments where you're no longer sure what career path you want to take and some days, you may feel like making drastic decisions. Take it one day at a time, pray on it and follow the peace in your heart.
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