Losing a Job

Q.1. How does getting fired affect my chances of getting work?

Being fired is never easy. It is an emotional situation that involves feelings of anger, resentment and humiliation. These are obstacles which must be overcome as quickly as possible so that you can begin the quest for new employment with optimism and a renewed dedication. Not only is this an emotional hurt but there is also a financial setback so it is important that you turn this negative experience into a growth opportunity as quickly as possible. The manner and speed with which you do this will affect your likelihood of finding work.

Q.2. How do I turn being fired into a growth opportunity?

Be clear as to why you were fired and, if necessary get feedback on what it is that you need to improve to avoid this in the future. Think of this as an opportunity to seek other experiences and apply the skills that you have acquired to another position. Create a plan and be positive. There are 8 steps to rebuilding after being fired.

Q.3. What do I do if my company downsizes and I am out of work?

Although the loss of income is the same, being laid off or downsized is different from being fired. You have lost your position through no fault of your own and you are in a better position to either be rehired when circumstances change or getting a recommendation or referral to other employers. In the meantime, seek other employment and network your contacts as best you can. 

Q.4. How do I get to have money coming in during this time of unemployment?

There is Employment Insurance (EI) which can provide some money for you. If you do not qualify for EI there is social assistance that is available. This differs from province to province so check with your provincial government. Your employee benefits plan may also cover such things as medical and dental costs for a period of time. In addition, you may have debt insurance which covers certain items such as your mortgage. You may have savings that you can use during this period or, if necessary you could arrange a loan. You may also have assets that you could sell such as a boat or car. You may also qualify for severance pay.

Q.5. What is severance pay and how is it calculated?

Severance pay is money and other benefits that you may get when you lose your job based on your number of years with the employer. Employment standards legislation varies from province to province so it is necessary to consult your provincial government to determine the conditions that apply to your case.

Q.6. How do I apply for Employment Insurance?

You must apply for Employment Insurance and you can do that either on-line or in person at a Service Canada Centre. You should apply as soon as possible because a delay of more than 4 weeks after your last day of work could cause loss of benefits. You will need a number of things including: your Social Insurance Number, your mailing address, your complete bank information, the names, addresses and dates of employment, your detailed version of what happened, and the dates of any weeks in the last 52 that you did not work.

Q.7. What about Employment Insurance for self-employed, farmers, and independent workers?

There is specific information that applies to your individual situation. You need to check the Service Canada website for information and direction regarding eligibility and requirements.

Q.8. What are some of the biggest roadblocks to finding another job?

Lack of Canadian experience and language (communication skills) are two of the greatest challenges facing recent newcomer immigrants looking for work. Often, there are jobs available but they are not a good fit. The challenge will be to showcase your talents and demonstrate your positive attitude and willingness to work. You’ll be surprised at the results. As you look for work, develop a plan and stay organized and positive. The right attitude goes a long way.