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Unemployed: Now What? Oksana Chjen, Resource & Information Specialist, Job Skills

About the Author

Oksana Chjen is a Resource & Information Specialist with Job Skills Employment and Business Services in Markham. She assists clients by referring them to resources and providing them with necessary information. She has extensive experience working with a diverse group of people in a teaching environment. Her personal experience as a career changer and job seeker had a huge impact on her decision to work in the Employment Services field.

Are you suddenly unemployed? Becoming unemployed will give you a roller coaster of emotions and you will most likely feel overwhelmed and stressed. Like many Canadians, you may be facing a difficult time with a sudden loss of work. The real question is, what’s next? And how do I get there?

Remember these tips if you find yourself in this situation:

1. Apply for EI
  • Don't wait to apply, do it immediately! You can start the application, online or in-person, even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment.
  • Obtain your Record of Employment from your employer or find out if they will be sending it directly to Service Canada. Understand how much you will qualify for and budget accordingly. Assess all of your back up plans.
  • If you are not eligible for EI, obtain information on other financial supports, such as Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program.

2. Keep focused and try to keep a structured job search and personal routine
  • It is important to keep yourself in a structured routine, both physically and mentally. Schedule time for breakfast, lunch, dinner and time with family and friends. Keep yourself busy, this can relieve the stress of job search!
  • Have a structured plan for your job search. Even though we look at job postings and think to ourselves, ''I've never done that, but I know I can'', the employer may not see this. You need to keep the job search focused in the field you are qualified for and if you are pursuing a new career make sure your resume reflects this with transferable skills.

3. Use all of the available resources
  • ASK FOR HELP! There are many individuals who are trained to assist the unemployed and provide guidance. Unfortunately, in our society unemployment is more common then you may think, don't be embarrassed!
  • Free resources in your community are available to assist you with your job search. Find out where they are and utilize them. Contact your nearest Employment Ontario Employment Services office in you are in Ontario, or WorkBC office in British Columbia.
  • Inquire about programs that you may be eligible for, such as Second Career and Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program. Meet with an Employment Consultant to help research your next career and your next steps.

4. Understand the importance of networking
  • Keep in contact with past co-workers and supervisors as they will be important references.
  • Meet new business professionals, attend job fairs and speak with friends and family. They may know of internal opportunities with their employer and could provide you with leads. The more people that know you are looking for work, the more eyes you have for new job opportunities.
  • Remember to keep in mind that any online social network you use is a part of your identity. Make sure they are work appropriate and don't have anything offensive or discriminating that may be used against your character.

There is a job out there for you, stay calm and carry on.

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