When there is an economic downturn like COVID-19 one of the things most companies do is have a review of their expenses and strategize on how to cut down their expenses. Most often than not this results in cutting down the number of staff for the company.
Most often, self-funded companies might hold off in doing this since many times these are old companies that might have experienced hardship in the past and have planned ahead for the worst-case scenarios. However, companies with external investment in most cases may have their investors bringing up the conversation of layoffs since they have an interest in the company.
The impact of coronavirus is being felt globally, not just in Canada. Many businesses are being forced to close down permanently, or better yet, temporarily. If you’ve been affected by the pandemic, it can be a tough time mentally and emotionally, and that is why we’ve written this post for you.
The unemployment rate in Canada rose to 7.8 percent in March 2020 from 5.6 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 7.2 percent. It was the highest jobless rate since October 2010, as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. The economy shed more than 1 million jobs.
To be of help during this uncertain time, we’ve crafted this article to help you.
Figure out what benefits you have from your employer
Before a layoff by your employer, you should have had an official meeting with your manager who would have explained any benefits you may still have access to (e.g. health/ dental) as well as what your last payment rate and date would be.
Having this information will help with your financial plan over the next coming days.
File for unemployment
If you’re out of work as a result of COVID-19, you’ll want to file an unemployment claim immediately. In Canada, the Government has provided the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) fund to help members of the public who have been impacted by the coronavirus. If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the CERB may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
To deliver payments to Canadians in a fast and easy way, the CERB is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. You can only apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – not both.
To begin the application process, you’ll need to answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will direct you to the service option that best fits your situation. Additionally, the website provides conditions for eligibility, so do check it.
Adjust your current expenses/ budget
Take some time to differentiate your needs from wants. Contact your service providers e.g. landlord/ mortgage company or building management, bank, utility provider, and notify them of your current employment status.
It’s important that you mention that you have been affected by COVID-19 as this is the way you’ll be qualified for any plan available. Most companies have created programs to help those affected and your payment may be deferred. For example, insurance companies can defer your payments for up to 90 days depending on the company.
As much as possible, cut down on your expenses since during a financial crisis like this: Cash is King. Try to cancel non-essential bills and expenses like streaming services, subscription boxes, etc.
Create a spreadsheet of your needs versus wants. A need is something you have to have to survive e.g. food, electricity, internet, phone bill, rent or mortgage. On the other hand, a want is simply the desire for something, in many cases something to satisfy a need. E.g. having multiple streaming services like NetFlix, Crave, Apple TV+, YouTube, or splurging on beauty products.
It’s going to be difficult but it’s important to cut down on expenses now. You may want to leave one affordable want behind to help with your mental health during this time. So if you have about 4 streaming sites, you may choose to keep one which is the cheapest if you are a huge movie lover or maybe a gaming service. This will help take your mind away from stress on low days.
Also, plan out your budget for the next couple of months taking into consideration the benefit or final payment from your employer.
Honestly, take some time out for yourself to just breathe!
This is not a situation anyone plans to be in. If you never really had a back-up plan before now or didn’t save up for an emergency, try to keep calm.
Feeling fear, anxiety or sadness is only natural as a human. Allow yourself to feel any emotions rather than bottling your feelings because this is a difficult time. If you have loved ones and family around, you may want to talk to someone you trust. Talking to someone about problems you might have turn out to be a good coping mechanism. Feel free to set some boundaries if you don’t feel comfortable sharing details with everyone.
It’s advisable to take some time to really think instead of rushing into problem-solving mode. It’s good that the government provides some form of benefits during this trying time, so take a few days to relax and clear your thoughts. Remind yourself that it’s of no fault of yours that you were let go.
Take a walk, exercise, bake, etc. It’s easier said than done but do really practice self-care at this time. Don’t let COVID-19 win over your mental health.
Plan towards your next role
Think about why your role was affected or maybe your department. Was it because the business could survive without that function? If that’s the case, decide if you’ll want to continue in that line of work or not.
If every department was simply affected because it was a company-wide restructuring, figure out if you still want to do the same thing for your next opportunity. Think of what you enjoyed and didn’t during your previous role as this will help you plan towards your next role. You might consider changing career paths altogether.
Actively apply to jobs/ network using platforms like LinkedIn
We are all expected to stay at home to keep safe, but the positive aspect of your job search is that we have technology in place! You can apply for those job postings still available at this time using Zinny Factor Job Board.
Check out our Resume Template for free and also take a step further by networking virtually to get better insights into companies hiring. We have written a thing or two about this previously and are linking those below as it remains relevant.
Read: How To Use Technology To Improve Your Job Search
Read: Managing Depression During a Job Search
Read: 5 Mistakes Job Seekers Make On Their Resume
Read: Aditya Vyas: Job Search Strategies As An Immigrant & More
Consider if a temporary gig will be worth it
If it will take a long time to get a permanent role depending on your industry and how badly hit by COVID-19 it is, you may consider a short term alternative. We advise this if unfortunately, you don’t have an emergency budget set aside. If this is the case, you could consider a short term gig to sustain you.
We recently published an article on jobs in high demand during coronavirus so it might come in useful for you at this time. Keep in mind that these jobs may increase your risk to coronavirus as you might interact with the public, so consider these factors carefully and take precautionary measures where necessary.
You can find your next job using our Job Board.
Hopefully, this article has helped you set a clear direction towards your next step. We wish you the best and remember that we are in this together and will win the fight against COVID-19! Remember, it’s of no fault of yours that you’ve been let go and you will get through this.
If you have other tips or ideas to share for someone in such a situation please leave a comment behind as it may come in helpful. Remember to subscribe to the blog so that you are immediately updated on exclusive topics.