5 Ways to Survive Job Loss or Uncertainty in Edmonton – by Mallory Becker, R. Psych.
Let’s face it – the job market in the land once known for its high paying jobs, opportunity for advancement, where people would flock to from far and wide currently sucks. It is dismal at best in Edmonton and Alberta. The poor job market came out of nowhere with many people unprepared, and it seems like those who took a pay cut to do the work of 2 other people are the ‘lucky.’ While many things are out of our control, there are some things we can do to increase our chances of survival – as it will (eventually) get better.
- Plan Ahead
I’m not saying you need to be collecting bottles in all your spare time, but organizing can help. The issue with many people in Alberta is that we don’t have a rainy day fund, and we don’t do a good job at being prepared. Keep an eye on the job market, make a budget (use a helpful tool such as mint.com), and make sure your resume is ready to go. Get in touch with a headhunter to get pointers about your presentation to employer and get in touch with another job market.
- Manage Your Anxiety
There are so many people around us that feel uncertainty and insecurity can be transferred others. The job climate, coupled with a lack of control is the perfect recipe for anxiety. It is always easier to cope with a job loss when you all ready have coping tools. Most people who seek out counseling for crisis, or to “put out fires” often require more sessions and have a longer recovery than those who come to acquire life coping skills. Either way we are here to help, but if you have benefits, use them to inoculate yourself. This way if you loose your job, you can spend your time searching for a new position rather than being debilitated by fear and overwhelming emotions.
- Network, Network, Network
Many people are worried to “use” the people they are connected to for job prospects. I understand the frustration family and friends have when people only come to them when they are out of a job, rather than discussing opportunities coming out of proactive and mutual 2-way conversation. Talk to your friends and family about their workplaces including potential opportunities, and attend networking opportunities (such an Edmonton Business Association lunch and learn or ask someone on LinkedIn you have similar interests to have coffee). If there is a company you have always been interested in, set up a time to meet up and learn more about the company including potential future opportunities. Remember, 80-85% of jobs are not advertised.
- Define Your Brand
Many people in the job market have a difficult time because of the “I’ll take what I can get mentality.” It is very important to get to know your strengths and weakness so you can have a clear sense of what you can bring to a company. It can also be helpful to work with a career counselor (which is a service we provide) or a business mentor to help you focus your brand. A focused brand also demonstrates confidence, which is a trait highly correlated to trust.
The people who experience the most distress after a job loss often spend too much time and focus on work. They live to work, rather than work to live. This is very unhealthy and can lead to many physical, psychological and relationship issues.
Make sure you are spending time with your family, friends, hobbies, volunteering, fitness and personal development. A well-rounded person also looks better on paper and in a job interview. The more interests you have, the higher the probability you will have something in common with the individuals hiring you.
In the event of a job loss, or if you feel it may be coming – we can help. Avoid having the stress boil over onto your loved ones. We can work on gaining more self-awareness for your personal brand, discuss job-searching strategies, and learn tools to deal with stress and anxiety.