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Tips for coping with unemployment

If you have recently been let go or are having trouble breaking into the workforce, you know just how challenging and upsetting unemployment can be. But there are a few things you can do to make getting through this tough time a little more manageable.

Sad unemployed woman holding a box of her things

Statistics Canada reported that, as of November of this year, our country’s unemployment rate has decreased to 7.2 per cent. Although that’s good news, it doesn’t make it any easier for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians struggling with unemployment. But by taking action in a few simple ways, you can feel more in control of your situation and a little better about this challenging time in your life.

Find your resources

The scariest thing about being unemployed is feeling you have nowhere to turn, but there are resources available to you; you need only track them down. One good starting point is 211 Canada. It is essentially 411 but for organizations and associations that can help people through hard times. All you have to do is search “unemployment” in the area in which you live, and you’ll be directed to all kinds of services that can help you out. Whether you’re having a hard time emotionally and need someone to talk to or you’re ready to take some training classes to get back into the workforce, resources are at your disposal, so don’t hesitate to use them.

Hold on to good relationships

When you’re disappointed with how things are going in your life, it’s natural to want to cut yourself off from others. But it’s important to remember that those negative feelings you have toward yourself are not shared by others. Your friends and family will not think less of you just because you have come upon hard times. So even if it seems difficult at first, challenge yourself to continue seeing those people who’ve always supported you, and trust that they will continue that support even if circumstances in your life have changed.

Take care of yourself

You might not be able to control when or where you will start working again, but you can control what you put on in the morning, what you eat for breakfast and what you get done during the day. So rather than focusing on things that are beyond your control, focus on what is within your power. By starting your day with tasks that make you feel good about yourself, such as showering, dressing up and eating a healthy breakfast, you can reassure yourself that you’re still you, even if times are tough. It may seem tiring and frustrating to go to the gym or to run errands, but you’ll feel more put together and on track if you do.

Set specific goals

It’s crucial that the goals you set be things that are within your control. So although you can’t guarantee you’ll “get a job by next month,” you can commit to “sending out 10 resumes this week.” And not all your goals have to be work related. Although you certainly want to set goals that will get you closer to employment, it’s also helpful to set goals that are completely independent of those struggles. Set goals that remind you of the other things you’re good at and working to achieve in your life. For instance, if you’re into photography, aim to take 100 pictures of things you love. Or if you like cooking, commit to testing out a couple of new and challenging recipes each week. You are a strong, talented and unique individual, so be sure to celebrate that each and every day.

More on career challenges

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Time management skills for job-hunting
Keeping positive in negative times

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