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Dealing With Job Loss

Losing a job is one of the most stressful things a person can face. It can happen to anyone, anytime. The good news is that there are resources and tips to help.

Take Care of the Basics: Six steps to take now
Cope With Your Loss: How to make the transition
Explore Your Options: What’s next?
Search for Work: Tools at your fingertips


Take Care of the Basics

Here are some things you need to take care of following your job loss, usually within 1 to 4 weeks.

Negotiate your severance and settlements. Don’t feel pressured to accept a severance or settlement package immediately. Take some time to think about the offer and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Need legal advice? Use the Law Society of Alberta’s free lawyer referral service to find a lawyer who specializes in labour legislation and layoffs.

Learn more
Employment Standards – rights and responsibilities for wages, overtime, leaves and other employment issues.
Termination of Employment and Temporary Layoff – a fact sheet explaining the notice and termination pay employers are required to give to employees.
Rights and Responsibilities – tip sheets and resources about employment regulations, legislation and standards.

Ask for letters of reference from your former employer. Having reference letters will help you when you’re looking for a new job.

Learn more
Requesting a Reference: Who and How to Ask
Unavailable or Problem References? What You Can Do

Request a Record of Employment (ROE). You need an ROE to collect Employment Insurance. Contact your nearest Service Canada Centre if you haven’t received your ROE within 14 days of your last pay from your employer.

Apply for Employment Insurance (EI). File your EI claim online or in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre.

Do some financial planning. Get some advice from your accountant, banker or financial adviser.

Learn more
Money Mentors can help you manage debt and plan for long-term financial success
Stretch your Dollars: Budgeting Basics

Apply for Income Support – If you don’t have a severance package, aren’t eligible for EI and have no other resources—including family support, investment or savings—you can apply for Income Support assistance through Alberta Works.

Additional Reading
Creating a New Future: The Job Loss Workbook (Chapter 1: First Things First)

This publication is also available for order.


Cope With Your Loss

Job loss can leave you feeling shocked, confused, helpless and angry. It’s natural for you to wonder, “Why me?” or search for things you may have done wrong. Here are some resources and tips to help you deal with your loss and move on.

Change and Transitions: The Path From A to B – explores the emotional transitions and stresses that come with change. Includes exercises and tips for building a positive attitude and reducing stress.
Managing Change
Re-Framing: Moving from Self-Defeating to Powerful Thoughts

Additional Reading
Creating a New Future: The Job Loss Workbook (Chapter 2: Dealing With Your Loss)
Creating a New Future: The Job Loss Workbook (Chapter 3: Tips and Tools to Help You Cope)

This publication is also available for order.


Explore Your Options

No matter what your situation, you always have choices. Start thinking about how you can transform your layoff into an opportunity.

Do some career planning. Learn about yourself and the type of work that would be a good fit for you. Access self-assessment tools, resources, career services and career events.

Look at your work options. Many people who have been laid off discover work options they hadn’t considered before. Learn about opportunities for self-employment, apprenticeship and more.

Get more education or training. Now might be the perfect time to return to school to upgrade your skills or retrain for different work.

Get free, expert advice. Contact the Alberta Career Information Hotline for advice and referrals.

Additional Reading
Creating a New Future: The Job-Loss Workbook (Chapter 4: Moving On: Where To Now?)

This publication is also available for order.


Search for Work

Alberta Work Search Online has information and resources to help with each stage of your work search. Some additional resources include

Job Search Resources
Job Postings – links to more than 190 job posting sites
e-Resumé Review Service – free expert advice on your resumé
Stay Positive During Your Work Search
Think Work, Not Just "Job"
Finding Work Opportunities
Over 45 and Looking for Work?
Overqualified? Make the Best of Your Experience!
Work Search Help
Rural Routes: Work Search in Rural Alberta

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