Lost Your Job? These 5 Steps Are For You!

Being laid off is one of the worst feelings for any worker. It comes with feelings of uncertainty, financial stress, and even shame.

If you’ve recently been fired from your job, no one can tell you it isn’t hard. But we can help you put it in perspective.

While the Baby Boomer generation saw two thirds of their working population enter into their fifties after holding long term employment (12 years or longer), it simply hasn’t been the case for later generations that you’re likely to go your whole working life with a single career.

In fact, Gen X and Y reported 3-4 jobs within their first 12 years of entering the workforce, alone! Nowadays, only one third of people stay at a single job for over 4 years. The trends indicate Canadians can expect to work roughly 15 different jobs in their lifetime. So what does this mean in terms of career culture?

It means that job hopping is normal, and businesses often operate with turnover in mind. Meaning, you don’t have to take it personally. Not living up to the old standards is not cause for concern, because those standards are changing — both from the worker and employer perspectives.

If you’re one of the many people going through one of these increasingly frequent transitional phases, we can also help you figure out your next moves! Let’s start with 5 of the most important things you need to do after losing your job.

1. Speak with an attorney if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated

Being fired is frustrating. But being fired for the wrong reasons, or in the wrong way, is not just frustrating, it’s cause to lawyer up.

In law, wrongful termination (also referred to as wrongful dismissal or discharge) is a situation in which an employee’s contract of employment has been terminated by the employer, where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract of employment, or a statute provision or rule in employment law.

There are many reasons you could consider your situation wrongful termination. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Not being provided sufficient notice
  • Not being provided sufficient severance
  • Unfounded just cause allegations
  • Being constructively dismissed (coerced to resign)
  • Terminated in bad faith during probationary period

Before you act on any suspicion of wrongful termination, talk to an accredited attorney. There are many ins-and-outs to the legal system when it pertains to employment law, and this article is only meant to point you in the right direction, not to act as legal advice. You can also review your particular employment contract and termination documentation to better understand your employers rights and motivations.

2. File for unemployment immediately

The process to begin claiming financial assistance from any of the programs available in Ontario can be a lengthy one. The last thing you want to do is postpone that process any further by procrastinating.

There are a number of financial assistance programs, and each may apply to you under different circumstances. They include:

  • Employment Insurance
  • Ontario Works
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Ontario Disability Support Program

Depending on the resource you want to apply for, you may need to go in person and provide documents, or else you can simply begin the process online. In either case, make a list of everything you’ll need before beginning your application, so you don’t get bogged down trying to hunt them down later on, further halting the process.

3. Line up your finances

In addition to applying for unemployment benefits, it’s important to take stock of your overall finances. No doubt your termination can make you feel unprepared for what’s to come, but you can quickly get prepared so you don’t have to stress over it anymore.

Stress will not only affect you emotionally, it also makes it harder for you to find motivation, and psychologically speaking it actually reduces your receptivity to new opportunities. Some of the ways you can conquer financial stress include:

  • Making a fiscal planning spreadsheet
  • Review all your incoming and outgoing funds (including automated ones)
  • Set a budget for yourself
  • Put frivolous purchases on hold
  • Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
  • Ask for leniency on bills where possible
  • Determine the time it will take for you to extract non-cash funds

Knowing how much money and time you have at your disposal, and budgeting accordingly, will enable you to forget the financials and focus on finding work!

4. Collect references

It’s possible that you left your previous employer on bad terms. However, most of the time you can find some coworker (or coworkers) who can speak to your strengths during the time you were employed.

It doesn’t have to be your supervisor or manager, but it is something you should do right away. Ask for a letter of recommendation and reference contact information from coworkers while they still have a fresh perspective on your performance.

You can even draft some highlights of your time working with them and ask them to just sign off, or add a few points, to make the process easier for them.

If you do get any references, be sure to contact them to give them a heads up before connecting them with recruiters.

5. Make a job seeking masterplan

Gone are the days of simply pounding the pavement, handing out generic resumes in person. In today’s job market, there are a lot more elements that go into finding the perfect new career.

With so many online applications, and networking opportunities, you’ll want a game plan to help you win. Not only will laying out your actions improve your results, but it will make the process feel more manageable, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving little goals on your way to the big objective.

Some key things your plan should include are:


  • Revamping your resume
  • Finding job boards and checking them regularly
  • Contact an employment agency for an appointment
  • Filling out and tracking your applications
  • Networking
  • Sending follow ups to recruiters


For more job seeking tips, talk to the experts at META. We can help you with your transition to a new job, with all the tips we’ve talked about, and more!

Belleville Office

Unit 8, 161 Bridge Street W. 
Belleville, ON K8P 1K2

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357

Marmora Office

By Appointment Only
Itinerant Services 

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357