Category Archives: Coping

Random documents, courtesy of the Government of Canada

This  is the kind of stuff good librarians know that the average joe doesn’t. If you need some research done by a professional, I recommend Kirsten, author of


Random documents, courtesy of the Government of Canada.


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Laid Off? 10 Tips For Suddenly Unemployed Journalists – Recovering Journalist

This is a good article — I’ve said most of these things at one time or another myself, and am patting myself on the back for my smarts — but the really interesting thing about this are the comments, especially the last one, from a journalist who was near retirement age when she was laid off. She became a security guard to supplement her severance/unemployment/pension and says it woke her up to what she should be doing, and all in all the lesson she learned is “you are not what you do.” That was a good one.


Laid Off? 10 Tips For Suddenly Unemployed Journalists – Recovering Journalist.

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What to do if you’re laid off in 2008 recession — Scobleizer

This article was written four years ago but the economic times don’t seem to have changed much — and the advice still stands for anyone laid off now. I followed most of these tips and people keep telling me I got a job quickly — though it really didn’t seem like that to me at the time!

What to do if you’re laid off in 2008 recession — Scobleizer.

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10 things you should do if you get laid off | TechRepublic

10 things you should do if you get laid off | TechRepublic.


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An Open Letter To Anyone Ever Laid Off – Forbes

Layoff: it’s not your fault, it’s the “random chaos of the universe.”

An Open Letter To Anyone Ever Laid Off – Forbes.

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Happy Canada Day!

On Sunday, July 1, Canada turns 145. There will be picnics and barbecues and fireworks and much jollity will ensue over the course of a long weekend.

You measure time differently when you’re unemployed — an hour is still an hour, sure, but a day isn’t necessarily the same length, and a holiday weekend is a different animal altogether.  When you’re working, you try to cram as many things as possible into the three- or four-day stretch, have the prescribed amount of fun while — if you’re me — also trying to spend as much time just relaxing as humanly possible before you have to return to work.

I don’t know what I’m going to do this weekend. I had hoped to be able to go to Nova Scotia for a short visit, but I finally admitted to myself yesterday that it’s not going to happen, which is contributing to my increasingly foul mood. My grandmother was born on July 1 and my family has a tradition of gathering for birthday celebrations that it carried on even after she died. It would have been nice to see the extended family, and to take a little trip up to Cape Breton to see friends at the tip of the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes, before heading back to Halifax, the Annapolis Valley and the Baie Sainte-Marie

Cape Blomidon from the 101. Taken from website and credited to photographer Lucybear

to spend time with other friends and family. There’s something about being with people who love you and want the best for you — and who’ve known you for decades and therefore have a better idea than you do yourself what you need — that soothes the soul and feeds the spirit, and I could use some of both.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen about coping with layoffs is to not isolate yourself — professionally or socially. That’s my go-to tendency — all the Myers-Briggs testing puts me firmly in the “introvert” corner, and as a general rule I’m far too happy with my own company. I have to work against my nature at the best of times. My neighbours have been good for getting me out of my bolthole. But on holiday weekends people tend to scatter to the winds — even on the Internet, the things that have been entertaining me will be less active because of the weekend — so I’m actually going to have to make an effort to get out and talk to people. I’m invited to a barbecue on Sunday, and from the sound of the forecast, tomorrow will be a good afternoon to sit in a dark, air-conditioned theatre watching the new Matthew McConaughey movie, which a friend has promised to come see with me. After that, I think Monday may take care of itself.

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Another day, another five job applications

I have sent out at least one job application each working day for the last nearly seven weeks — to both actual jobs and to companies I’d like to work for which had no posted openings. That’s a minimum of 35 — I suspect the real number is higher. So far I’ve had two interviews, one of them pretty positive, and received two no-thank-you letters (both in response to cold-calls). I have had one cryptic non-official offer of a job I don’t know that I’d take, and another cryptic communication that sounds like it might be an offer in the making but it’s sure taking its time cohering into something I can put on my CV.

Even though I’m trying to spend as little as possible, I feel like I’m watching my bank balance trickle away. The bills still need to be paid, after all; I still need to eat.  I’m someone who’s not particularly suited to counting pennies if there are quarters in the jar. So when my enabling neighbour knocks on my door and asks if I’m interested in an outing — to the grocery store, or that store where you have to have a membership and you buy toilet paper rolls by the gross, or the nearby big-box hardware store — I go, promising myself that I won’t spend a dime, but I always end up seeing some small thing I can’t live without. Drip drip drip goes the money…

My mood, which was unrealistically bright and sunny seven weeks ago, is becoming darker. I’m yelling at the cat, impatient with myself and my friends — and about to come to blows with my ISP. The little no-see-ums that are impossible to escape on the front lawn reduced me to tears the other night (and the Off clip-on that I bought to combat them and the mosquitoes in the back was useless against them).  I’m becoming tired of penny-pinching and frustrated at the lack of action on the job front.

My job search hasn’t even dragged on that long, relatively speaking. I just started with such good energy, it seemed like it would be impossible for it not to pay off in some way, and  quickly. It’s hard not to measure myself against the success of my fellow layoff victims. Of the ones I know about (there are a couple that I’m unsure of) about four or five have landed in a better position than they left (though three left the province to do so); a couple of others have regular freelancing gigs; a bunch took lower-paying jobs at our former employer’s new workplace; a couple more are back in the old office as summer interns. I may have come flying out of the gate, but I’m currently one of the very few among those original 25 who is not re-employed in some way. And that’s freaking me out, say what you will about the relative “success” of those who took their old jobs back for less money.

I’ve started to be assailed by self-doubt, imposter syndrome, wondering if maybe I’m not as good as I think I am and worrying about what happens when the money runs out. And I don’t care if this is something that happens to everyone in my position. My position is that I have years of experience, have been told I’m really good at my job, have been told I’m doing all the right things to find a job, and have been told that there’s lots of work out there for someone with my qualifications. When the sum total of all those parts is continuing unemployment, I figure it’s my right to feel like hitting something.

You know what’s funny? I actually wrote about the exact position I’m in while I was still employed — about being over 40 and out of work and not being able to sell employers on your fabulousness. I have to be better at following up on applications I send out, but otherwise I’m managing to avoid the traps I described in those articles. I’m beginning to think, however, that there are pitfalls to this job search thing that I failed to warn me about.

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