2015 and 2016 are proving to be the worst years for Alberta's job loss caused by oil prices falling steeply........ The worst ever other than 1982 and the deep recession that the province had experienced at that time. High paying oil sector jobs, envy of many at one time, and other jobs in many support industries are still being impacted continuously and most families in Alberta are directly or indirectly affected. Property prices are crashing, many retirees who had rental income are getting affected since renters who were migrant workers had to go back home after they lost jobs and the ability to pay rent. Canadian dollar which is a petro dollar started getting devalued against the US dollars for obvious reasons. There is turmoil in the investment sector and many folks lost money. And as if this was not enough, the devastating fire in Fort McMurray just happened tearing in to the economic hub of Alberta and leaving many Albertans and migrant workers with practically nothing...... their homes, cars and personal belongings lost to the angry fire and many oil giants and other local companies had to close shop resulting in loss in billions. The cumulative effect of too many negatives at one time has caused and continues to cause a huge turmoil in the minds of the otherwise resilient Albertans and the number of folks seeking psychological help and support is going up; Food Banks are flooded with requests and people drawing EI is at an all time high in Alberta.
Economic turmoil and job loss can be a time when you can allow yourself to wilt with the weight of it all or look at it as an opportunity for self discovery. It is a very challenging time indeed when you lose your job... in fact one of the most stressful life events known to mankind. Job loss causes loss of professional identity; loss of social interaction and networking at work place; the daily routine that one is accustomed to or a purpose to get up for in the morning; replenishment of economic needs i.e. Pay cheque; sense of security; self -worth etc.
It is up to the individual what they want to do with this break in service or job loss and each decision has to be different and would need to be taken by an individual based on their individual economic stability and other unique circumstances, assessing which stage of life they are in, their dreams, aspirations etc. Most need to immediately look for another career or even just survival jobs, many who do not have EI. Some can take this as an opportunity to put their thinking caps on and look at it as an opportunity for self discovery- a possible entrepreneurship that they dreamt of but did not have the courage to leave a job and start; continuing education; time off for a long travel, relaxation and more time for hobbies and de-stressing before bouncing back on the band wagon of a job or career once again.
Whatever you chose to do, find a purpose for getting up each morning: may be search for alternate jobs after your morning coffee and a walk; identify plan and do trainings, workshops and webinars; if you have plans for further studies or continuing education this may be your time , volunteer work for a cause you support but neglected doing due to demands on your time at work, long walks, hikes or swim; gardening; cooking, reading or writing poetry if it is a passion; learning new skills; chores you shelved thinking you will do it when you will have more time, building that tool shed or fixing your deck or helping your neighbour with it; biking in summer and more time with children and pets that you always wanted but the grind at the workplace always left you with a deprived feeling; more time for exercises; golfing, time at a church or temple that gives solace to your heart...........anything close to your heart or practical or important in your life. When you volunteer and help others, it also makes you realize there is suffering way beyond your own and that helps to set everything in perspective while helping others. Do a soul search about what you always wanted to do, may be a career change that did not happen due to lack of will or courage. May be this is the time to touch that rainbow......In a nut shell, have a plan to achieve what you want and that may of course include getting the same, similar or a totally different career. You have time now to research companies and study their mission, vision and values and know where you would be a right fit.
Put everything you want from life, the total package of it all on a paper or on your lap top, allot time for each goal and have a firm plan to stay on track. If possible have a good mix of physical, mental, spiritual or philosophical activities to keep a good balance. Stay positive, do not avoid your friends and family because they can be your lifeline to provide you that positive support. Don't think of yourself as a victim and avoid anything that gets you on a self pity mode. Do not try to drown your grief in alcohol....it will eventually be a drain on your health, self confidence, and even your wallet and will keep bringing you down. If nothing works and you have a sinking feeling seek professional help. Learn from your job loss experience and let the learning make you only stronger.