It has been a little over two weeks since I lost my job.
So far it has been a bit like being on vacation without having to worry about how many emails are building up in my absence. This is so far a very different experience from the first time I was unemployed 13 years ago. That time I had to rely on employment insurance and whatever money I could make through temp jobs and short-term contracts. This time I have severance to give me breathing room while I look for work.
My first two weeks
In the first week I got my resumé and LinkedIn profile updated. I met with a career transition coach and a labour lawyer – both paid for by my former employer. I negotiated for an extra month of severance and started outreach to my network. I began searching the job listings and submitted my first application.
In week two I submitted my second application and started outreach to my network in earnest. I’m contacting five people per day and have started having coffee dates to catch up with friends, former colleagues and acquaintances. I haven’t done a good job over the past couple of years of regular catch up tea dates so I’m taking this opportunity to reconnect and re-energize my relationships. It has been a busy couple of years and I think my dad’s death a year and a half ago caused me to turtle and focus inward a little more than I realized at the time.
I have really appreciated all the people who have reached out to me to commiserate with their own stories of being fired or unemployed and those who have offered to pass my resumé on to their own contacts.
Now that I am a stay-at-home-dad, for the time being at least, I am getting to spend more time with my kids. I played a rousing game of Trouble with my four year old while she was home sick for a couple of days. We also played with dolls, paw patrol, peppa pig and have done lots of reading. I chaperoned a field trip with my daughter’s grade four class to Winterlude for some snow sliding and canal skating. I’m signed up for an overnight field trip to an outdoor ed centre with my oldest daughter’s grade six class in early March.
I’ve always had primary responsibility for getting the girls up, ready for and to school. With my most recent job I was able to work from home on a regular basis, but 2-3 days a week I had to go into the office and on those days my partner took on the final steps of getting the girls out the door and/or to school. The past couple of weeks she’s been able to sleep in while I get them to school. It is important for me to maintain a regular schedule in the morning and get my day started. What better reason to get up than to spend time with my kids and help get their days started.
Getting stuff done
I set up a schedule for myself to follow so that I would have a regular routine. I followed that for exactly one day and realized it was too ambitious and fragmented. So I am still figuring out a routine. It is a bit of a challenge to settle into a regular pattern when I am fitting in networking and coaching meetings.
I have put in some time in the workshop to fulfill some orders and as well as building up my inventory of parts and products. It is relaxing and an opportunity to accomplish things I enjoy and set myself up for success later in the year when the volume of orders picks up in the fall.
I thought I would be doing more writing and producing more blog posts than I have so far. I have a list of posts that I want to write. The lack of a regular schedule means I don’t yet have blocks of time set up for writing. It will come.
I am doing some more exercise, although not as consistently as I planned just yet. In part this is because I have blocked off my morning before I get the kids up to do some exercise and for the past five days I’ve had a cold that is mostly settled in my sinuses and the resulting headache doesn’t give me much enthusiasm for doing things in the morning before the cold and sinus meds help to break through the pressure.
I’m starting to do interview prep work so that I am ready when I do secure an interview for a job. I’ve also initiated the process to start picking up some temp and contract work while I am still on severance and while I look for work. Whatever extra money I can earn while I look for work adds to the cushion in case I don’t have something lined up to start before my severance runs out.
I am going to try to get my daily routine a little more regular over the next week so I can be more consistent in my search and in my days generally. I’m hopefully going to hear back on at least one of the applications I’ve submitted to date and I’ll continue with my outreach to my network. Next week I am going to start my outreach to recruitment firms to get myself on their rosters and into consideration for the jobs they are helping to fill.
After a couple of weeks I’m still feeling comfortable and confident that I will find something that will be a good fit. I’m finding postings for jobs of interest and having some good conversations that I hope will lead to new opportunities. I’m getting my resumé out there and in front of people who make decisions about jobs.