Friday, 24 June 2016

We survived a job loss

I can tell you that I have first hand experience surviving job loss in the family. 
My husband, the main income earner of the family lost his job in January 2016. The employer decided to lay off everybody and close doors suddenly.

So, there was no notice period. No warnings. No severance pay. 

At first, it was shock.  You know,Then there was anger, regret. frustration... So many emotions to deal with. Then, we were ready to fight the situation: 

First thing first: We have to deal with living expenses. I have the job, but the income is like minimum wage. DH applied for EI. Since he was applying for the first time, he has to wait for two weeks. those two weeks, he will not get any money. 

 We accepted the extreme frugal lifestyle: Buying frozen veggies, a lot of beans, lentils and cooking from scratch, we were able to survive those months.  

We negotiated with the cable company to reduce bills.  Tried to cook before and after the peak time to save on electricity. Our dishwasher and cloth dryer were quiet. There was a self imposed ban on buying anything other than food and medicines. 
Stopped all automatic RRSP savings.  

Since we were very keen in paying off the credit cards when the bills come, there was no much worries about that. 

The mortgage was also had to be renewed in April. We got worried about that. With no job for DH, how can get approved ? 
I asked several people about it. One 
Real Estate agent told me that if we are going to agree to the terms of our present company, no need to provide proof of income. That turned out to be true. We chose reduced monthly payments. 

We used to visit our daughter every other week. We had to stop that, because driving 2 hours to reach her place was another expense. It was a big hard sacrifice for both of us. 

We also took the overdraft protection from the bank. It was $4 per month from RBC. That way the bank will pay the bills,even though your account doesn't have enough money.  But, they will charge about 20%  interest till you have money in the account. 

DH learned a lot about current resume styles. There were free resume writing and other job search related workshops. 

While doing the job search we came to know that there are many government funded education programs, which are available only for new immigrants. Project Management Certificate is one among them. They are called bridging programs. It is not offered to us, citizens. 

There are some education programs for EI recipients, but those were not going to help him in his field. 

Keeping a positive attitude is a must to find a new job. But, sometimes, it can be hard.  DH was scheduled for an interview, then the day before he got a call saying the position is already filled. You can imagine the disappointment.

He realized, good paying jobs are scarce in Toronto in software field. Age is a factor in getting a job. 

Anyway, the happy ending is he found a job. He don't have to do long commute. The pay is way less than his previous job. I am very happy to say that I can afford to see my daughter every other week! 

Since we were living extreme frugal life while DH was on job search, we know how to live happily with what we have.  

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