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10 Things To Know When You Are Being Let Go!

by Kate Toner, Government Proposal Writer, The Adecco Group, Canada

The words are still hanging in the air because your brain is scrambling to comprehend them.

Completely unsuspected, the unthinkable is happening.  The thing that happens to other people, not to you.  The hushed tale told by a friend about a mutual acquaintance to which you shake your head and commiserate with a, “how terrible for them”.

Your ear listens to a myriad of other words being uttered and grasps the phrase, “it has nothing to do with your work.”

Your brain, now beating back the enzymes triggered by stress, pauses, looks towards your ear and nods in agreement.

“We will, of course, provide you an exceptional reference.”

Your brain on high alert now—functioning at optimal levels to control not only your hearing but potential inappropriate responses to stress—FREEZES.

YOU ARE BEING LET GO!

Now as a matter of course, it will seem as though your brain has stopped functioning entirely.  This, however, is very untrue.  Your brain is in the fight of its life assigning the correct emotional responses to these events, to ensure acceptable and appropriate behaviours are attributed to each particular and subsequent unfolding moment.

Still attempting to reign in your emotions, your brain will start firing inappropriate questions off the walls of your cranium.  “What about Joe Smith? Is Joe Smith being let go too? Is my entire department being let go?  Is it just me?  Is this really happening?!?!?!?”

However, these are not the questions your brain should be asking.  The questions your brain should be asking, it will only present to you in hindsight.  This will be true for the vast majority unless perhaps:  a) you have been through this situation before; b) someone close to you (like a spouse or friend) has told you in great detail about their own experience; or c) you happen to remember a blog you read on this very topic!

Your employer is letting you go.  What are the ten things you should ask or do?

  1. Ask for time to review anything before signing.

Being let go from your place of employment is a stressful experience with an immediate and natural emotional response.  If you are being asked to sign a document that has a lot of detail, or you want to ensure you understand it fully before agreeing to any terms, you should ask to take the document with you to read in a later state of calm—or perhaps after you have consulted a lawyer, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) in your province; or Federal Employment Standards (whichever applies to your employer’s jurisdiction). Many companies will provide you the time to do so, but with a specified date of when a response is expected from you.

If you feel confident in signing at that particular moment, for example if the document is only confirming that you have been advised of the company’s decision to let you go, but not necessarily agreeing to any terms, be sure to get a copy of the document you signed.

  1. Find out your end date.

Is the expectation that you are being walked off the premises directly after you have been told your employment is ending?  Depending on the company’s policy, you may request to pick up personal belongings from your desk, or make arrangements to come back after hours.  Be prepared to have a company representative with you as you pack up your things. Alternatively you could request that your employer go and get the items you need for that day, and agree to send your remaining personal items to your home address.

In some situations you may be asked to work through a notice period.  Some questions to ask should be around expectations during this time. Are you going to be providing a transfer of knowledge?  If you are client facing, are you expected to keep or cancel any meetings you had previously scheduled?

Additionally, it is important to know your exact end date in regards to your final pay.  Some companies may consider you still as an employee while receiving any payments which may impact the beginning of your Employment Insurance (EI) benefits (if you are entitled to them).

  1. Ask if you will be considered for future employment with the company?

The role you are being let go from may simply cease to exist, your duties may be absorbed into another department.  It is beneficial to clarify, especially if there is the possibility of another role in a different department or another location with the same company.  Some companies have a policy not to rehire staff that has been let go, regardless of the circumstances.

  1. Are you getting any payments? How much and for how long?

This is an important financial planning question, because any payments made to you can also impact your Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits at the same time.  Any payments you do receive will be taken into account by Service Canada.  So while you may register for Employment Insurance, it may be a while before the Government deems it necessary to provide EI to you based any ongoing payments you are receiving from the employer.

Your payment information should be outlined in the letter/documentation you received. You may want to consult a lawyer, your province’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), or the Federal Employment Standards to ensure you are receiving the correct termination payments in accordance with legislation.

  1. What date will you be paid?

Your date of final payment should be in accordance with provincial legislation.  Clarify with your employer when this will be, or check your local employment standards/labour code.

  1. What happens to commissions/bonus?

In some roles, your job may be a base salary plus a commission (sometimes referred to as a bonus) structure.  Find out what happens to your commissions; when your commissions will be paid out; or if they will be prorated.

  1. When will your health insurance benefits end?

Generally the majority of current benefit entitlements are required by employment standards to continue during your notice period.  You may want to speak to your HR department or the person responsible regarding insurance to clarify the policy’s terms and conditions.

  1. Will there be outplacement services?

While in Canada there is no legislation requiring an employer to provide outplacement services, some companies do offer outplacement services (potentially through a third party) as a means to ease your transition.  Outplacement services may include career counselling, re-orientation into the job market, advice on resume writing and/or interviewing techniques, etc.  This is beneficial if you have been a long-term employee and are entering the job market for the first time in a number of years.

  1. When will you receive your Record of Employment (ROE)? Follow-up!

The Record of Employment (ROE) is mandatory in establishing a claim for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.  Service Canada uses the information provided on the ROE to determine whether you are eligible to receive EI benefits, the amount of the benefits you are entitled to, and the length of time the benefits will be provided to you.  You are able to register for EI without your ROE, however your EI eligibility will not be determined until Service Canada’s receipt of the ROE.  Your employer may choose to send the ROE directly to Service Canada electronically after your notice period ends rather than during.  Now if you are in a case where there is a notice period, but you are not required to work all of it, you may want to follow-up with your employer when the ROE will be sent in.

Alternately if you can get a copy of the ROE from your employer, do so—the copy will be used by Service Canada until the electronic copy from your employer is received.  You can register the required information so Service Canada can make the above determinations regarding your file and EI eligibility without delay.

  1. File for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits immediately.

Even if you believe you are highly employable and will not require EI, the process of looking for new employment can take longer than you might expect.  You will still have living costs to deal with while waiting for a potential employer to make you an offer, or provide you a start date if an employment offer has been made.  If you are eligible for EI benefits, file right away.  Remember that filing for EI can be done without receipt of your Record of Employment, but your assessment will not be completed by Service Canada until the ROE is received.

Registering for Employment Insurance Benefits can be done online at Service Canada’s site:  https://www.canada.ca; or in person at the Service Canada location nearest you.

Remember…

Being “let go” is a temporary state (especially if you proactively look for another place of employment).

Talk to people you trust, or to your friends and/or family.  You will be amazed by the stories you hear and the number of people you know who have been in the exact same situation—all of whom have survived and thrived, you will too.

Potentially, this can be viewed as a new opportunity for you.  Perhaps you will decide to go back to school, or travel, or become an entrepreneur.  Being let go from your job may become the catalyst for a new and exciting time in your life.

Don’t view being let go as an ending because the most important truth about the situation is so much better than that …it is a beginning!

 

Kate Toner is a Government Proposal Writer in Adecco’s Head Office.  She possesses over 17 years of professional business writing experience in the staffing industry, 16 years of which were dedicated to the information technology staffing field.  Kate’s focus on government contracts during that time has honed her business writing skills and aided in winning multiple standing offers, supply arrangements, vendor of records, and preferred status with numerous public sector clients and broader public sector clients.  Celebrating her first year with Adecco in June 2017, Kate is passionate about the power of the written word and its importance in business communications.

Disclaimer

The above is not legal advice, nor is it intended to replace legal advice.  Various industries must comply with provincial employment standards, however, some industries are required to follow federal employment standards.  An employee, in event of being let go from their employment, should always refer to the official legislated version of Employment Standards Act (ESA) regulations in their Province or at the Federal level.  Check with your provincial Ministry of Labour or the Canadian Government for the updated version of the ESA which can be found online in most regions. Please also note that if you are a unionized worker you will also wish to check with your Union Representative to understand your rights under your collective agreement which may have additional standards for employers to adhere to.  Find out which applies to your employer and contact an employment lawyer in order to know your legal rights. 

ACSESS CHAMPION: ADECCO Canada Adecco Canada opens the doors of power to support future leaders

Article by ACSESS Canada

It took a leap of faith for Gilbert Boileau, President of Adecco Canada, to swing open the doors of his office for a month.

That’s exactly what he did. In June, Gilbert invited Alana Couvrette, (pictured above with Gilbert) a 22-year-old student studying public administration and political science at the University of Ottawa, to job shadow him, as part of his company’s CEO for One Month program. As part of the process, she would also share her journey along the way on social media.

Boileau is big believer in giving everyone at all levels a chance to excel but had some reservations. “I questioned how it would come together, yet was intrigued to see the outcome. I would need to allow someone in ‘my bubble,’” explains Gilbert, “but for the program to work effectively, Alana needed to be able to shadow me as I carried out my day. Her job shadowing covered everything, including confidential meetings with other colleagues, events and client meetings. You name it. In the end it was a huge success and I would sincerely recommend it to any CEO.”

This experience was also enlightening for Gilbert. “It was so interesting to share my experience with a young person and fascinating to see things through Alana’s eyes. It forces you to think about things you haven’t considered in years. She is impressive on so many levels. Her energy and enthusiasm was felt by the many teams. Armed with her political background, she was inquisitive, probing and asked me some tough questions. I had to explain so many things to Alana because she has very little background in our industry. It made me reflect on the way I do things…”

Alana was chosen from more than 2,300 applicants to become Adecco Canada’s first ever CEO for One Month, a global program that is part of the company’s Way To Work initiative. Gilbert’s passion for the program and willingness to participate sparked after hearing the global CEO for One Month speak at an international company conference.

“This program is positioning us as an industry leader in attracting the next generation of leaders with our flexible, open and inclusive work environment,” says Christine Marinho, Adecco Canada’s Director of Marketing for The Adecco Group in Canada. “The Millennials represent 37 per cent of the Canadian workforce with 28 per cent of them in managerial roles. The Baby Boom generation is transitioning out of the workforce and we want to foster a supportive environment where we develop leadership talents, encourage the sharing of ideas and provide mentorship at all levels. Our CEO for One Month program allows us to ‘walk the walk’ and provide access to one exceptional leader who will share their experience in real-time with employees and potential candidates via social media.”

What was it like for Alana to be given this extraordinary opportunity?

“It was overwhelming and inspiring in every possible way. I never realized you could get so much done with so little sleep,” she says jokingly. “Yet, I would wake up every morning, excited to be able to do it all again. I had no idea what a CEO does and I wasn’t very familiar with the staffing and employment industry. I’ve had a total of five jobs in my life and now I was working with the CEO.” Watch one of Alana’s Day in the Life video updates.

She and Gilbert instantly clicked. “He treated me as an equal, as we leapt head first into his jam-packed schedule, where we met with amazing Adecco clients, discussed their needs and worked with employees from every function across the organization. Everyone was so committed and excited.”

Alana found Adecco employees to be very special. “They are ‘people’, people, so warm and welcoming. I really enjoyed travelling to meet with clients at their offices and learning about the services Adecco offers. I saw firsthand how fascinating the staffing industry is and how much Adecco cares for its clients and candidates. There are so many myths about the industry. I was in so many meetings about placing candidates and I saw how hard they work to get candidates the best benefits and compensation.”

Some of Gilbert and Alana’s favourite moments were driving to client meetings together and discussing industry issues. It’s where they discovered how the generational divide sparks great debate and fosters understanding. “Both Gilbert and I like to be challenged, to be proven wrong and be shown the faults in our reasoning,” says Alana. “It made for many lively conversations between the two of us. He has a fascinating background and it’s rare for me to have the full attention of someone with his experience. I think we pushed each other to see the world from each other’s eyes.” Alana shares her thoughts on how Millennials and Baby Boomers can help each other enhance their leadership skills in this blog post

Adds Gilbert: “I enjoyed our debates. I think it’s so important for Alana to not only challenge me, but everyone she is working with. There were some interesting debates and I am glad I created a haven for her to share her insights, which was eye opening for us both. This program is meant to benefit Alana but I learned so much as well. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to have someone sitting beside you and observing how you work. She helped me see myself in a different angle, from the viewpoint of someone looking from the outside in.”

What’s next for Alana now that’s she’s helped lead the Canadian group of a multi-million dollar organization for one month? She is being considered along with 48 finalists from around the world for the honour of acting as Adecco’s Global CEO for One Month, shadowing Alain Dehaze, The Adecco Group’s Global CEO. The Global CEO for One Month selected will also receive a salary of 15,000 Euros. You can help Alana achieve her dream of becoming Adecco’s global CEO FOR ONE MONTH. Anyone can rate the candidates.

“I am so proud of Alana,” says Gilbert. “She was thrown in the water and swam so impressively. She had more of a theoretical view of the business world and she was able to see it in practice. It was amazing how poised she was considering everything she went through, meeting so many different stakeholders and engaging in real world discussions. To be able to work with the CEO at a macro level, at her age, is remarkable.”

 

The original article was written by Acsess Canada and can be seen on their website: Click here

As the national voice of recruiting, employment and staffing services industry, the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS) leads Canada to work. ACSESS advances best practices and ethical standards for the staffing industry through advocacy, government relations, professional development, resources and research.

Networking is a Game Changer in Helping with your Job Search

Why network? In today’s business world networking has become a big deal. Meeting people who can provide mentorship or at least put you in touch with individuals that can steer you in the right direction is key to success in a job search or even when running your own business. For some, it’s very natural to meet new people and develop relationships but for others it can be challenging even terrifying at times. Networking is like a garden that requires supervision and maintenance to deliver you success. So how do you become a successful networker? There’s really no real science to it. It’s getting yourself out there and just doing it.

Join clubs, groups and meet people who have similar interests. Volunteer or attend a fundraiser that you are enthusiastic about. Having similar interests will make it easier for you to get involved and immerse yourself in the activity, which will allow you to be more available to the people around you. You need to be visible in order to meet people. Connection is the key to building a strong network. So don’t go home right after work, go out for dinner with colleagues, attend local events, conferences and networking events.

Building trust is another key variable to building a good network. You have to cultivate real, deep relationships with your contacts before you can ask them for a favour or expect them to help you find a job. Building confidence with your network takes an investment of time on your part. Remember, people who don’t really know you, won’t refer or promote you.

Having a diverse network is also a key factor in building a strong solid network. You need to look beyond your connections and get to know people who are not like you, who are not in your industry, or social group. This means expanding outside of your comfort zone to meet diverse people. By diversifying your network, you can meet the connectors who can put you in touch with individuals that can point you to the road that leads to success.

Be open to asking genuine and thought-provoking questions. Also, prepare yourself to do more of the listening by allowing the other person to do most of the talking. This will help you understand them better and give them a positive feeling about your exchange. This will not only help you gain more information about the person but it will also give you details about them that you can use for follow-up conversations at a later date. Be open to joining a conversation during a break and introducing yourself. Most people are okay with being interrupted and it gives them a chance to meet someone new. If the conversation seems too serious, you can politely excuse yourself and move on.

Consider how you can help others but drawing connections within your own network. You might have the opportunity to be the matchmaker yourself and introduce your contacts in their service or industry to these new networks. Make sure to follow through with both parties to find out what happened with their interaction. It can help you out in the future and also allow you work on your “connector” skills.

Now you are one step closer to becoming an expert networker.

Happy Networking!

By Andrea Theophilos, Social Media Marketing, Adecco Canada

Andrea Theophilos manages Adecco Canada’s social media platforms. She possesses over 18 years of marketing and event management experience and has worked in various industries that include travel, government, healthcare, finance and staffing. 

Reaching a Middle Ground: Reconciling the Millennial Generation with the Boomers

By Alana Couvrette, 2017 CEO for Month

By 2025, Millennials will represent 75% of the total global workforce[1]. Considering these numbers, I would argue that one of the greatest challenges our society will face is reconciling the Millennial generation with the more seasoned one, the Boomers.

A lot of generational stereotypes are out there. Pundits will say that Boomers are old, set in their ways and technophobes. Millennials, on the other hand, are viewed as selfish, entitled and hopeless narcissists. However, instead of pointing fingers, we should think more constructively and put our efforts into identifying ways to stop this growing generational chasm.

Although at the individual level, there is cause for a change in mentality, thought leadership should originate chiefly at the macro level: through organizations. Workplaces are where generational reconciliation must occur, which means that organizations must play a leading role in creating the conditions for its success.

Initiatives like Adecco’s CEO for One Month help this reconciliation effort by breaking down institutional and hierarchical silos. On one hand, it allows the millennial generation to interact directly with senior management, giving them a chance to learn from their expertise and vast experience. It’s an opportunity for the Boomer’s institutional memory to be transferred to younger generations.

On the other hand, it also encourages senior management to move out of their comfort zone and incites them to be open to new ideas. Millennials can help Boomers stay relevant, in a world of constant change.

However, we don’t need initiatives as articulate as CEO for One Month to create change. It can be as simple as implementing a mentoring program or organizing weekly “Lunch with Senior Management” sessions, to foster dialogue between employees.

We shouldn’t pursue this objective simply because “it’s the right thing to do”. There is pragmatic impetus to unite generations. In the long run, investing in bridging generational gaps will result in a stronger, more efficient work culture.

Successfully navigating our intergenerational future requires crafting the right organizational strategies -sooner rather than later.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/workday/2016/05/05/workforce-2020-what-you-need-to-know-now/#3b1973c2d632

Millennials Want More… Corporate Social Responsibility!

By CEO for One Month, Alana Couvrette

Millennials sometimes seem to get a bad rep as a narcissistic, entitled and self-centered generation. But is this fair to say? I don’ t think so…

For example, millennials expect more from their employers than a paycheck. They have a genuine desire to give back to communities, near and far. For them, purposeful work and the ability to create a positive impact take precedence on profit and salary. In fact, in a recent survey, it was revealed that 45% of student about to enter the workforce would even take a pay cut “for a job that makes a social or environmental impact.” They seek to work for organizations who enshrine good values and ethics into their business model.

Organizations, like Adecco, have taken note of this trend. They know that having an organization-wide aspiration to making a positive difference is part of their value-proposition for attracting and retaining the millennial talent pool.
However, trumpeting your values and ethics isn’t enough. You can’t just talk the talk… The young talent pool is eager to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and participate in the efforts to improve communities near and dear to them. Organizations need to be able to offer opportunities for employees to truly engage in the change that they wish to make. Millennials seek diverse volunteerism opportunities.

At Adecco, our core values-passion, entrepreneurship, team spirit, responsibility and customer focus- permeate the whole business. As Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month, I noticed this right away and can testify to their relevancy in our work. These values are also conveyed through our global employee engagement program, Win4Youth. This program encourages participants to clock up kilometers (through cycling, swimming or running) which are turned into donations to help disadvantaged youngsters find employment.

On June 22nd, 2017, Adecco Canada hosted their annual Solidarity Day, a day dedicated to Win4Youth. We spent the afternoon as a team running around Toronto completing a scavenger hunt filled with wacky photo ops and funny tasks. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t even notice that we each accumulated around 9 kilometers. Multiply that by the total number of employees in the office and you’ve got a healthy donation! Curious to know how the day went? Watch this short video I made!

Still think millennials are self-centered? Deloitte’s Millennial Survey found that 7,800 young leaders from 29 different countries believe that the business world is getting it wrong. Close to 75% say that they feel businesses are “focused on their own agendas rather than improving society.”

Who’s looking self-centered now?

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/06/07/the-future-of-work-corporate-social-responsiblity-attracts-top-talent/#39aca2c33f95

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3046989/what-millennial-employees-really-want

A CEO is Many Things…

By CEO for One Month, Alana Couvrette

Okay I’ll admit it… Before I started my CEO for One Month journey, when I heard the word “CEO” I thought: fancy cars, private jets, exclusive access to exclusive events and, overall, someone who has the world at their fingertips.

But, in reality, a CEO is so much more than what is portrayed in the movies. I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the role of a CEO, based on my experiences as Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month. A CEO is:

 

… a mediator
Being a CEO isn’t always glamorous. CEOs are often caught in the middle of the toughest situations and must find a way to reconcile opposing views and help parties come to an agreement. CEOs have a knack for creating the right conditions for an agreement.

… the ultimate problem solver
CEOs face the thorniest of problems. By that I mean the unresolved issues that go through multiple levels of governance before landing on their desk. They not only solve problems, but also strategically create them. Challenges help people and companies grow, and a CEO knows exactly when it’s time to push and when it’s time to heed.

… a jack of all trades and a master of them all
CEOs know their business inside out. They’re expert generalists. They navigate vastly different areas of their business with ease and confidence. They have no problem jumping from one subject area to another and they do so at a pace that is dizzying for most!

… a story teller
A CEO’s got a story for everything. Their stories serve to illustrate, engage, inspire and motivate those around them. They’ve got “past lives” that can’t quite stay in the past and they’ve worn many hats throughout their careers. CEOs entice and engage their peers with their stories, telling them how they started their businesses, what they stand for and where they’re headed.

… the boss, but not necessarily the one you’re thinking of
A CEO doesn’t have to be unapproachable or someone who makes you hold your breath when they walk by. Leadership styles can vary and no one style is better than another. Each CEO-man or woman- brings something unique to the table. This is especially important to remember for anyone thinking of taking up a leadership position: You don’t have to “be like the last CEO” to be a successful CEO.

… a mentor and is mentored
CEOs know that mentoring employees is empowering them to succeed which, in turn, makes the organization succeed. However, just because they are at the “top” doesn’t mean that CEOs do not look up to someone or something. They’re all chasing some type of “hero”.

As I pass the half way mark as Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month, I’ll make it my goal to bear the above characteristics in mind.
The best CEO is one that carves their own path. The best CEO is your own, authentic, self.