End of Summer Perspectives
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How important is it to have a routine?

The long, hazy, more relaxed summer days and adventures are helpful for us to recharge and go with the flow. I hope you were able to enjoy some walks in the sun, a picnic by the waters edge and time with close friends and family. Now with school starting back up again in Calgary there is a buzz of renewed energy (and traffic) in the city as everyone gets back into establishing a routine for themselves and family.

But if you aren't working - how important is it to have a routine? 
It depends... some people genuinely like not having a time or goal based structure. But for most people I meet with there is a huge loss of routine that comes with being Laid Off. When you lose your job you also lose a feeling of productivity and on a deeper level that sense of contribution that you make - for yourself, for your family, for a team, for a company, for a cause, for the world... Many people I talk to had worked so hard in their careers that their routines didn't allow for many other pursuits. Lose work, lose identity, lose a feeling of productivity, maybe lose some friends, and after a series of job rejections (or just never hearing back from job applications), some people start to lose motivation to simply get up.

How do you reclaim routine when you are job searching? The process starts by remembering that you/me/we all have *some* control/influence/ability to dictate the course of our day. There may not be much in our control with limited finances but we can choose to lay out a plan for when we wake up tomorrow, how we want the day to look, how the week can flow and so on. It helps to have goals. As humans we are motivated by striving for a realistically attainable and attractive target, in other words, set goals regularly. Be honest. Set goals that actually get you feeling at least a little bit excited. Follow the SMART principle and commit your goals on paper or go over them with a trusted friend (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based).

What does a routine look like? Break it up into chunks - morning and evening routines are a good place to start. Define times and activities for job searching/career exploration. Build in exercise, self-care, social time, blank white-space creative time into your week. Schedule it all in your calendar of choice. Set reminders to prompt you so you don't have to think in the beginning and just follow along. Make small changes and build incrementally. Think of it like a major systems implementation, you may role it out in 3 phases.

As an example:
  • Phase 1 (week 1) - define your goals and a high level schedule for the week. Be specific about morning routine, & exercise. Set it up in the calendar.
  • Phase 2 (week 2) - add in the evening routine and job search activities. Set it up in the calendar
  • Phase 3 (week 3) - review goals and the schedule, notice how you feel with the new structure - how's your mood and your energy levels? Are you falling out of routine? Are you ready to build in more activities or do you need other tools and supports to stay on track? 
The benefits of having a defined routine while job searching are many and include:
  • a feeling of accomplishment - you'll reach your goals faster
  • your mental health will thank you - the brain and body craves organization
  • cultivating good habits (you choose) and reducing opportunity for the bad habits
  • you get to choose how your week looks
  • you'll probably sleep better - especially if you build in a nice little pre-bedtime yoga in your schedule!
  • you can spend focused time on job search activities and not feel guilty when you aren't doing job search
  • builds momentum - by the time you are working again you'll be in a good mindset and ready to apply your efficient scheduling techniques to your job

I can't emphasize enough the need to build in self-care and exercise into your routineand manage stress. As a personal example I let this slip a little for myself and didn't prioritize my own needs. When I got sick in the summer it has taken quite some time to heal and my entire routine had to adapt. My work and commitments had to be put on hold, as I experienced without resources for self there is nothing left to give to others. I'm doing better now, still recovering and am excited again about re-establishing a commitment to myself for making time for my own relaxation, nutrition and exercise.   

I'd love to hear more stories from our readers... how valuable is a routine for you? What does a job-seekers routine look like? What tools, tips, and techniques do you use to keep you motivated and on track?  

p.s. If you want to start adding in exercise into your routine right away, you might want to join us for the Walking Group Friday (today!) 8th September 9.30am scroll below for details or see here

If you haven't already done so, please check out the links on the website -> we have a resources section and also the private Facebook group page is a place where members ask questions, share and connect freely with each other (respecting our posted Community Agreements). 

Looking for our Schedule?

We had a reduced schedule in July and August to meet demand and also to give our facilitators a break. Please see below for the list of upcoming meetings. Anytime you can search "Laid Off Calgary" in eventbrite for the current published meetings. Please always register if you are interested in attending and no problem to cancel prior (just let us know) so we can make sure we accommodate everyone. 
The moderated Facebook support group has grown to 1000 participants. Thanks to all of you for your continued support and communication with one another. Thank you to our volunteer admins. We wouldn't have needed a group had we not experienced a downturn but I'm glad for all of you I have met and learned from along the way.

Choose from sessions 1, 2 or 3 (or attend all 3). Each session will be building up from the previous and there will be a recap at each session. Facilitated by Coach Clint White following the Laid Off Calgary methodology.

Reframing 1: 2017-09-12 - Reframing My Skills and Resume: Finding the Essence of My Skills/Experience
Reframing 2: 2017-10-03 - Reframing My Job Search: Applying New Perspectives and a Wide-Angle Lens
Reframing 3: 2017-10-17 - Reframing My Career: Discovering Purpose to Shape My Future Career

Meetings are held in the program room (upstairs) of the Nicholls Family Library (above Westbrook Mall LRT station). Register here

No doubt you already know the benefits of walking and you might already have experienced the gifts of being able to connect with other people going through a similar experience.

Friday September 8, 9.30am-10.30am, Altadore/River Park SW Calgary Meet out the front of Bells Bookstore Cafe (1515 34 Ave SW, Calgary).

Thursday September 21, 9.30am-10.30am Kensington NW & Bow River Pathways Calgary. Meet out the front of Oolong Tea House in Kensington, 110 10 Street NW, Calgary..

Please register so we know you are coming.
Thursday September 21, 2017 1.30pm-3pm. 
We are going back to the original SW location (Alexander Calhoun library in Marda Loop) but more ad-hoc as the regular Tuesday timeslot is now being used for another activity. This session happens to be on Thursday 21st September. Register here for the SW September Peer Support group, facilitated by Laid Off Calgary Founder Bianca Sinclair
Thursday's at Nose Hill Library in September and October
2017-09-28 Thursday 1.30pm-3pm Nose Hill Library (main program room)
2017-10-12 Thursday 1.30pm-3pm Nose Hill Library (meeting room #2 - max 8 participants)
Register here

About our meetings 

Our meetings are facilitated peer support group sessions. Highly interactive, engaging, positive and interesting learning opportunities. Newcomers and past participants are welcome in all meetings. Please register for each meeting you wish to attend. You may find more value in consistently attending a regular meeting time each week to be able to get to know and network with others and build upon themes from each meeting. Still not sure how it works? Check out the graphic below, or visit our website here for more info. 

Peer support group meetings are held at different locations depending on the date and time and are always free. Find us on Eventbrite (search for Laid Off Calgary) to find a meeting and register! Add yourself to the waitlist if you see the registration is full for the week. There are often last minute changes.

For Laid Off Calgary information (connection, peer support, resources and inspiration) please visit

If you are looking for someone to talk to right now, or anytime day or night please contact the Distress Centre 403.266.HELP (4357). 

Copyright © 2016-2017 Laid Off Calgary All rights reserved.
Empowered Community Support Groups
Bianca Sinclair - T3H 5R2

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Laid Off Calgary · Calgary · Calgary, Ab T3H 0A1 · Canada

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