Thousands of Canadians are in a similar situation because of COVID-19. Whether you’ve been laid off temporarily and are not sure when things will get back to normal for you, or you’ve been laid off permanently, getting back into the workforce is a priority. Even with CERB or severance pay, you will come to a point when it’s time to get back to work.

How to approach going back to work is unique. It’s an unprecedented time, but there are a lot of companies hiring right now. As we enter phase 3, things are starting to get back to ‘normal’ for some companies. Others are figuring out what their new normal is and how they’ll operate.

Opportunities are available for job seekers. You just need to capitalize on them. Here is how to get back into the workforce if you were laid off during COVID-19.


looking for the next step in your career path?

start looking now

A lot of people have a wait-and-see approach to COVID-19. They want to wait it out a bit and see what happens before they start looking to re-enter the workforce. But, if you wait too long, you could have challenges finding work. The job market is competitive and there are lots of opportunities right now, as the job market is reopening in many provinces. Take advantage before these jobs are filled by other eager candidates looking to return to work.

make it known you’re looking

In addition to updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, spread the word that you’re looking for work. Adjust the setting on LinkedIn to let recruiters know you are open to opportunities. Update your profile summary to let people know you’re seeking new opportunities. Though COVID-19 has slowed down the job market a little, there are still plenty of companies looking for candidates. Making these changes allows them to find you more easily.

check in with your previous employer

If you really enjoyed working for your previous employer, check in with them to see where they are in the reopening process. Are they going to reopen? When? Do they have a role for you? You could find yourself going back to work in a familiar situation.

connect with your network

Now is the time to take advantage of the professional network you have built up over the years. Send a message to all previous employers you’ve enjoyed working with in the past. Reach out to old colleagues and other people in your network to see if there are open positions in their company.

be open to new challenges and paths

Getting back into the workforce may not mean going back to the job you had previously. Some jobs have changed and even become irrelevant for the time being. Being open to new challenges is important. Think about the types of jobs and industries you’d be open to pursuing. Cast a wider net.

become a stronger candidate

Improving your skills while you search is a great way to become a more attractive job candidate. The types of skills companies are looking for is changing. It has become clear that you need more technology skills, you need to be agile, and be effective at managing change. If you have skill gaps, work on filling them while you’re not working.

consider a temporary role

The range of temporary roles available has evolved a lot over the years. You might be surprised how many temporary or short-term contract roles are available in your field right now. Even if a temporary role is not your dream job, it can fill the void for the time being and ensure you have a stream of income. Grocery, warehouse, and delivery roles are in abundance right now. Consider taking a temp job until you find a more permanent solution.


We’ve never been faced with a situation quite like COVID-19 before. Things are fluid and changing on a daily basis. If you’ve been laid off, the good news is now is the time to start taking steps to get back into the workforce. Be persistent and take the above steps to increase your odds of finding the next step in your career path.

looking for the next step in your career path?