So yeah, God decided it wasn’t enough that I had been looking for a job for over a year (443 days to be exact). Let’s throw a pandemic into the world and see how she deals!
Seriously it’s one more thing that reminds me how fortunate I am. People have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. They are home with their kids, or having to figure out what to do with their kids if they are in an essential job. Some are working at home for the first time, with families and pets their new water cooler partners and crazy co-workers. And then there are those that are disabled and can’t work now. Or are essential, and in a high risk job and having to go out whether they want to or not. So many scenarios of disrupted lives.
Then we have social isolation. Much of life has stopped and those of us who are sticking to the rules are staying home most of the time with infrequent grocery store, restaurant, or drug store runs. For many this isolation is terribly difficult and there is a huge uptick in anxiety and depression.
Being a strong introvert who lives alone, I have been fine. I even like it, Many who know me have said they find that surprising because I enjoy my family and friends and church and town so much and usually have a pretty active life.
But there’s that other side of me who almost feels like it’s my dream world, with comfy clothes and lots of books and TV (thanks to my brother and shared passwords from other family members.) I didn’t really miss TV in the year since I cut my cable, but gee Netflix is fun! For now it is a new habit.
Online life helps a lot, too. While we’ve never lived life this isolated in my lifetime, the world has opened up so much to us via online.
A group of comedy writers, from the Medium.com site I write for, have started an online group and let me hang out with them when I can. I don’t write a lot of comedy, but I certainly appreciate it.
Last Saturday I enjoyed listening to a few of them read their work via Zoom. They are fantastic – and we had New York, Georgia, Arizona, Chicago, and London represented, with me from NC. What a cool way to spend some time. One read a piece about her nudist neighbors, with their house in the background. They were not home at the time, but you could visualize her dilemma.
It has fun to see the faces and the personality of these writers come off the pages.
But the job – that’s the point of this blog entry, right? I’ve seen a definite slowdown in the opportunities offered. This was the first week in a really long time I haven’t filled in at least one application. That did feel disconcerting,
It’s not a complete job search shutdown, though. I had my first online interview this week. I was a bit more nervous than with a normal interview since that technology side was new, but it worked quite well and I quickly felt comfortable with it.
There was also the panic of “What do you wear to an online interview?”, but once I thought about it it wasn’t very difficult to find something appropriate. No heels or suit to contend with. A simple dress and sweater and I felt professional, yet not crazy dressed up when we both knew I was home.
A friend who has been unemployed about as long as me called yesterday morning. It was great to talk to her about her job search and life in the pandemic and share what I have been going through. She had a good job possibility that got put on hold due to the business stopping operations due to coronavirus. Hopefully they will fill that position when they resume regular operations.
Many companies will freeze hiring and more people will be on the job market, due to both losing jobs and coming to terms with their own discontent. I have heard several writers who are hoping before all this over they will be able to quit their day job and write full time. That won’t be happening for me as it’s not a great career lane for me since as a single woman I need benefits like health and disability insurance, but I hope they can make it work in their lives.
I’m feeling a bit as though once this is over, it’s going to feel a bit like a lot of games of 52-card pickup will be going on at the same time on the job market!
I’m trying to figure out if the new funds that will be available for unemployment will impact those of us who have exhausted our unemployment benefits. I suspect no, but since North Carolina’s 12 weeks is less than many states, I thought something could possibly trickle down. So far it doesn’t appear it will, though. But stimulus money – this will be great timing for me!
I’m watching the bank account closely and the good news is that I am still OK. My expenses are certainly down since I am staying home so much and the weather has been mild. Still, a regular salary will be much appreciated.
It all makes it a bit of a dystopian novel, doesn’t it? Though I am waiting for this particular series to end.
If you find yourself out of work or with reduced hours and are struggling, I am around to talk. I’ve learned a lot in this process and am happy to share information or just listen to you vent. Sometimes that helps.
Those of you who pray, I certainly am not adverse to you praying specifically that the right job comes along for me. Pray also for others in my situation, especially my friend who reached out to me yesterday.
In times of uncertainty we need to remember that God is good and gracious and yet still lets us hit the speed bumps. How we respond is a choice. I am still trying to learn what I can learn from this and come out of it better and more useful than before. But one thing I know, you can be happy and somewhat relaxed and still enjoy life as you wait for the next path to present itself. Even in the crazy world of today.
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” – Thomas Edison