We can all 100% agree COVID-19 fucked up everyone’s 2020. Remember when we were all like, “2020 vision” or some crap? Same. I laugh at that so much now. 2020 straight up said, “LOL JK. U THOUGHT.”
Travel plans got canceled, weddings are virtual or rescheduled, and visiting family is such a weird thing to do. But what about when it comes to your career? According to this report, 13.3% of Americans are unemployed. The question on my mind is, will this ever, and when will this all get better? Not for a long time, right?
I asked three friends of mine about their COVID experience when it came to their careers.
Honestly, doing better each day! Stress has gone down, happiness has risen. And just turned 24, so that’s fun. Quarantine birthday is definitely a different experience, but glad I was able to see some friends!
I’m managing! It’s been a really strange and difficult time for everyone but all things considered, I’m doing pretty alright.
Very overwhelmed and exhausted. I definitely underestimated how my body was going to feel after not working for so long. Taking it day by day, but definitely in need of some R&R and possibly a 5-hour massage.
Bay Area Blogger, Artist, Beauty/Fashionista who we STAN. Available for job opportunities, aaaaay.
You quit your job during COVID. Why and what was that like for you?
Long story short. I didn’t like working for the company I was with. The position also didn’t generate any growth for me within the company, for my career, and for myself in general. I’ve always been a creative person (or at least I always try to be), and this job definitely didn’t allow any creativity.
Deciding whether or not to quit was a tough decision because with COVID, finding a company that’s hiring (for a position that I would want) is hard. Do I leave even though I won’t have an income? Or do I stay, but have my mental health suffer every day?
How are you dealing with the aftermath, and how are you keeping busy in the meantime?
Sometimes I do stress about not having a steady, livable income since I’m unemployed. During Shelter in Place, my position was put on furlough, and like many others, I found passion in many hobbies. Because of this, I was able to uncover things I really enjoyed doing and had an idea of what I want for my future.
Although I don’t see myself actually making a career out of it, I have been doing these outline drawings for people since I’ve been out of work. So that’s given me some pocket change that I’ve been saving.
There’s a stigma for people who quit their only job. I know this is still super fresh, but what’s your take on leaving your situation when you know you want to?
Yeah, it was a hard decision to make. I definitely thought about what other people would say about me: “damn, she really quit her job with no other job lined up??” But to be honest, people don’t know my story unless they ask me. I mean, I wouldn’t just quit a job for no reason. I think as long as you have a very solid reason to leave, you should. Not gonna lie, I even Googled, “Should I quit my job?”
I already knew about 6 months into working there that I wanted to quit, especially when I realized my morals don’t match up with the company. But the second I stepped foot into that building on my first day back from furlough, I immediately got a headache, and my anxiety kicked in. I knew at that moment that I had to leave, and so I did. I mean, ideally, I would’ve had a backup, but I couldn’t stay any longer. But I’m optimistic enough to know an opportunity will present itself.
Trust your gut. Read yourself.
Bay Area Digital Producer Extraordinaire who you’ll want on your team for all the quality content. Open for job opportunities, HELLOOOOO.
You went into COVID without a job. What was that like?
So before the pandemic, I was unemployed in the sense that I didn’t have a full-time job. I would typically get by week to week doing small freelance video work. Of course, I was also applying to jobs, and it was pretty easy to find places hiring in my field.
Leading up to the Shelter in Place orders, I felt pretty good about the interview processes of a handful of companies. I actually had a pleasant interview the weekend before those orders were put in effect, but because of the circumstances at large, those processes couldn’t progress. It was frustrating, but it was out of my control. I still look at job postings, but new ones are noticeably less frequent.
What have you been doing during quarantine to keep busy?
I started taking courses on Skillshare, an online learning platform for creatives. I’ve been taking the opportunity to try and learn new skills and build on my existing ones. It’s been really fun learning about stuff I never picked up in school or at my previous job. This is what I’ve been binge-watching during the quarantine, although there’s definitely still a lot of other shows and anime in between.
I’ve also picked up streaming on Twitch, which has been a ton of fun. I have a giant backlog of stuff to play, so it’s been nice to do that and also learn some live streaming software along the way. It’s given me a small sense of normalcy, too, because it’s almost like making myself a mini-set at home.
What career are you looking for/thinking to pursue now?
I honestly think I’m still in the same boat. I still want to do video work. All of this downtime has made me more excited to get back into it.
Bay Area Hairstylist | MUA
AKA IF YOU’RE LIKE ME AND NEED YOUR HAIR DONE, THIS IS IT. SHE IS IT.
COVID pretty much f’d everyone’s plans, but for you personally, how did it affect your business?
The first month was definitely stressful, I wasn’t eligible for unemployment until late April. Also, the fact that people may have been attempting to DIY their hair at home is always a scary gamble. I was still able to get my clients their products and root touch up kits, though, so thankfully, we were still able to order online.
How’d you keep yourself busy and keep your business running during SIP?
I definitely took up some new hobbies during SIP. I started doing water coloring and practicing yoga. I also took advantage of all the free online education available to hairstylists to come back to work with new tips and tricks.
Now that things are slowly opening back up and you’ve had a chance to see a few of your clients again, what’s that experience like with having to take a million times more precautions?
It’s been an adjustment with the masks for sure. I think all of my clients hate it too, but that’s how it has to be for now. I am definitely overwhelmed with the number of clients trying to book appointments, but I am so grateful because, before the SIP, I was still building my clientele. I was definitely worried about losing clients through this time, so now that I’m pretty busy at work, I feel blessed.
For more of a deep dive on unemployment, Forbes did this article about the “Pre And Post Coronavirus Unemployment Rates By State, Industry, Age Group, And Race.” Y’know, if you’re into facts + figures!