Hello friends! We just past the one year mark of when I was let go from my job and thought it would be fun (in the same way that picking a scab until it bleeds, despite the fact that I know better is fun) to do a little update on how I fill my time, how Covid-19 has changed unemployment and job hunting and how it manages to be both the best and most debilitating thing to have ever happen to me.
Is this a feel-good piece suitable to become your next inspo-porn read? I highly doubt that. We live in a hustler-mindset *cough – deep rooted capitalistic* society and a lot of people (some of my acquaintances included) feeling that without a 40 hour work week you’re nothing more than a leech on society. Not that any of my friends would ever directly say that they think that, I know that some of them do. Instead of letting my insecurities and thoughts live rent free in my mind, I thought I would word-vomit them onto my blog.
Unemployment & Covid-19
I can’t speak for those who lost their job due to Covid-19 but I will say that Covid-19 is when there was a real shift in my perspective of thinking that losing my job wasn’t that bad to thinking it really fucking sucks now. Before Covid-19, unemployment opened up so many opportunities to me. I could attend events during the day, travel and catch a mid-day workout class. The fucking irony of pals telling me during the holidays to keep my chin up, 2020 was going to be my year.
I am someone fuelled by being around other people. Whether it’s being able to attend a workout class and high-five someone else between sets, drunk dancing at a concert or making friends with strangers at a communal table, I genuinely love being around people. All that stuff made being unemployed a blast, but since lockdown those things and a no-go and I find myself spending time at home, bored because all of my friends are at work all day.
Job hunting feels as hopeless as online dating – like winning the lottery in the time of Covid-19. Every job posting I’ve looked at is entry level, requires 5+ years of experience and already has hundred of applicants. It’s been disheartening to hear pals complain about how “lazy” they deem people on CERB or EI, but trust me when I say, jobs are SLIM pickings. If I had to guess I would say I have applied for close to 50+ jobs, everything from entry level, to shift work, to short term contracts.
I also had a real “well fuck me” moment earlier this week when two different companies hiring for the same position (with the same title as a position I had previously held) followed up with me. One to say that I was overqualified, the other to say I was under qualified.
Do I still think losing my job was a good thing?
As I’ve mentioned before, losing my job fed into my imposter syndrome and over-inflated every insecurity I’ve ever had about my skills. Worst than any breakup I’ve ever had, losing my job made me painfully insecure to the point where I would look at job postings and decide that I wasn’t smart enough, so why bother applying at all? I worked for a company that seemed like a great place to work on paper but holy fuck was there so much bureaucratic bullshit and mircroaggression. No wonder it fucking hurt. I was told by company that spews bullshit on the daily about being (WASP voice) “women supporting women” that I wasn’t good enough for them. OUCH.
I’ve actually started to attend therapy recently and the topic we discuss the most is how harsh I am on myself since losing my job. Thoughts of being mediocre at best cloud my mind regularly and how could they not? I was told by a mediocre company that I wasn’t good enough for them so my mind correlates that with not being good enough for any exceptional company. Then my fucking shame spiral becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, like manifestation met with a monkey’s paw, where I doubt my abilities so I definitely don’t feel confident showcasing them to any potential employers.
So while losing my job was a good thing because I got to get the fuck out of a toxic workspace, it has also left me feeling stuck, insecure and (for lack of a better word) like I’m a total loser.
Therapy has been helpful to start reshifting my mindset because losing my job made me scared of everything due to a fear of failing. I’m scared to try and find a new job because what if I get let go again? I consider myself fairly adventurous but lately I’m scared to do anything because what if I fail? I don’t even date anymore because being rejected by a mediocre man (at best) will the nail in the coffin for my ego. My therapist did a better job of simplifying all my feels; it’s hard to see the value in putting any gas in the tank because we’re not going anywhere.
So what now?
Well, job hunting continues. It definitely feels very hopeless at the moment so I’ve been using my spare time to brush up on my skill set through taking online courses to really add some oompf to my resume. Right now I’m learning more about SEO and taking some courses on strengthening my photo editing skills.
I am also very privileged to have additional sources of income and it’s nice to have projects to work on. While none of these projects or courses take up a full day it’s my attempt to not get restless in my own home. If I’m being completely honest, I worry about the weather getting colder and being unable to see my friends in safely distanced, outdoor settings so I say yes to every Zoom call, online workout class and virtual happy hour.
Like a lot of people, this time has been very hard on me and I find myself feeling burnt out creatively and just trying to survive. Being in therapy has helped immensely, although I have had to invest a small fortune in it. Here’s something fun, in less than 4 months of therapy I have had to invest more in my mental health than I made in my bullshit 2% raise at my last job. How’s that for perspective?