Currently, on my desktop, I have a folder labelled “Jobs 2020”. A very simple folder name, but one that has sparked a lot of uncertainty in my life for the past six months. I created this folder at the end of March, a month that was not easy for many people. Our country began to face an unknown disease that came full-force and had left San Francisco, like many other cities, to a paralyzing halt. March was also the month, like many other people, that I was laid-off from my job.
I had just started to adjust to “adult life” since graduating from college and was learning what it meant to work a full-time, corporate position. My days were filled with projects, phone calls, meetings, spreadsheets, and late nights. I experienced many good days and other days that felt like they would never end, the growing pains of starting a new chapter in my life. The feeling of being laid-off was an entirely foreign feeling to me and one that took time for me to grasp. I spent many days in bed after, feeling like a failure while also trying to figure out the state of the world we were now living in. Change was happening whether we were all prepared for it or not. However, it was comforting to know that many people like myself, were struggling similarly and that no one seemed to have the right answers. With this in mind, I soon faced the biggest question that began looming in my head, what is next?
Looking for jobs is anything but an easy task. This includes the behind the scenes of employers looking to hire their perfect candidate. To add on, looking for a job in the middle of a global pandemic, just seemed outright impossible to me. My frame of mind was at an all-time low when I began my job search. Besides my family knowing, I kept the news of my lay-off a secret. It had become a sensitive topic to discuss and one that I had trouble confessing to. In my eyes, it seemed like I would be confessing to something that I did wrong, when in fact getting laid-off was completely out of my control. I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me or to look down on me because of what had happened. This resulted in me being extremely hard on myself and being my own worst enemy. I began applying to jobs nonstop, skipping meals to finish a job application as soon as possible. With every rejection email or lack of response from a company, I took that to heart and let it affect me in a negative way. I wanted to find a job fast and I was beginning to compromise my own mental health and wellness.
I finally realized that I was handling my job search all wrong. Looking for jobs is anything but a linear, easy experience. It’s a process that requires a lot of patience and time. I committed myself to taking the time to research further the companies that were hiring, the roles that were available, and the career path I wanted to follow. I began catering each resume and cover letter to the position that I was applying for, making sure that I was represented well on paper. I became a lot more patient with myself, giving myself the necessary breaks and moments to catch my breath. I even stopped questioning and connecting my worth to my ability to get a job, which made the job search a lot less stressful. Although I’m still job searching, I’ve received positive emails back and chances that I didn’t think would ever come.
I’m a firm believer that when the time is right, things will align and that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.