Unemployed During COVID-19

I had a great coaching call today, so I thought I would share a little. The situation is all too common right now. I spoke with a woman of 50 who lost her job recently. She graduated from high school and never sought higher education because she had a job and was married, focusing on raising her children. Her main function at her job was data entry. She is very worried about the lack of variety that many younger people bring to an employer on their resume. How employable is she when he has done the same thing for 30+ years? And how can she make what she was making at her last employer?

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Now, I know all of this sounds pretty depressing. When we talked, she was telling me how she cried through lunch with her daughter yesterday, because she does not know what to do.

Here is what we discussed, and I hope it can be motivating. I know many people are in the same situation and do not know where to begin.

Option one:

Take every bit of skill and everything you have learned from your previous job(s). Are you a team player, did you do any training or coaching? Did you learn another position to take over when someone was out sick or on vacation? Think outside the box and think of skills that were developed that may not fall 100% in the job title. Did you have any leadership roles or responsibilities? There are reasons why you have had that job for 30 years.

Option two:

Do you have any idea how many job skills you acquire as a parent? You are running a whole organization. You know inventory management, purchasing, time management, you have developed organization skills, leadership, and scheduling.

Option Three:

What community involvement have you had over the years that have taught you valuable skills that can transfer to the job marketplace? Did you volunteer anywhere? What did you do with the organization that taught you new and marketable skills? The organization, event planning, fundraising. How about your church or other affiliations?

I know this is a place that many never imagined they would be. Now is a time to not freeze in your fear. It is time to think outside the box and see what opportunities can open for you. Is there anything you ever dreamed of doing but did not have the time to investigate it before?

It seems to be human nature to argue for our limitations and not think about all the gifts we have acquired over the years that can open new doors for us now. When you can approach employers feeling confident in your years of acquiring skills, you already have something going for you. Take a personal inventory. Not all at once, but keep a list and jot down things that occur to you as they pop into your mind. You have accomplished a lot more over the years than you give yourself credit. You can take all of these and work them to your advantage.

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Instead of thinking, “I have only done one thing my whole life,” expound on all that you have done. Now is a great time for a change. In some ways, we have all been forced into it. Instead of settling for the only thing, you think you can do, look at how you can create something new and amazing for yourself and your family. Let inspiration flow. If you are feeling overly worried and distraught you may miss the clues. I know this is a hard time. Even though, still try to find joy and satisfaction in everyday with what is going well or seems good. This will leave you more open to feeling the inspiration and impulses that can land you at the right place at the right time. Do not count limitations look for numerous opportunities.

Is this a Trial or an Opportunity?

One thing so many people were asking for was more Time. More time with family, more time to complete project and hobbies, more time to be able to create something new.

In March 2020 we were given just that. With Stay-at-Home orders given around the globe, people were given more time. But did it feel more like a difficult challenge or a blessing?

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Many people have the challenge of working form home and homeschooling simultaneously. Others have more time on their hands than they know what to do with.

No matter how you look at it we are all now allotted more time. For me, still working a 40-hour workweek I now have an addition 2-hours a day that used to be my daily commute.

The interesting aspect of the social restrictions are the new opportunities that can come from such a drastic change. As people close their doors and the world slows way down, it gives us a chance to evaluate where we are, where we want to be, and who we want to be.

We currently have 36.5 million unemployed in the US. That is a scary number. If you did not lose your job, then you know someone who has. We are all affected by it. It is scary for most because you do not know what is next. When everything is looking bleak it can be difficult to think to yourself, “Everything is working out for me”. It can be challenging to look with hope to the future.

Everything is changing. How we work and conduct business will be different. 64% of people polled who are currently working from home want to continue remote work when business reopen. This will force a change in how business is conducted. What we do next may be different. We are facing an unknown future. How to look toward this future will make a difference. What you choose to focus on, think about, and believe will determine what happens next in your world.

You have two choices; one, you can keep creating the familiar past, or two, you can look to the future and rewrite your chosen path. I think this is a great opportunity to reach for something you have always dreamed of doing. I am not just talking career wise. You may be happy with that you are or were doing. Maybe you dream of getting in shape, maybe you dream of expanding your circle of friends. You can volunteer somewhere that interests you. Many paths can cross, and new opportunities discovered.

Take some time to sit with yourself and dream of what can add joy to your life. For example, I get this next week off for a long overdue vacation. I have decided that I will write one piece of something that uplifts and inspires each day. I already write every day to work on completing my book. This is just for the blog. No ulterior motives to convince people to buy something or sign up for anything. My blogs are just there to uplift, encourage, and hopefully inspire people to be the best, authentic versions of themselves. To be encouraging to anyone who crossed my path during these uncertain times.

I do not want to see people getting stuck in depression, worry and anxiety. Those feelings will trap you in a static life. When you seek joy or at least small moments of satisfaction you experience more clarity of thinking and you can begin to open yourself up to new ideas, people, and opportunities.

Love & Blessings,
Ashley J. Spurgeon