June 7, 2021

Covid hasn’t ruined your job prospects I promise

Unprecedented times.

Uncertain times.

The year that put the world on pause.

To be honest we have heard it all, and we have lived it… we are still living it! This is the kind of situation where you are forced to sink or swim, and that’s exactly what I have had to do.

I lost the same job twice this year. Now I can laugh about it, but on Wednesday 11th March 2020 when an employee meeting was called, and we were all sacked on Zoom, I was absolutely speechless. No job… just like that, one minute I was working from home and loving rolling out of bed at 8am, and then BANG… unemployed. It was so out of my hands, I couldn’t feel bad or guilty about anything, and so many of us were in the same boat that I had familiar faces in this new world of utter oblivion.

Within 2 weeks I had my job back, and was quickly put on furlough (cheers Rishi). Paid to stay home, wowweeeee, now I could bake and watch Netflix in peace knowing that my bank card wasn’t going to shame me in Aldi by being declined. Though it was sweet for a few weeks… I lie… a few months. After a while I started to recognise the impact of Covid and knew that the events industry that I so dearly loved wouldn’t be making a comeback anytime soon. I would have to fall in love with a new career path. Easier said than done.

I loved working in events, I loved weddings, loved being the MC at music events, and adored the emotion and beauty of a wedding… So what do I do now when everything is closed? The most fun we are having is meeting a friend in the park or experimenting with filters on Zoom. Fun for a while, but that grew stale quickly too. So I baked, sat in the sun, fell in love with a dude in France, and prayed till I knew what I loved and what I could do next.

I began taking every free course I could find about Digital Content Marketing, I watched videos, read articles, studied Instagram pages and started offering my services so I could learn the right terms and sound like a pro. I needed to hear what clients ask for, and get to grips with the apps and endless software. Which ones are free? Which are worth the money? Which should you download for a week and delete after the 7 day trial ends? I called everyone I knew who did Social Media and shamelessly asked for tips, and made notes. Most people will give you half an hour without bitterness… I think.

I came off furlough 1 week before I turned 30, and lost my job 3 weeks after my birthday. Well that wasn’t on the agenda, a company in administration, no cosy furlough to go back to. I was stranded, for real this time. Just as I thought Social Media and Digital Content would be a side hustle it became my only idea for a main hustle. I was as ready as I would ever be for a career change, I had absolutely nothing to lose. I had no redundancy pay, no plan B. I had to make it work, and to my absolute shock… it is working.

It seems companies do reply when you send them personalised emails, and people do hire those who are upfront about their experience. People will risk it for a month if they like you. Work retention?  I will have to see how well I do with that. It’s too early to tell. But so far it has been pretty epic. I invest in my learning both in time and some money too as I want to produce excellent work that will bring in new clients. I sleep less, but honestly I don’t mind, as I chose this work. It feels like lots of cool projects that I get to do, and I get to work with wonderful people too. Having a career change is hard work, don’t get me wrong, but when you do something you love, the saying is true – you won’t have to work a day in your life.

All this is to say, it’s OK to fall flat on your face. It’s OK to not know which way to turn. (Tweet this) Give yourself the time and headspace to dream, and then start. Starting is always the hardest part. There will be times when you feel like ‘I don’t belong here, I can’t do this’. But make sure you speak back to the voice louder – YES I CAN. Keep saying it, and before you know it you’re doing it!

Shakira’s Bio:

A vibrant content writer and social media magician who is passionate about racial equality, delicious food and slow fashion.