As the coronavirus continues to change our daily lives, more and more people are being forced to find new forms of income. People who were once retail employees or restaurant workers are having to look at the skills they have to offer and how those skills can be translated into a job that fits today’s market.
Many people I know have chosen to start driving for home delivery services such as Instacart and DoorDash. Others are looking at doing remote work-from-home-type jobs for various online employers. As someone who has been working in restaurants for the past five or six years, I’m also being forced to wonder what will happen to the job market, and exactly where I will fit into it.
Though there is talk of the state reopening, the months of being unemployed have been hard for many individuals and families. And though unemployment has been raised, as well as extended, it’s not safe for everyone to rely solely on government benefits. This means researching, calling and potentially educating yourself until you find work that is safe and reliable.
For myself, this means taking an online TESOL class to make myself eligible to teach English remotely. For my significant other, it means getting his sales license and jumping into a whole new job market he’s never worked in.
In reality, we’re both having to overcome new challenges, which we had no part in creating for ourselves. Some might say this is life, toughening us up. To us it feels like a push that, though we aren’t thrilled or happy about, we may have needed. It’s possible we had gotten too comfortable in our daily routines. Going to work, watching television, spending our days off sleeping and getting groceries.
Even though it was normal and felt comfortable, it may have been holding us back. I had been questioning leaving my job as a waitress for at least a year, and, come to find out, my boyfriend wasn’t happy at his security job either. We both worked opposite hours and dealt with a lot of stress at our jobs. And now, after being forced to think about what other kind of work we’d like to do to support ourselves, we’re actually learning new, marketable skills and finding jobs that allow us to stay home together.
Maybe it has something to do with sitting at home for months, questioning what I’m going to do with my life besides wait around for the pandemic to end. I’ve come to the realization that I must adapt to the circumstances at hand. There’s no use in waiting, when action can be taken to make things better.
This is something I’m trying to keep in mind as we wait to see how the next few months will unfold. Even though none of us would choose to be in the place we find ourselves in now, that doesn’t mean things should or even will stop progressing.