Help wanted...and then COVID hit.

Help wanted...and then COVID hit.

Being unemployed is exhausting.  I feel frustrated about things beyond my control, restless because I don’t have work to do, grieved because I miss my old job / coworkers, and anxious about finding a new job.  Sam M.

With a heavy heart, I am heartbroken to say…it has happened again.  After a really tough year with redundancy in June, I was finally starting to feel like my life was back on track…only to receive bad news a gain.  Last night I was called by my employer to be told that I was being made redundant due to COVID-19.  Jessica L.

One of the campaign topics of the past election was the state of the economy.  We were told that the economy had never been greater until COVID “hit”.  I think everyone has a story related to when COVID hit.  So many plans were derailed (mine included) once the pandemic arrived, yet I wonder how good things were even prior to the onset of the deadly virus.  The quotations from above were posted on LinkedIn recently, which caused me to take a step back and think about where our economy was/is headed.

Yes, the stock market seemed to be performing well.  Of course, I suppose one has to have a significant amount of stock to really care about that.  Many people, and the number seems to be growing each day, are more worried about paying the rent and keeping groceries in the refrigerator.  They say the GDP is looking great lately too.  I’m not sure how GDP tastes at the dinner table and, if eaten, how digestible it is.

Although the money faucets seem to be flowing well for some, for many others it’s been but a drip.  When it comes to getting ahead, the masses are faced with so many “isms’” every day to contend with.  Those “isms” include racism, sexism, ageism, not to mention the ever-present nepotism and cronyism.  It seems like the isms are now impacting middle America more and more, which may be playing a key role in the general unhappiness, if not depression, many are currently experiencing.

As good paying jobs are being replaced by those with low wages (if not robots), all is not lost.  EIN (Employer Identification Number) applications are way up!  More and more unemployed and under-employed, yet quite capable, workers are now opting to start their own businesses.  Those I speak with who are venturing out on their own feel that if they are going to get kicked around, at least the potential for personal fulfillment is greater than when there’s a blow-hard boss to report to each day.

Having worked on both sides of the work fence (corporate and entrepreneurial) I can say first-hand that the stress of inconsistent income takes a while to adjust to.  On the other hand, when the dollars finally arrive, the scent of those dollars is a lot sweeter than the dollars that a company sends every two weeks simply because that’s what you’re owed.  The pride associated with an entrepreneurial success is unmatched by any success I experienced in corporate America.

Years ago, while interviewing a candidate for a sales position, I commented that I had been with the company for nearly 20 years.  He looked at me and, with the biggest smile, said to me, “Wow, I’ll bet you have a ton of funny and interesting stories you could tell after working here for that long!”  I looked at him and froze…because I couldn’t think of even one funny or genuinely interesting thing that had happened over the years.  How sad is that?  Since venturing over to the entrepreneurial side of the fence, I don’t have enough time to articulate all of the fabulous stories!  At least not here!

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