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The Millennial Side of the Shutdown

It takes the average person just over eight weeks to find and accept a new job, that’s over two months, or to be more exact, a total of 71 days or even longer (1). This may not seem like a long time to an already employed person, but to an unemployed person that’s 71 days without consistent income, without health insurance or wondering how they’re going to pay for rent, gas, or groceries. The list can go on, but since COVID-19 has happened, the phrase I hate the most, yet the most true, “you are not alone, we’re in this together,” has been spread throughout Los Angeles. 

I lost my full-time job shortly after the New Year, I lost my income, my health insurance, and in my mind: everything. I was scared. How was I going to make rent? How was I going to make my car payment? How was going to get groceries? Within the next three days I edited my resume, my website, filed for unemployment, and started applying to new jobs. 

During this time early COVID-19 rumors were starting to creep through, but I was so focused on being money hungry and making sure I made bills on time, I skimmed through news alerts on Twitter and AppleNews. I was doing Lyft, a lot because the only way to make “good” money while doing Lyft was to do it for at least five hours or longer. I was slowly being exposed to people I did not know, to where they’ve been, seen, or touched. 

Along with doing Lyft, I was doing what I could to find a new job: spending hours applying for positions, taking time to fill out the “why do you want to work here” or “what’s your career goal” questions, getting interviews, sending personal emails, sending thank you emails, follow up emails — yet, I would either get an automatic decline email, would not hear back from the company or would not make it past the 1st or 2nd or 3rd interview. 

I told myself not to give up, on my 37th day of unemployment I was supposed to have my third interview at a great public relations agency and I had a strong feeling that this was it. However, starting that day is when Los Angeles went into lockdown, people started working from home and interviews got put on ‘hold’ — including mine.

When quarantine started in Los Angeles, I was scared, I knew if I didn’t continue to do Lyft to add to my unemployment fund, I would not make my bills on time. So, I did probably what most people in Los Angeles county are doing right now to make ends meet, I signed up for Postmates and DoorDash. As it does help, I hate that I’m stuck doing this kind of job instead of doing something in my educational field. Instead of emailing clients or sending out packages to influencers and celebrities — I’m driving around Los Angeles with a mask and gloves, grabbing take out orders, and delivering door to door. But, we have to do what’s necessary. 

I started to research how many other people were affected by this, I found an article published in the Business Insider, “Nearly 60% of people who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus pandemic are women, account to report” by Connor Perrett last month. Perrett mentions how, like said in the title, 60% of women experienced the loss of their job, that’s 60% of the 701,000 that the Department of Labor reported who have lost their jobs within the last two months due to the virus (2). I may have not gotten laid off like the other 402,600 women did, however, I am too affected by COVID-19 because of the future of my career. Positions were being put on hold, interviews were being canceled or companies decided to scrap the position altogether. 

I mentioned earlier about it takes the average person 71 days to find and accept a new job, but that was only a dent (1). An article published on Money, “Here’s How Long It Takes to Get a Job,” back in 2015 by Martha C.White, she mentions how it can take 71 days to fill in a “c-level” job, but when someone is looking for a job title with “vice president” or “director” in it, it can take almost 76 days (2). White adds, “an average of 59 people apply for each open position, but only 12% manage to snag an interview. She also states, with 17% of the applications who are interviewed are offered a job, but this part can take more than three weeks and on top of that, if you aren’t the company’s first choice, could take longer because roughly one in 10 people turn down the offer (2). 

I’ve been unemployed for just about 71 days now, it’s hard to think that may have changed just over a month ago if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t happened and I would have had that third interview. As May 15th is approaching, I’m still worried that quarantine is only going to even get more extended and we’ll be stuck in this longer than we expected. I can only hope when the 15 finally does come, that this will be over and we can start going to back normal, instead of the “new normal.” 

SOURCES: 

  1. White, Martha C. “Here’s How Long It Really Takes to Get a Job.” Money, 22 Oct. 2015, money.com/how-long-it-takes-to-get-hired/.
  2. Perrett, Connor. “Nearly 60% of People Who Have Lost Their Jobs Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic Are Women, According to Report.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 8 Apr. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-unemployment-women-60-percent-2020-4.
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