Monthly Memo – I’m officially unemployed

Well, this is an awkward one. I bet you thought this monthly memo would be just another life update from quarantine, but really it’s a ‘my first month as an unemployed person’ on top of that! Oh, the joys. Life is weird right now. I’m making noodles to eat while I write this because I have such a hard time wrapping my head around all the little things I need to say. Snacks make it easier. This is your 1 minute warning, if you don’t have a snack, go get one! Then, read on.

So, unemployment. Usually an involuntary thing, isn’t it? Technically, that’s not what happened here. Way back in February I was really struggling with my job. I knew it wasn’t a good fit anymore and that I needed to move on, but, as you may remember, I was doing a course through work. I didn’t want to sacrifice all the progress that I’d made, so I handed in my notice to end once the course did. The team completely understood because, like I said, we just weren’t a good fit anymore. So, for awhile, everything was good!

What was the plan?

I didn’t just hand in my notice with no new job. Originally, I planned to go back to tour guiding while I set up a freelance digital marketing business. I was also monitoring jobs that came onto the market and applying for any that seemed like a good fit. At the time, Edinburgh still had a huge tourism industry, and then…

The new ‘c-word’

Enter: coronavirus. It seems silly now but in January and February I didn’t think anything was going to happen. It’s not that I didn’t think it was a big deal or that it wouldn’t spread, I just thought the UK wouldn’t go into lockdown. Low and behold, we went into lockdown four weeks before my notice was up. At least I had a few weeks to wrap my head around it and prepare, right? And, I still had a bit of an income for awhile. Now, I’ve been unemployed for almost three weeks.

So, what now?

In those weeks I’ve flip flopped about what to do about a million times. The first week I took completely off. I hadn’t fully settled into what was going on in the world, or my life. We had a trip home cancelled, our wedding postponed, and all sense of ‘life security’ has just disappeared. All of this happened while I was still working and I just never came to terms with anything. That week off really helped me be okay with it and do the things I had to do.

The past few weeks, I’ve applied for jobs, then received the ‘actually we’re not hiring because it’s a pandemic’ email. Or, just regular rejection emails. Nothing is worse than applying for jobs. I spend hours on cover letters that only get tossed aside and fill myself with imposter syndrome only for it to be reassured by constant rejection. It sucks and it sucks even more because there’s only a handful of jobs being advertised right now, so the rat race is realer than ever.

On the positive side of things…

I know I’m not in the worst position. There are tons of people who have just graduated with heaps of debt and no jobs to help them repay it. Meanwhile I have some savings, I have a partner with a good job and a family that can help out if it comes to it. I also have a few contacts who want to meet (once we can) to discuss digital marketing for my freelance business. All in all, I’m okay. If it weren’t for coronavirus, I’d be in a pretty good position tour guiding and building a business on the side, but it’s tough right now.

I have all the time in the world to set up websites, Instagrams, plan content and make a business plan for my freelancing. But, a lot of days I just can’t even think straight. If someone asks me about my wedding, or when I can visit my family again, or how long coronavirus will last, my brain literally switches off. I spent a whole day last week on hold with Westjet trying to get $1600 back for our cancelled flight to Canada, they told me to sue them. Tomorrow, I’ll get to sit on the phone with my bank to try to get a chargeback.

ArcticSabrina content’s time to shine!

At the very least, I’ve been able to finally make all the things I’ve wanted to make. I’m consistently posting videos on the ArcticSabrina YouTube channel again, something I haven’t been able to do since I was at uni. And, I’ve started branching out to IGTV and filming makeup and styling videos, which is so fun. Finally, I’m starting a new e-Newsletter project which will simultaneously bring joy and teach me more about email as a platform – though the newsletter is strictly no marketing. And, as always, I’ll be sharing weekly blogs on here at 6pm every Friday… Except I’ve revamped my content calendar to include more personal styled posts, something I’m sure monthly memo readers will be glad to hear!

There’s a lot of new stressors in life that weren’t there before. I think we should all be a little more gentle with ourselves, and take our wins wherever we find them.

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