Pivoting During the Pandemic

Like many of you who are reading this article, I was laid off when the pandemic hit. It basically killed off my company’s main revenue stream so most people were laid off, the office closed and the remaining employees worked from home.

I spent weeks trying to find a new job through online sites like Indeed, Zip Recruiter and Linked In. I easily sent out over 100 resumes for positions that I specifically targeted for their location, type of work, required experience, and salary.

Yet with all of these filters, 9 out of 10 jobs popped up that didn’t fit most of my criteria. I have worked since I am 14 tears old (part-time), and full time since college graduation. I never left a job without having another one lined up. I am serious about my career and have always gotten a great deal of self-worth from it. I became less optimistic about my job opportunities and thought the time might be right to pivot during this unending pandemic.

For over 20 years my senior-level positions were at large media companies in New York City where I commuted from New Jersey (view my glamorous career in magazine publishing here.). The hours were long and also included attending lots of evening events. And did I mention I was also raising 2 kids at the same time?

Sometimes the hectic schedule I was keeping was just too much and I would cry silently on the train ride while commuting into NYC. I felt overwhelmed, overworked, and worried about successfully juggling all aspects of my life.

Now that I am home full time, albeit unemployed, with my kids now adults it is a huge change and I find myself once again feeling overwhelmed. How many hours a day does it take to send out resumes? No more than 3 or 4. To fill the gap, I make nightly gourmet dinners from the NY Times Cooking app, exercise daily so I am in the best shape of my life and I read one book a week.

Despite these activities, I still felt unfulfilled. I still needed a project or a challenge to focus on. I gave thought to my professional dreams from my early days. In my teenage years, I dreamed of being Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer, becoming an anchor on network news. It seemed like you had to be smart and glamorous. At the time, I thought I was both.

However, in college, I didn’t gravitate towards journalism and the dream fizzled. But not the writing. I absolutely love to write and have always gotten accolades at my jobs for writing well.

How I Pivoted During the Pandemic

The incredible quiet caused by the quarantine gave me the space to self reflect on where I am and what the next phase of life could be. My “AHA” moment came and I thought this might be the perfect time to pivot to having my own business in writing by starting a blog. Why not? I can still job hunt, make dinner and exercise in between while writing stimulating posts about life, politics, travel, beauty, and more personal stories. I missed being overwhelmed — I guess you could say it’s how I idle.

This new gig has been going on for a few weeks and it forces me to think about what’s important to me, pick a topic, do the research and write the post. It’s almost like keeping a diary.

Of course, I had the good fortune to be collecting unemployment during the start-up timeframe which was sort of the seed money used to start the business and to meet my personal expenses.

This is a professional pivot that could end up making my dreams a reality or then again you might find me sitting behind a desk, bean-counting in the future. Stay tuned.

Update

It’s been almost two years since I started my blog and by all measures, it is well received. I have a big following on Instagram, and about 40 subscribers. If you are a woman of a certain age and want to be informed and entertained subscribe to my blog now.

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Published by Amy Sandelman Harris

Welcome to our community for "Women of a Certain Age." We are definitely not sitting on the sidelines growing older gracefully. We are the biggest demographic in the country, and with that comes financial strength, and power. Our voices influence culture, politics, style, travel and so much more. And these are the subjects I'll be tackling. I hope you enjoy and share my blog.

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