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 don’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.

For over 20 years my senior level positions were at large media companies in New York City where I commuted from New Jersey. 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 made me cry on the train while commuting into NYC. I felt overwhelmed, over worked and worried about successfully juggling all aspects of my life.

Now that I am home full time, albeit unemployed, (kids are grown) 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? Not 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 recently and I thought this might be the perfect time to start freelance writing. Why not? I can still job hunt, make dinner and exercise in between trying to get a freelance business off the ground. I miss being overwhelmed — I guess you could say its how I idle.

This new gig has been going on for a few weeks and most of my time has been spent preparing the necessary tools so I can be prepared if a project comes my way. To date, I’ve created a logo, designed and wrote this website, created social media pages and profiles where I post and advertise the business, wrote 2 articles which were posted on several sites and sent out an email to 500 targeted individuals.

Of course I have the good fortune to be collecting unemployment right now, which is sort of the seed money I’m using 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 next few months. Stay tuned.

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Published by Amy Sandelman Harris

I am Amy Sandelman Harris - and I love to write about things that people find too personal to discuss, inspiring stories, and provide women of a certain age with the best online shopping resources vetted by me.

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