People have always said that you need to always expect the unexpected. But what happens when the unexpected hits you to the ground?
My name is Liz. I recently went from having a well-paying and promising job to being unemployed, due to the pandemic.
Here is my story, the lessons I have learned, and my advice to you.
I have always loved interacting with people from all walks of life, and in one way or another, impacting their lives. Throughout my career, I have realized that this has become more pronounced.
I was at the top of my career and looking forward to going even higher this year. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get fired – at least not like this. Even when it became clear that this was a global pandemic, I believed that the worst that could happen would probably be a 20-30% pay cut. Deep down, I think part of my belief was fueled by fear of the future without a job. My job, was everything to me.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and landed an internship at a local radio station soon after.
The internship opened me up to numerous opportunities. I got to interact with various individuals. This fueled my desire and love for customer relations.
After my internship, I moved to a pay-TV service in Nairobi. While I loved the job, I felt it was not the right place for me. I did not want to be involved in hard sales.
After a while, I landed a job at an automobile company as a Customer Service representative. The position was entry-level, but I knew I could grow within the organization. So neither the pay nor the position bothered me. After all, I was doing what I loved.
After a year in that role, I got my first promotion. Another year later, I got another promotion. This year, I had my eyes set on something even bigger.
For this, I knew I had to add on to my skill set. My degree would not be enough. I had my eyes set on polishing my communication skills with a Public Speaking Class.
My plan had always been to be employed for at least 10 years, and then hopefully, work for an international firm while running my own business.
Life had it differently for me, I got fired after 5 years.
Two weeks prior to the day I was fired, the first case of coronavirus in the country was announced. I didn’t think much of it and went on with my normal work routine. A few days later, the president asked employers to let their employees work from home.
We did this, and although it was hard at first, I adjusted to the new normal there was. During this time, many of my friends in different organizations talked about they were experiencing pay cuts, while some of them had to take up unpaid leave. I was grateful that I got to keep my job.
Then I was called in for a meeting at the office the following week. I thought this was odd, especially because we were conducting all our meetings virtually. Nevertheless, I went.
During the meeting, my boss talked of how good I had been at my job, and how I was an asset to the organization. He went on to inform me that due to the pandemic, the company was not making any money, and because of the nature of my role at the moment, they had to let me go. He told me that that day was going to be my last day, then asked if I had any questions.
This was on a Tuesday.
I left the office without a word, packed my things, and left the building premises.
The constant question that kept playing in my mind was, “How was I going to survive?”
I could not bring myself to tell my friends that I had been fired because I did not want to be pitied. With many people working from home, it is difficult to know who has been laid off and who is working from home, because we are all home. So that has been a little comforting for me.
All I knew was, life had to change immediately.
After I got fired, I knew I needed a source of income. I decided to look for latest jobs in Kenya, though I knew they won’t be numerous opportunities because of the pandemic. I applied for a few and I continue to wait for feedback.
I have also enrolled for a free online short course on Digital Marketing, to boost my skillset and get me out of boredom. I am sure these skills will come in handy.
Being fired taught me a lot of life lessons. My biggest one is to always have an exit strategy. Never think you will be employed forever. Plan ahead, invest in education and save as much as you can. Always save for a rainy day. It might just come as unexpectedly as mine did. A year ago if you told me that there would be a virus that would disrupt what we all knew and held dear to us, I would never have believed you.
Invest in education, take up short courses and develop new skills, and most importantly, have an exit plan.N.B: 1.Dont Miss Out On Your Next Job. Let's Have Your CV. Upload Your CV Here. NB: 2. Advance & Grow In Your Career?. Check Out Best short Courses For You.