The Pandemic of Covid 19 has been damaging to all of the United States on so many levels. For those who have contracted Covid 19 and suffered, and are still suffering, my prayers go out to you for a speedy recovery.
For those who have lost loved ones, there is no measure of condolences I can give to you that will ease your pain, therefore I say I am terribly sorry for your loss.
Thankfully, no one in my family has contracted the virus, and I have two sons and a future daughter-in-law who are essential workers. Like most essential workers, they’re working non-stop. Thank you to all Essential Workers out there for everything!
And then there are those of us who are suffering financially in all of this. And, let’s face it, it’s pretty much all of us. Be it loss of careers that will never recover or having to reinvent yourself to find a new career. This is what I am addressing today in this Blog: my personal experience! I’m offering advice and some solutions for all. This is achievable regardless of what you’re hearing on the news in these trying times.
I was sent home from my retail position as the Estee Lauder Companies Manager at Lord & Taylor on Saturday, March 14. The King of Prussia mall and all stores were closing due to a mandate from Governor Wolf because of the Coronavirus.
To be honest, I was shocked, appalled, and in disbelief, that this was happening to me. Little did I know, the upcoming months would bring more of the same.
As some of you know I have always had 2 jobs, one full-time and one part-time. This was due to a lay off in 2012, and I was experiencing the difficulties of being not only downsized, but also a middle-aged woman.
So, I first took a part time job at Macy’s in their cosmetics department at Clinique while I was continued to look for a new career.
I decided to get my Health Insurance license and work for the new health care options put forth with the creation of the Affordable Care Act. I decided that stopping there wasn’t an option, so I also studied and took the test to get my Life Insurance and Property and Casualty licenses. I started a new career in insurance full time and left Macy’s to work as a makeup artist directly for Clinique part time.
All of this took me on a career journey that was both exciting and intriguing and was such learning experience. I discovered that it’s never too late to start a new career!
By 2018 I was offered the position at Lord and Taylor to manage the Estee Lauder, Clinique and Bobbi Brown counters. I was now selling insurance part time and working every year during open enrollment for Medicare for Humana. Since this was where I had started my insurance career, I went back every year!
In March of 2020 Covid-19 struck and I was forced to stay at home, and was then eventually out of work. There were so many questions! Would retail survive this? Would Lord & Taylor? With the new owner as of 2019, what would they do? Most importantly, was I going to have a job to go back to when this is over?
Here is what I have learned on how to survive a career change: always have an alternative part time option! I had insurance, plus management experience, plus cosmetics experience as my most recent jobs. So, where to go from here was my next hurdle. Do I redo my resume? Do I change my career choice? What other experience do I have that can help with other career opportunities?
Yes, to all of this and more! So, this is what you do:
- Rewrite your resume, update all your experience, add any new trainings you completed
- Look at all available options in the job market, read all postings carefully and thoroughly, and have a cover letter that relates to every individual job.
- Be open to other career paths that are similar to what you know and have experience in, but always remain aware that it may be in a different field
- Network! – Reach out to current and past colleagues who could be potentially recommendations or give input on available positions
- Follow up on all applications and interviews opportunities quickly! Response time is key!
- And lastly, don’t give up!
I started all of this and more back in mid-April as I knew it was not going to be an easy or flourishing job market. Plus, I had feeling that my current company was struggling, and that I may not be called back.
This has all awarded me my full-time management position on Monday, August 17th in the Health Insurance industry for Medicare open enrollment. I also took a part time position in my passion field, Cosmetics!
As I said in the beginning, I have learned to always have two jobs to survive in this world. If nothing else, we all should have learned this year that life can chance in an instant.
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