I Lost My Job During COVID-19
Most Mondays are a struggle for me. I either find myself snoozing the alarm one too many times or turning it off completely and sprinting down the hill to my WeWork office to make up for lost time.
But this Monday was different.
Instead of waking up in my 7’x7’ San Francisco apartment, I found myself in my childhood bedroom in San Diego—bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to start the day.
On March 14th, I had flown home for my final wedding dress fitting. In less than 48 hours, both my wedding and my flight back to the Bay Area had been cancelled. I spent most of the next week frantically searching for a new date that could accommodate our 250+ guests, 8+ vendors, and the upcoming chapel renovations…
By now though, the previous week’s “hardships” had dissipated, and I was starting to see things in a different light…So what if my wedding was postponed? At least I was healthy, surrounded by family, with a job that allowed me to work from home…and one that was going quite well.
The previous Friday had been my best day at the company. I had helped secure two Wall Street Journal articles in one day—something that seemed like every PR professional’s dream. After receiving recognition from my co-workers and managers on Friday, I couldn’t wait to get back online Monday morning.
I skipped down the stairs to grab some coffee and had already received a message from the partner of the company, asking if I could chat with her on Zoom. I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say about my growth and performance the past few weeks…
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m sorry, we have to let you go,” she said. “Our company is experiencing major setbacks from the pandemic and we have no other option…”
I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, practically thinking I was getting a promotion, and instead found myself jobless—worrying about how I was going to pay my San Francisco rent and all of the wedding gifts I had saved for.
Then, my phone rang. It was my fiancé and his best friend from college—now a Franciscan priest. He listened to my disappointments and empathized with my misfortunes, but ultimately reminded me that God always provides.
God always provides.
By pure chance (or perhaps divine intercession), I had an interview scheduled for Wednesday, two days after I received the news. I had been casually looking for new opportunities in the South Bay for when my fiancé and I moved after getting married. I was planning to “wing it” for the interviews and hadn’t prepared much at all. Now the situation was quite different and I tried not to skip a beat.
I studied all day and night for the interviews. I read every article ever published about the company, I knew way too much about the six interviewers from their LinkedIn profiles, and my younger brother resurfaced the 200+ interview prep questions he had received from business school.
I didn’t sleep much the night before. I knew the only way to suppress my nerves was to ask for help. So I said a quick prayer before the interview. I asked God to give me the strength and confidence to do well, only if it was His will.
Suddenly, all the fear and anxiety went away.
There was no longer an overwhelming pressure to perform well and secure the job, even with unemployment rates rising and uncertainty looming. If I didn’t get the job, then it wasn’t His will.
This is something that took me years and years to truly understand and believe. Growing up, I always put so much pressure on myself to succeed. I thought that if I didn’t get into a prestigious college or I didn’t make a team, then I had failed. I’m slowly starting to realize that this is far from the truth. While persistence and hard work are important, prayer and discernment are equally important. Things always fall into place if (and when) it is God’s will.
In this particular situation, it happened to be God’s will. Two days after the interview, on my 26th birthday, I was offered the job. I couldn’t believe it. My hard work had paid off. But more importantly, I knew it was where God wanted me to be.
“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)
A quick disclaimer: Even though things fell into place in this particular situation, it doesn’t mean that they always do. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what direction God wants us to go. Right now, my fiance and I are still trying to figure out what to do about our wedding. We want to celebrate with family and friends, but our desire to be married continues to grow. We are trying to be open to God’s plan, but we still don’t know what that looks like. We’re using this time to prepare ourselves to be the best husband and wife that we can be, but we’re also waiting, praying, and hoping that God will show us the way.
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Kelly lives in San Francisco, CA. She’s a graduate from Saint Mary’s College of California and works as a marketing manager at eBay. Outside of work, she’s either teaching hip hop classes, watching sports, reading, or eating at the infamous Bob’s Donuts.