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What does it mean to be a jobless American in COVID?
By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL
“You’ll never please everyone, but you only have to please a few people to get an offer.” — Harvey MacKay
If you’ve never asked for help before, this is the time to start. The shutdowns, furloughs, and layoffs caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 is hurting Americans and the way we’ve become used to living. For the first time, many Americans are lining up at food banks all over the United States. And, the food banks are worried because their supplies are running low, and they, too, are running out. Some food banks may even begin rationing. People accustomed to a weekly paycheck are now running out of cash, taking on big debt, and having trouble meeting their most essential needs. Assistance from landlords, mortgage companies, clothing drives, and medical professionals is part of what’s come to be known as “the new normal”.
Volunteer behavioral health teams are being deployed to support the stressed-out essential workers like medical staff, EMTs and first responders. The challenge of taking care of so many desperately sick people is taking its toll. And to add to that stress, varying degrees of adherence to the social distancing and mask wearing rules are grating on people. It’s just all too confusing. And more people are getting sick.
But our biggest worry is how to come out of this pandemic financially intact. How can we reclaim at least our financial stability in such an unstable environment, where nothing is the same from day to day? Many of us have applied for unemployment and are surviving with the extra $600 per week. But the rules now say, that the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUI) is ending July 31. That’s not so far off. What’s the plan once we are back to the minimum allowable dollar amount for unemployment?
And for small business owners, the confusion only gets worse, what are the new rules for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Employment Injury Disaster Loans? We heard some portion of these loans may be forgivable, but our loan papers spell out the interest rate without any mention of forgiveness. Will Congress approve more dollars to keep Americans afloat, or will we plunge into the life of our grandparents in the Great Depression, hoarding aluminum foil, creating dinners from scraps or bones (the original “bone broth”, so trendy now), wearing coats inside in winter, using meager amounts of water, and patching-up old clothes while haggling for hand-me-downs. What would it be like to return to the days of food rationing coupons, and continued shortages of flour, sugar, butter and yeast? Or raising our own chickens for eggs and meat?
The answer is, we need to find a new way to earn money. If our plant or business is closed, we have to move on. The unemployment checks will eventually run out, and we’ll be facing the food lines and picking through clothing and furnishings at Goodwill on a regular basis. “New” will be a thing of the past. So, how do we find work in COVID? How do we beat the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that stymie us? How do we find out who’s on the inside and who the decision makers are? After so many months of unemployment, how do we gain back our confidence? How do we pass the phone screens after years of never interviewing? What about those video interviews, where there is no person on the other side of the camera? It’s mind boggling to navigate these new rules for job hunting! And we need clarity, now. The lack of knowledge of these basic steps can discourage anyone from even picking up the phone or rewriting a resume.
But, imagine for a moment if there was a way for you to figure out all these new moves now needed in the job-hunting market? Imagine that it’s not impossible to find the job you want; what would that be like for you? Think of yourself already on the other side of food banks and clothing donations. How would that feel? Give yourself a moment to hold that thought in your head.
You may want to learn about a free class to help you with the new twists and turns to getting a job in COVID. There are many professional positions that come up daily. These are not the Amazon warehouse jobs, although there are plenty of those as well. When you decide you are ready to make the move to learn how to find a new job in COVID, you can join the Masterclass.
It’s free, and only lasts one hour. You won’t be the only one there. As of now, 18 other people have signed up. We’d love to have you as well. Register here. Remember, the class is free, but you must register to attend. It will be held Wed, July 15, 2020, from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford.
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Mary T. O’Sullivan – Biography
Mary O’Sullivan has over 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry. In each of her roles she acted as a change agent, moving teams and individuals from status quo to higher levels of performance, through offering solutions focused on changing behaviors and fostering growth.
Mary has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University. In addition, she is also an International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional and has a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching, from the University of Texas at Dallas.
In her leadership and executive coaching, she focuses on improving the executive behaviors that slow down performance and lead to growth, such as soft skills, communication, micro-bias awareness, etc. She has successfully helped other professionals, such as attorneys, surgeons, pharmacists, and university professors, make career decisions to lead to success in their chosen careers. In addition, small business owners have sought Mary’s services to bring their companies into greater alignment, working on their culture, vision, mission, values and goals as well as organizational structure. Mary’s executive coaching has been mainly with large organizations among them: Toray Plastics America, Hasbro, Raytheon Company, Lockheed Martin, CVS Healthcare, Sensata Technologies, Citizen’s Bank, Ameriprise, BD Medical Devices, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, (Newport, R.I.), General Dynamics, University of Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island, etc.
Mary has facilitated numerous workshops on various topics in leadership such as, emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, effective communication, leading in adversity, etc. She has also written extensively on similar topics.
Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from the Society of Human Resources Development. Mary is also an ICF certified Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner, and a Certified Emotional Intelligence assessor and practitioner.
In addition, Mary holds a permanent teaching certificate in the State of New York for secondary education with Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, State University of New York at Oswego and Syracuse University. She is also a member Beta Gamma Sigma and the International Honor Society.
Mary dedicates herself to coaching good leaders to get even better through positive approaches to behavior change for performance improvement.