• PN

Professionally Unemployed

Updated: Apr 10

A few weeks ago I posted an article about getting fired as a tour guide, which might I add was a Christmas present come early. If they hadn’t I probably would have been leading Corona tours around the CBD last Friday with a string of Ruby Princess Cruise passengers in tow. While at the time news headlines for COVID 19 had started to rear its head, I never anticipated the affect would be as severe as flipping off a road-raging baby boomer in traffic. If this analogy doesn’t resonate, one of my bosses likened the affect of COVID 19 on the hospitality and entertainment industry to be standing on the beach when the tsunami hit. Despite now being a seasoned unemployed professional, I find myself in uncharted territory as this time I can’t fuck off to Costa Rica. Which in retrospect, reeks of privilege and entitlement that the world could solve my problems. It didn’t even occur to me that staying was an option until a friend said “well you didn’t HAVE to go...”

If I’m completely honest I was running from a perceived societal truth I upheld that if I didn’t have a full time job I had to be doing something. In just two weeks the effects of COVID 19 have debunked such societal falsities that once felt as real as a plane ticket. When I came back I felt an enormous amount of societal pressure (albeit self-inflicted from my ego) to get swept back up in the rat race. Once again I started a fruitless pursuit of jobs for all the wrong reasons and wondered why no one would employ me when I rocked up to interviews still half damp from the beach. I remember following up with a magazine for a dream writing job following an interview I thought I’d aced. They returned with a hardened email saying they had given the role to a candidate who demonstrated greater interest. They also noted I was under-dressed and clearly under-prepared but they loved my writing, which in any other context would have been nice to hear.

In my spray and pray approach I managed to land a job as a tour guide and gave myself time to figure out what I wanted. This meant that when the right opportunity eventually came I was fucking ready and hungry for it (literally as I was poor and had just been fired). I returned into secure employment just in time for COVID 19 to wreck social upheaval. Leaving 95,000 workers displaced and entire industries in ruin. While I am devastated to have finally found a team and community worth fighting for only to witness it collapse, the amount of resilience, grit, passion and unwavering spirit behind the hospitality and entertainment industry right now is truly inspiring. The profound sense of shared experience makes it feel surreal, and as I pinch myself I’m strangely comforted to know that this time around I’m not the only one in my underpants.

Sending my love and thoughts to all Xx


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