I was put on furlough during the pandemic in my tourism-field job.
That furlough was then prolonged for months, and then eventually I had to search for another job to keep myself afloat.
I updated my resume and started to look for another job.
The job searching was awful, I sent dozens of applications with no results.
I asked friends, families, acquaintance, to no avail.
The tourism industry is sinking in a pandemic.
My eleven years of experience in tourism industry felt useless now.
When I read news in internet, it became more disheartening.
Not only in Indonesia people having difficulties finding jobs. It happens all around the world.
I read in UK there was an opening for a receptionist positions, and more than a thousand people apply. Some applicants are way too over-qualified.
I read about a pilot who was grounded and start selling noodles to make money.
I even thought about how awful the situation was for sex worker who lost their livelihood in Thailand. What a funny thoughts.
During the period of job searching, I filled my time by working in a petshop, as a cashier.
Petshops stayed open during pandemic because it is considered an essential business.
It was long hours, and so far away from where I live. I had to take a two-hour train ride each commute. So it took me a total of four hours vice versa.
It was excruciatingly time-consuming.
I barely had time to sleep.
However, I got a chance to learn about some dog breeds and play with the owner’s poodle.
I also learn how expensive it could be to have a pet, from their vaccines to their needs of grooming. I wonder if I would ever have the resources and energy to have a dog.
I survived for about a week working there, before my body gave up from exhaustion.
One day my good friend Cindy told me about a job posting in twitter because she knew I was actively looking for one. So after four months of furlough, and a discouraging period of job searching, I consider myself lucky to find a job in a legal startup as a sales consultant.
Eventhough the pay was not quite as high as I hope, there is one big perk of getting this job. It allows me to work from home.
It is so ideal for me.
Even if the pandemic is over, the job still can be done from home.
I can just stay home and working in front of my computer.
I feel like I don’t ever want to commute to work, ever again!
Although at first I am having difficulties adapting to new things, I found myself enjoying and thriving at what I do.
I do not posses any knowledge about anything legal-related so I had to learn from scratch in this job. After a rocky two months I was their top sales performers.
But after a while I notice that there is a high turnover rate going on in this company. Team mates were just in and out, pressure was high, working hours was long. Plus, it is quite challenging to work on team communications if you all work from home.
One time, I got myself in some troubles that made my chief yelling at me.
I cried when it happened that evening.
I was so upset and thinking about searching new jobs.
I felt like I could not last another minute working for this person who was just yelling at me furiously in front of everybody. It kind of hurt my feelings.
But I got discouraged. Will I ever find a job that is working from home again? I doubt it.
It is difficult enough to find any job amid pandemic, let alone a WFH one.
But I have no choice, it is a crazy job-hunting world out there. I am not ready for another disappointments.
To one of my team mates, I expressed my concerns about the high turn-over rate. I told her, I am going to say “welcome to the jungle” to the next person they hire as a new team member.
Today in this mid February, after the long lunar new year weekend, I finally say that phrase to our new marketing team member.
It is indeed a wild jungle here.