Kelly’s Story: Job Searching During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Meet Kelly, an attorney who’s living with her family in Branchburg, NJ.

Tell me what it’s like where you live.

For the time being, I’m in Branchburg, New Jersey. The governor ordered everything to shut down, and most establishments—except for the restaurants—are closed.

I’m living with relatives right now.

Do you have a profession?

I’m an attorney by trade, but right now I’m in the midst of a career change. I’m currently looking for a new position in the human resources field. I wasn’t really satisfied with the legal world, so I wanted to do something that was more interesting to me.

There are a lot of transferrable skills between law and human resources, and I’m interested in employment law specifically.

Has your job search been impacted by the coronavirus?

Yes. It’s definitely harder for me to find open positions. A lot of companies are either not hiring right now or hiring has diminished.

What does a day in your life currently look like?

A typical day includes job search seminars and networking seminars throughout the day. I might have a job search seminar at 10am, then a networking meeting at 1pm, and then maybe another job search seminar at 3pm. In between those seminars and meetings, I’m looking for and applying to different positions.

Have you filed for unemployment?

No. I haven’t done so because I had some system issues when I was trying to create an account. I contacted the Department of Labor, but unfortunately no one has gotten back to me yet.

How is your family coping with what’s going on in the world?

They’re doing as well as they can. In addition to wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer, they wear masks when they go out for essential errands, which is not often.

What do you envision for your future?

Full-time employment, with significant pay, at a position I enjoy.

Have you had to dip into your savings to help weather what’s happening?

Yes, I did actually have to use my savings recently. I used what I had to pay for rent and groceries.

What does money mean to you in your life?

Money means freedom to create your own opportunities, such as a business, without relying on others to provide an opportunity for you.

Did you have any money lessons growing up?

Yes. I learned how to save money in a savings account, a money market account, and CD’s.

What does your budgeting look like these days?

My budget is sparse. Most of my money is allocated for food and gasoline.

Are you able to save money right now?

I save a small amount.