MY ANGLE: It’s hard finding a job amidst COVID-19

Before COVID-19, I had summer plans like everyone I knew. One of which was to find a job. 

Finding a job was initially my mom’s idea. She thought I would just sit around all of summer, which is probably true. I made a resume with my skills, talents, and personality traits so I could apply, but when the pandemic started, all those plans faded out of my mind. Businesses were temporarily closed, the open ones weren’t hiring. It wasn’t until around July when businesses started opening again, so that’s when I really began my job search.

I started with places local to me. Just a couple blocks away from my house is a coffee shop, butcher and hardware store. All three gave me maybes. I followed up about a week or two later and received the same answers.

I began to look broader and at more corporate businesses. I applied online to Starbucks and Trader Joe’s, but I never heard back. I wasn’t sure if I would find a job before the summer ended. 

However, telling people about my job search helped more than I expected. The more people who knew I was looking for a job, the more opportunities I learned about. Some friends in East Sacramento told me about job openings at a coffee shop called Tupelo and a restaurant called Sellands. I printed out two copies of my resume and went to apply.

I first went to Tupelo. The employees there were very friendly. I gave them my resume; they asked a few questions, saying they’d be in touch with me.

Then I went to Sellands. I walked up to the cashier and asked about the job opening. She took my resume and told me to apply online as well. Once again, I never heard back from either business.

At this point, I started getting really discouraged. I was running out of places to apply to, so I started looking on Craigslist. One job that piqued my interest was a dishwasher at a restaurant called Paragary’s. The ad said “the job required no prior experience and a good attitude.” I went to the restaurant and talked to the manager. Yet when he found out this would be my first job, he said he couldn’t hire me — disappointment yet again.

It was now August, I had no job and no new opportunities. To be honest, I was pretty upset. My day picked up when I received a phone call from my mom on Monday, Aug. 3. She saw an ad for a job fair for a new pizza restaurant in Oak Park, Slim and Husky’s.

Two days later, I was at the job fair. There weren’t a lot of people there, but I was still nervous. I filled out an application then was sent to a room for an interview. After 10 minutes, I left the job fair. The interview went well, and I had high hopes.

Two days passed and I was eating dinner when I got a phone call from the woman who had interviewed me. She told me I had been hired! I was over the moon and honestly so surprised.

I truly didn’t think that I would find a job amidst the pandemic, but I did. It only took me the whole summer. 

Here I am now. I don’t work many hours, but I’m working. I still can’t believe it.

— By Miles Morrow

Originally published in the Oct. 20 edition of the Octagon.