It was May of 2021. I had just gotten my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the pandemic was on the downswing in Colorado, and we were just coming out of an incredibly snow filled winter. I had only moved to the day shift of my previous job after a medical incident that left me fairly incapacitated about four months ago, and being on the day shift was my one way to look for jobs.
The stress from my job was getting to me. Returning to day shift in a frontline position meant effectively being the “mask police” for hundreds of people a week. The Delta variant had just been identified in the States, and its presence along with the alpha mutation caused me to be nervous and fear for my life. I would often end my shifts by getting unaffordable takeout and browsing YouTube videos.
Beyond the issues in relation to COVID, my previous employer had all the trappings of a bad retail position. Management would foster a “family” environment among the rank and file, only to use it against us when members of our “work family” called out for a particular shift, and offered little in regards to mental health when it came to day to day interactions with customers.
In the background of all of this, I was in the final stage of interviewing for a new job. My luck in the job market prior to this was not great, with the closest job that I got during this period being a call center representative for Comcast (which I turned down).
May 18th was the day I got the job offer. A raise that would allow me to live a fairly modest lifestyle in a one bedroom downtown, consistent hours, and a foot into the field that I wanted to be in sealed the deal. I gave my two weeks notice at my former employer, and left the same way that I arrived in November of 2019, with little fanfare.
Nearly six months later, even as Denver is is in the midst of a new variant of COVID that threatens to overwhelm our hospitals, changing jobs made the rest of my life significantly easier. The nearly yearly stress of having to roll the dice for roommate or ask for financial help from relatives have subsided.
If I had any advice for people frustrated in their current positions that have instability and unpredictability in them its this: start looking for a new job. From the time that I seriously started looking to the point that I accepted my new job was roughly 4-5 months. I’m not going to mince words: job searching is shitty and feels like an exercise in futility. The reward once you leave, however, can often be a life changing experience.
Featured Image is a Graph from Fortune Magazine of Resignations Since 2001