Undoubtedly, 2020 was another roller-coaster in my twenties. I initially laughed-out-loud when the Covid-19 hits Canada in March 2020, just a month before I was about to graduate with M.Eng. where I was nominated with the ‘Future Leaders’ award. Forsooth, I laughed because I have been talking to several HRs on LinkedIn who had told me to reach out to them before a month of graduation, hereby in an instant, my tactical ocean boiled out; which is something exactly I experienced last time when I graduated with a master’s degree in India in 2017, formerly I fall sick during my final placements coupled with demonetization happened during which I had a hard time cracking up the job, despite I had shook hands with the acting CEO of an international conglomerate.
Like most people, I lost my corporate job where I have been working since June 2019 and was hoping to convert into a full-time position upon graduation. I did not ponder much on what’s next but inhaled moments of relaxation, at least for now because on Mondays I had three classes each of three hours from 9:30 am till 9 pm; on Tuesdays, I had class in the morning, then I used to do my groceries while returning from Mac; on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I used to wake up early morning like 3:40 am as I have to take three buses one way for transitioning between Hamilton and Richmond Hill; on Fridays, I would wake up late and then would go to Mac for the weekly group meetings; on Saturdays and Sundays, I used to volunteer at Gurudwara as well as ESSCO coupled with ticking off the other stuff from the weekly to-do list. Thereby, no more haphazardness, sound sleep, cooking new meals, occasional LCBO-crawling, Netflix subscription, and reconnecting with school friends were one of my first gifts of the pandemic.
However, my rental lease was expiring in April 2020, though I stayed a month longer and started looking for another rental, while one of my friends from Mac offered me that I can move in at his place. Thereby, on June 1st, I moved into his place and on the very next day, he told me it would be great if I can shift to another place because he said he did not realize before that he will not be feeling comfortable without his personal space. Therefore, I called my friend who picked me up from the airport when I landed and explained everything and moved to his place in Mississauga, the very next day.
In June 2020, I started applying for jobs day and night, but I got no luck in getting any interview calls. I started becoming a little anxious and stressed out about the job because I am experiencing all these similar things again, coincidently again at graduation time. Nonetheless, my perspective had started turning negative towards life when I started thinking that I am just cooking meals and washing dishes for the other four working professionals. But it was only after that I realized this is once in blue moon time where I have infinite time to do the things which I could not do previously due to time constraints. Therefore, I made a schedule where I would wake up early morning go out in the parks, click some sunrises during the golden hours, then come back home, make tea for everyone in the house, then talk with my family, post then I sit at my table and start applying for jobs till afternoon. Then in the afternoon, I will cook something for me and my other two friends and post then I would read a book till the evening. Then in the evening, I will make tea for me and the other two friends, we would have a small talk over the snacks and post then, I move to the kitchen for making dinner for everyone. Then after that, I would go out for an evening walk, and post returning I would apply for jobs before I go to the bed.
Weeks become months; I had no luck in cracking any job. Though I was fortunate enough to get 4–5 interview calls, I got rejected sometimes being overqualified or an internal referral would get hired or not the right fit for the job or did not have the work permit. Thereby, I started looking for part-time jobs for daily survival as well as getting out of my table and chair. Therefore, in September 2020, I found a job as a warehouse associate in the distribution center. I took it thinking that it is a golden opportunity to see how the cross-docking and warehouse operations are done on the ground. Meanwhile, I hoped that maybe if there would be a full-time supply chain position, being an internal candidate.
On the other hand, one of my friends informed my previous manager that I have been working in a warehouse and requested him to hire me back if there is any possibility. Luckily, then my manager called me and told me there is an opening in another department. But we can offer you that role (with a pay-cut) based on your prior good performance within the organization. Therefore, I accepted the role, packed up stuff again, and thanked God for getting me out of this situation. I took the role because I thought it would be great to learn something new and expand the horizons of my skill sets as I firmly believe in what Alvin Toffler said: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
I would like to advise the students of class 2021 that good/bad times do not last long; it too shall pass, and one always grows only in the uncomforting zone, which is when the going gets tough, the tough get going. While if you are feeling stuck anytime in life, try to fetch out the blessings from the hard times as it is said that every dark cloud has a silver lining, as well as also remembers the words of Steve Jobs that you cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So, you must trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.