The pandemic has affected the world in so many ways, namely the high amount of lay-offs. It’s difficult to find a new job. There’s a lot of handing out resumes, cold calling, and hoping to land an interview. Sometimes applicants won’t receive a response since their CV is lost among so many others. It’s a devastating feeling that many people are going through right now.
Here’s a happy ending to this modern nightmare. Last year, before the COVID-19 chaos began, a family man got creative with his job-applying method. He stood by a street corner and handed out his resume to anyone who’d take it.
Standing on a Corner and Handing Out Resumes
Patrick Hoagland, 30, from Phoenix, Arizona, had been out of work for a month. He got laid off from a metal recycling company, and the financial pressure was getting to his family.
“I definitely had fear,” Hoagland told “Good Morning America.” “My wife and I, we don’t make a whole lot of money individually. Once I lost my job, everything was put on her.” 
He spent a lot of time applying to positions online and in person to no avail.
“I wasn’t getting any responses,” he said. “I was getting frustrated. It popped into my head, stand on a corner and hold a sign and hand out resumes. At first I laughed about it… and then it kind of went crazy.”
For three consecutive days, Hoagland handed his resume to passers-by on the street. In his other hand, he carried a sign that said “Please take a resume. Laid-off. Looking for a job.”
“Help This Guy Get a Job”
One of the people who stopped to take a resume was Melissa DiGianfilippo, owner of Serendipit Consulting.
“He was not asking for a handout, he was just asking for a job. That impressed me,” DiGianfilippo said.
She planned to offer him a job at her company. However, she was disappointed to learn he had no experience in public relations. So she found a different way to help him out.
“I figured, ‘I have a pretty wide network. I’ll share on social media,’” DiGianfilippo said.
She posted a picture of his resume. In the caption, she explained: “I was driving down Camelback Road near my office and spotted this guy, Patrick, on the side of the road with a huge smile on his face in 110-degree heat, with a sign asking people to please take his resume. I love that he was not asking for a handout, just for people to consider him for a job.”
She ended with, “Can you help me by sharing this post to help get this guy a job?” 
Although all of her posts received attention, LinkedIn contacts were especially interested.
“I think people were impressed with this willingness and dedication to stand in 100-degree heat,” DiGianfilippo said. It was July after all.
A Happy Ending
Then job offers began to pour in by the hundreds, according to Hoagland. He finally received a position as a concrete grinder at a company called Flatline Concrete.
“They reached out to me over email phone, and I am glad that they did,” he said. “It’s my dream job scenario.”
“I can’t say thank you enough to everybody,” Hoagland said. “I had a lot of people who sent messages that weren’t necessarily job offers but were well-wishes [saying], ‘Good luck in your search.’ It was nice to see that.’” 
Laid Off During the Pandemic?
There’s no guarantee Hoagland’s method would work out for everyone, especially in areas where social distancing is mandatory. Aside from that, today’s job market is tough. Still, this experience is a beautiful reminder that there are good people in this world who empathize with those down on their luck and would like to help them get back on their feet.
If you are currently laid off, here are a few tips to keep afloat:
- Apply for unemployment insurance benefits. The terms and conditions vary from state to state.
- Check if you qualify for a government subsidy if you lost healthcare benefits from your job.
- Make a new monthly budget to eliminate unnecessary costs while you look for a new position. This could include canceling a gym membership or a music streaming service.
- Polish up your resume.
- Call your bill providers and ask what they offer to people whose incomes are reduced.
- Seek jobs in essential services or freelance. 
- Above all, take care of your mental health.
Losing a job can send anyone into a vortex of guilt, anxiety, depression, insecurities, and self-doubt. Instead of focusing on the things outside of your control, shift your mindset into growth.
“Society has taught us to value achievement over self-fulfillment and self-discovery,” said Latesha Byrd, a career and executive coach. “But from change and discomfort comes growth.”
Don’t let the shame of the layoff push you into a negative spiral. You’re among many in the same situation. Instead, identify your core qualities and use them to your benefit, such as a witty cover letter or a creative way to use social media. Allow your unique skills to set yourself apart.
And when negativity thoughts come, don’t stifle them.
“Think of your emotions as data, as information,” said Laura Huang, an associate professor at Harvard Business School. “Rather than blindly being led by them, interrogate them. Ask yourself why you feel shame or self-doubt. Learn from it. Use your emotions to your benefit.” 
 “Dad who was laid off gets hundreds of job offers after handing out resumes on street.” Nicole Pelletiere. Good Morning America. July 31, 2019
 Melissa DiGianfilippo. Facebook. July 17, 2019
 “Laid off dad gets a new job after handing out hundreds of resumes to strangers on the street.” Tod Perry. Upworthy. September 17, 2020
 “Coronavirus unemployment guide: What to do if you get laid off or furloughed.” Jacob Bogage. Washington Post. April 3, 2020
 “How to Manage the Emotional Impact of Getting Laid Off.” Holly Epstein Ojalvo. New York Times. June 21, 2020
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