I’m a 25-year-old Recruitment Consultant, and since March 2020, like many people within my generation, I’ve lived in an economic bubble. The economy has always grown, never had to fight for business, I’ve been working in a candidate short market, with plenty of jobs.

I have friends working across several different industries including education, hospitality, procurement, retail, we’ve all never really had to work through real difficult times. However, since Covid-19 has happened, over the past few weeks, things have totally changed, and it has affected us all.

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As a Rec2Rec, I’ve never had to deal with multiple clients putting their hiring on hold, or having a huge flow of redundant recruiters calling me. Parents calling in tears who’ve just been made redundant, who have a mortgage and a young family to pay for, in desperate need for me to help them.

I’ve almost felt in limbo as I’ve got some great recruiters in need of a role, and on the other hand, clients who would usually be in growth mode, now holding off recruitment. All I want to do is be able to help so it’s been so heartbreaking. This has definitely been the toughest few weeks of my career.

Not only has it affected me professionally but also just within my regular day to day life. The lack of freedom has been a huge shock, the fact we’re now having to social distance, not being able to see my family in Wales and my friends who live just around the corner. To only being able to leave my flat once a day to exercise and not being able to go to the gym as usual.

I also turned 25 in March, which celebrations would usually have been spread out as long as it possibly can with multiple plans with friends – all of which had to be canceled.

I almost feel like I’m in a film, and I’m always just thinking/saying ‘this is all just so crazy’.

So how am I coping with it?

Although we’re only in the early stages of the lockdown, it’s been a massive drastic change, we’ve had to adapt so quickly. I believe the resilience that I’ve built up throughout my career has definitely helped throughout these times.

  • Keeping communication going with candidates and clients, understanding who’s hiring, what skills they’ll need when we get out of this. Having a strategy in place for when things do bounce back, working towards a goal, and keeping the momentum going.
  • Regular catch-ups on a video call through ‘Houseparty app’ with the Qui team –  Lysha and Laura. What’s really helped me understand more about the current economy and what is likely to happen after we get through this has been with speaking to those who are more experienced – they’ve both worked through the recession in 2008. This is something I’d definitely advise someone my age going through these unprecedented times, speak to those who are older, who’ve been through an economic dip in the past.
  • I still set my alarm for the same time each day through the week, write a list, get dressed, have meals around the same time each day, and don’t drink alcohol through the week to keep my energy (although by Friday the wine is calling my name!).
  • I’ve also taken advantage of all the home workouts that are all over Instagram and making sure that I do go out once a day with either a long walk or a run. I’ve also taken this time to try out new recipes, have a deep clean, and just doing jobs around the flat which I’ve put off. Overall making sure I’m doing what I can to maintain good mental health.

No one knows firmly when things will begin to get back to normal, but we’re an adaptable bunch. This isn’t going to be forever and I strongly believe that being optimistic and having a positive outlook is so important. I’m confident that we will bounce back from this, and I know I certainly won’t take anything for granted again.

What are you doing to stay positive?

About the author: Shannon Rowlands has been 3 yrs in R2R at Qui Recruitment and 2 years internship in finance recruitment.

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