Leeds woman, 29, has lost three jobs in under a year due to crumbling pandemic jobs market
Annabelle Smith lost her position as a marketing manager last May before she was made redundant from an administrative job at a property firm in November.
Finally she was let go from her role as assistant manager at a gym last month.
Annabelle, who lives in a studio apartment in Leeds is now in the precarious position of relying on benefit payments to avoid going into debt.
She says young professionals like her need better support and that she’s speaking out to “stand up” for herself and avoid “feeling sorry” for herself.
Annabelle is worried that eventually, she may have to move back in with her parents.
She said: “When I lost my third job I was really frustrated and upset. I did begin thinking, ‘why me, why has this happened again?’
“It has been a tough 12 months, losing a number of jobs in quick succession like that is difficult.”
She added: “I hope someone sees one of the applications and decides to give me a chance.”
Annabelle said she does not believe people like her are being “looked after” by the government and says she is speaking up to “stand up” for herself.
She added: “I need to do everything within my power to help myself instead of just sitting down and feeling sorry for myself.
“I’m trying to speak up for people like me who are at home struggling.”
In her marketing job, which she had for a year, Annabelle ran social media accounts for several shopping centres and helped develop campaigns.
She said: “When everything got shut down during the first lockdown, marketing was the first to go.
“It came as a huge shock, I had only just been promoted and things were going well.”
The company placed Annabelle, who’s originally from Harpenden, Herts., on furlough for one month before making her redundant.
She entered the job market and managed to get a sales and lettings agent position with a property firm in July, which she worked in over the summer.
When the second lockdown came in November, Annabelle was again furloughed for a short time before being made redundant for the second time that year.
She said: “I felt like some bad news was coming so I was looking for work while on furlough and luckily managed to get something straight away.”
However, Annabelle only remained in the position of assistant gym manager for around a month before the third lockdown when she was let go yet again.
Due to the fact she started work after October 30, she wasn’t entitled to furlough, which she says “doesn’t make any sense”.
Annabelle added: “To get knocked down for the third time was tough.”
Annabelle said she has applied for universal credit and housing benefit but she doesn’t expect to receive any help for at least a couple of weeks.
She added: “Universal credit isn’t designed for young professionals anyway.
“I had it before and it didn’t cover my rent. There’s no way I can survive on benefits for a long period of time.
"I've been independent since I was 18 and it would be a huge impact to have to go back and live with my parents.”
Annabelle is continually looking for work and said she is hoping to go back into marketing.
She added: “I think that’s where my skills are and it looks like the industry might be getting a bit of a resurgence so that’s what I’m looking to do.”
Those aged 25 to 34 facing the biggest risk of losing their jobs, figures show.
Annabelle said the process of applying for jobs is “draining” but that she’s motivated to re-enter the working world as soon as possible.
She added: “There are mornings where I don’t want to get out of bed.
“But I’m doing my best to make a positive out of a negative and come out the other side of this in an even better place.”