Leeds woman who lost three jobs in a year due to pandemic finally bags her dream role
A woman who lost three jobs in under a year due to the pandemic has spoken of her shock and joy after bagging her ‘dream job’ after she'd given up on her search.
Annabelle Smith, 29, lost her job as a marketing manager in May last year, before she was made redundant from an administrative job at a property firm.
She had a final blow early this year when she was made redundant at a gym where she was an assistant manager.
But she said she was filled with excitement after she landed the 'perfect job' after appearing on a radio panel to discuss unemployment during Covid.
Annabelle said she had become ‘despondent’ after she was unable to even secure an interview for jobs she was overqualified for.
She decided to stop applying for jobs until the lockdown ended, but was invited on a BBC Radio 5 panel on Feb 22 to speak about her experience.
As luck would have it, one of the panellists ran a marketing agency called Get Savvy which was based in the city centre of Leeds, West Yorks., where Annabelle lives.
CEO Catherine Shuttleworth contacted the BBC following the show and asked for Annabelle’s details to offer her some advice.
But after a 15 minute phone call, Annabelle impressed the CEO and she was invited for two interviews and was eventually offered a job on March 12.
The marketing firm said they hired Annabelle as a digital accounts executive after being impressed by her 'tenacity and positivity' over the last year.
Annabelle, from Leeds, said: “I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. When you’re looking for work you’ve got so much on your mind.
“I had gotten to the point where I was rejected from anything and everything, even the most basic jobs, so I said I was going to just wait until the job markets until I applied.
“I felt like I was becoming despondent because it’s just been such an awful year.
“I completely stopped applying to jobs because I thought it was pointless and wanted to wait until the job market opened up a bit.
“But as luck would have it, I ended up on this panel, and someone in marketing happened to be on it.
“All of the bad luck, but now I’ve got my dream job. Something so good has come out of it.”
Annabelle had abandoned hope of getting a job in marketing during the pandemic and was ‘utterly demoralised’ after getting rejection upon rejection from ‘any and every job’.
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, who was struggling to pay for her rent, had to apply for universal credit and housing benefit to help her cope with her financial burdens.
But after being offered a role specialising in the sports division, she said she couldn't have found a 'more perfect role'.
She had her first day at her new job on March 17 and said she welcomed some sense of normality.
She added that the timing couldn't have been any better as it meant she might be able to enjoy the summer with her friends once lockdown is lifted.
She said: “I’m so happy to be able to work, and get to some form of normality. Not working from January has been so weird.
“Before the world reopens in a few weeks I felt like I had been left behind but now I can enjoy things with people.
“It’s a bit surreal. You’ve got to say yes to every opportunity. If I said no to going on the radio I would have closed that door without knowing it.”
She celebrated the big occasion with a bottle of Moet Champagne which she was given for her birthday in November which she was saving for a special occasion.
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