Getting Laid Off During Covid Was the Identity Crisis I Needed

Talk about learning a lesson the hard way.

Kelsey Gilchrist
5 min readFeb 10, 2021
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We’re coming up to a year since the first Covid-19 lockdown, which means it’s also been nearly a year since I was laid off. I lost my job, along with hundreds of my non-profit colleagues, back in March, when we all still thought the lockdown was just an extended spring break.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t blame the organization that let me go. As the markets crashed, donations dried up, and my marketing job was considered non-essential for the charity’s operations. But losing my job was — unsurprisingly — the worst. The moment I got my termination call, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. How would I cover my rent? How would I find a new job in the middle of a global crisis?

Just after I lost my job, a friend organized a Zoom reunion with a couple dozen of our high school friends. Remember that era of quarantine? All of those beers over choppy video with people you hadn’t spoken to in ages?

I assume that for most of those high school friends, it was exciting to see how everyone was doing after all these years. But for me, it couldn’t have been worse timing.

On the call, my former classmates took turns sharing what they have been up to for the past seven or so years…