COVID-19, Job Loss, and Questioning My Self Worth

a guest post by Allison Wright

An Introduction by Adam Mico

I only had the opportunity to meet Allison Wright (Twitter | Tableau Public) once (virtually in person); it was while hosting a VizConnect session in February celebrating Tableau Public’s Featured Author Cohort — since then we’ve kept in touch through Social Media. I could immediately tell she’s motivated, a leader, and someone many would like the opportunity to work with. Even more, she just completed a 16-Week Millenials in Data Bootcamp under Chantilly Jaggernauth (Twitter | Tableau Public | Site), a 3-time (and current) Tableau Zen Master lauded for her rare ability to make complex (usually business) insights easily understood via data visualization, and Eric Balash (Twitter | Tableau Public | Site) a Tableau Public Ambassador who is widely regarded as a dataviz design influencer.

I know Allison will ultimately be sharing from the summit, but needs access to a mountain to climb. She would be a great addition to any team as a business analyst or junior data analyst working remotely and/or remotely on a path to NYC. If you are a recruiter or hiring consultant, please reach out to her on LinkedIn.

Here is Allison’s story since the pandemic. It may be yours as well. Realize you are not alone and by continuously placing one foot in front of another, you can also work toward finding your success path.

Feature Article by Allison Wright

I was so hopeful in the beginning. I lost my job approximately two weeks after the lockdowns began. It was a strange feeling, especially since I was the only person that had been let go from my location. However, I did not mind as much since I wanted to leave that job at some point, so in a way, it felt like they were doing me a favor. At the same time, I felt defective…why was I the one that was let go? Why not just let the other few people go too? Did I do something wrong? Even my own mother was getting into my head making me feel like this was somehow my fault.

Interviews came and went. The first couple of months were weird — I had a few recruiters reach out to me, but the result was always the same. I would get an interview and:

  • The team loved me but decided to go in a different direction.
  • Not hear anything back.
  • Not be the unicorn that they needed/desired

Then there was nothing for months. I applied to jobs everywhere, but I almost never fit the bill. This is when the cracks really started to show, and I just felt like no one was listening. Yes, I understood that we were in the middle of a GLOBAL CRISIS, but my unemployment/savings could only last so long while living in an expensive city. The emotional rollercoaster that I was on, and continue to be on, is an understatement.

After being stuck in what felt like a permanent feedback loop, my situation improved. I was given an opportunity to join the Millennials and Data Professional Cohort. With something else to focus on, I poured everything into that class and grew exponentially. I became friends with all my classmates and a part of the #datafam. The end of 2020 was a new beginning for me and led to some of the wonderful things in 2021:

  • I became a Tableau Featured Author in February 2021.
  • I am helping teach future Tableau enthusiasts as a teaching assistant for the program that helped me.
  • People have reached out to me for data viz advice.
  • I was matched with a mentor through the Mentoring Meetup.

If I had the opportunity to speak to my previous self, I would tell her that this feeling is temporary, that losing a job does not change who you are, it is just a small hiccup in the grand scheme of things. You are greater than all of that, and with the right group of people, your moment will come.

#DataVizThoughts Editing Team

Adam Mico

Priya Padham

Keyrus US’ Tableau Evangelist and Tableau Ambassador. Views are very much my own. Priya Padham assists on #DataFam Interviews.